Key Takeaways from the Job Ready Graduates Higher Education Reform Package
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government’s Department of Education, Skills and Employment has launched a higher education reform package to create job-ready graduates by focusing on public investment in higher education based on national priorities.
The aim is to deliver more job-ready graduates in the key areas, thereby driving Australia’s economic recovery from the current downturn.
We take a look at the funding reforms discussed in the accompanying report, “Job-Ready Graduates: Higher Education Reform Package 2020”.
The Government’s reform package is designed to maintain and sustain the Australian higher education system for students and employers.
This will be done by addressing funding rates, promoting nationally-beneficial university-industry collaboration, creating a more responsive qualifications framework, and setting up the foundation for national economic growth, to name a few of the reforms.
As the coronavirus pandemic exposes vulnerabilities in Australia’s higher education sector, the nation’s ability to recover economically will depend on the number of highly-skilled, creative and dynamic workers we have in our labour market.
Therefore, Australian universities and industry need to be primed to respond to the needs of Australians in the next five years.
The Five Principles of the Reform Package
To meet the above objectives, the reform package centres itself around the following five principles:
The agenda for these reforms are as follows:
Measures to Create a Simpler Funding System
By making the government funding system more efficient, Australia will be able to support an additional 39,000 university places by 2023 and almost 100,000 student places by 2030.
Some of the ways this will be done include:
Measures to Expand Opportunities for Domestic Students in Regional, Rural and Remote Areas
Education participation and attainment rates continue to be significantly lower in regional and remote Australia compared to metropolitan areas.
Some of the ways that equity can be achieved include:
Measures to Create a Better Integrated Tertiary System
Universities and industry must collaborate more closely to provide valuable and relevant skills to workers.
This will be achieved by:
Higher education reform is now more important than ever due to the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In order to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, Australian universities and industry need to work together to skill students appropriately in line with workforce needs.