A Speedy Breakdown of the AQF Review 2019
A landmark review into the Australian Qualifications Review (AQF) has just been released, with many saying it could fuel the biggest shake-up in the Australian tertiary sector in many years.
The Review, led by Professor Peter Noonan of Victoria University, hopes to dismantle the ‘rigid’ structure of the current AQF, leading the way towards more flexible learning, and paving the path towards recognition of ‘micro-credentials’.
The AQF sets out the national policy for regulated educational qualifications in Australia, ranging from Certificate I to Doctoral Degrees. It has not been revised in seven years and was created in 1993.
Under pressure to answer current skills shortages and adapt to the needs of the modern economy, the Government will hopefully use the Review’s recommendations as a way to redefine learning outcomes and address the changing nature of work.
The Review gives weight on the idea of ‘lifelong learning’, and how shorter qualifications can and must form a part of education and training, particularly in emerging sectors.
The Review doesn’t explicitly state that micro-credentials should fall within the AQF framework but makes a case for short courses as being fundamental to filling the skills gap and widening support for them.
The Review also focuses on the need for better pathways between different education and training sectors and hopes to address some of the current perceptions surrounding the VET sector in Australia.
Recommendations include simplification in the AQF taxonomy and better flexibility in the pathways for students between the Vocational and Higher Education Systems.
With an ability to mix and match credits between VET and Higher Education, the Review hopes that this will lead to better job outcomes for students.
The AQF Review is one of many initiatives the Government is working on at the moment to try and revitalise the tertiary sector.
Of particular focus is VET, with Senator Michaelia Cash very keen on:
‘Our vision to create a strong VET sector is critical to our economy and to helping prepare Australians for the workforce of today and the future.’
This comes after the release of the Joyce Review into vocational education earlier this year.
There is also a planned review of the Australian Skills Quality Authority, as well as the newly formed National Skills Commission, which is intended to ‘drive long-term improvements to the VET sector’.
It’s still unclear what direction and decisions the government will take with their renewed focus on the tertiary sector, but it seems as if a change is on the horizon.