Australian Government To Review Its Long-Term Plans For Higher Education Sector
Today’s Blog is about the new ‘Universities Accord’ presented by the Australian government to improve the country’s Higher Education sector.
In an attempt to build the country’s long-term plan for the higher education system, the Australian government has announced a ‘Universities Accord’.
To make the Accord more effective, a team of experts representing a mix of STEM and humanities from different cities and regions across the country will cooperate to advise. Students, staff, business and industry experts, key influential bodies, and other professionals will also be involved.
A mid-year review report will be provided to the government in June of the next year, with the final report to be submitted in December 2023.
The panel will review the quality and sustainability of the sector for international students. It will also examine the many challenges faced by domestic and international students and staff due to the pandemic, including the event’s temporary and permanent impacts. The teams have also pledged to support a competitive and resilient international education sector.
The Minister for Education, Jason Clare, called this the first broad review of the education system since the Bradley Review, which was conducted in 2008.
He further stated that the Accord is an opportunity to review everything from funding and access, to affordability, transparency, regulation, and employment conditions and understand how higher education and vocational education and training work together.
The Minister earlier has also spoken of an opportunity to work on things differently since the Albanese government was elected in May.
The government considers this panel as a reflection of its acceptance of the role international students play in Australian society and economy and Australia’s interest in deepening partnerships abroad.
Australia’s parliament also launched an inquiry in October, to examine the country’s international education recovery.
The chief executive of Universities Australia, Catriona Jackson, has termed the Universities Accord as their best chance to strengthen the Australian higher education sector.
Pointing to the need for university-led research and development, and skilled job shortages requiring university degrees, she said that getting the policy right will support the universities in these important endeavours, and to thrive.
Stakeholders also congratulated the six-member panel appointed for the task while displaying her interest in collaboration with the panel, Jackson remarked that the group is comprised of enormously talented and experienced professionals who will bring the required breadth and depth of expertise to the task at hand.
The chief executive of Group of Eight (Go8), Vicki Thomson shared her opinion saying that what the country needs is a contest of innovative ideas to ensure that there is the right policy framework for Australia to prosper in the future. She considers the Accord to provide a window to reframe Australia’s higher education sector and lift the bar.
She further exclaimed that if this opportunity is missed, the repercussions will not be just to the sector, but to all of Australia. The Australian university sector needs a long-term sustainable plan to lay the necessary groundwork for future generations and success. She also pointed to a few quick-fix options that will deliver immediate wins for the higher education sector.
She also noted that the previous government’s Job-ready Graduates package has caused an impediment to skills creation, particularly concerning STEM courses, such as engineering and IT, which are already experiencing critical shortages.
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