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Go8 Media Release: Go8 joins with TAFE Directors Australia to lobby for an altered post-secondary education emphasis – a targeted Demand Driven System

The Group of Eight (Go8) which represents Australia’s leading research-intensive universities is part of a rallying call, with TAFE Directors Australia (TDA), to an incoming Government to be strategic in how it approaches a seamless post-secondary education sector.

Writing in today’s Fairfax Press,  Go8 CE, Vicki Thomson and TDA CE, Craig Robertson argue for a post-secondary system which opens up a wider range of opportunities for students, including at sub-degree level in both vocational and higher education.

“Student choice should be based on the fit of the course to their learning style and aspirations and not be distorted by inequitable funding and regulatory arrangements between sectors.”

Go8 CE Vicki Thomson said this also meant a return of the demand driven system.

“The Go8 strongly supports the reintroduction of a Demand Drive System (DDS), but it would be a mistake to bring it back in its previous form. Instead, an incoming government must take steps to broaden Australia’s commitment to educational opportunity spanning diploma to post-graduate qualifications.

Ms Thomson said education definitely was from “high chair to higher ed”.

“That was a phrase coined by a previous Education Minister and it should be taken seriously,” she said. “The Go8 continues to be committed to delivering quality education and quality graduates within a post-secondary education sector underpinned by a stable framework and funding system.

“That includes a large, high-quality Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector that seamlessly links into subjects at the diploma and associate degree levels. And the system will need to provide multiple pathways and encourage affordable and targeted life-long learning for people from all educational starting points and backgrounds.”

“Irrespective of background, every student seeking to enter post-secondary education should do so with equal opportunity in TAFE or university,” said Ms Thomson.

“Now it is time to right that,” said Ms Thomson. “ABS and RBA data shows that the growth in employment for those with any form of post-secondary education well exceeds those with none * see attached graph.  “That will only speed up as we fast approach the next stage of the economy with machine learning and artificial intelligence to the fore.”

Ms Thomson said the Go8 and TDA agree this means a Government being strategic by ensuring all areas of post-secondary education can provide a quality education to all those with the capability to access it.”

Contact: Vicki Thomson, Group of Eight Chief Executive on +61 417 808 472