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TAFE is synonymous with equity – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

The Universities Accord Final Report was released yesterday. It begins with a vision statement titled, a National Tertiary Education Objective. That objective defines tertiary education as containing both higher education and vocational education. In quantifiable terms the vision is that eighty percent of the working aged population will hold at least one tertiary qualification by 2050.

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Setting the scene for 2024 – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

2024 will be another big year for TAFE and vocational education. 2023 was largely a year of planning and agreement signing with early introduction of some initiatives. 2024 will be the year of execution. So, in this first newsletter of the year let’s outline five of the big-ticket national agenda items.

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Celebrating another year – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

As we enter the last working week of 2023, I reflect on what a big year it has been. This year has delivered significant wins. Some of these are the new National Skills Agreement, the clean energy capacity study led by Jobs and Skills Australia, and the successful delivery of the first year of fee-free TAFE in every State and Territory.

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Language is important – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Throughout the University Accord Panel’s deliberations there have been numerous conversations about language. The Accord Panel is very aware that higher education and vocational education have developed their own nomenclature. For example, higher education uses student load, a term not used at all in vocational education. Vocational education uses competency, rarely used in higher education.

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An important new book on tertiary education policy – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Last Thursday in Melbourne it was exciting to be part of the launch of Rethinking Tertiary Education: Building on the work of Peter Noonan. This book contains perspectives on policy directions in tertiary education through the lens of the leadership of the late Peter Noonan and a group of tertiary education thought leaders including the three authors, Peter Dawkins, Megan Lilly and Robert Pascoe.

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TAFE Centres of Excellence part of the National Skills Agreement – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

As discussed last week, an important change in the new National Skills Agreement from previous agreements is the focus on national priorities and national responsiveness. To give an example, the establishment of the TAFE Centres of Excellence is about national networks of TAFEs working in partnership with industry and universities to deliver new networked solutions for skills shortages in critical industries.

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Rethinking compulsory work placement – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

There has been much discussion, including as part of the Australian Universities Accord (Accord) review, on the cost of compulsory work placements for learners. This impacts TAFE students as much as university students. The problem is that to take the time to do the work placement means students have to be absent from their regular full or part time jobs. For most students that is a considerable imposition and significant loss of income.

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