By CLAIRE FIELD
The way people will learn will be different – whatever government does
With only 10 weeks left until 2020 draws to a close there is significant work underway in both the higher education and VET sectors in response to major funding and regulatory reforms introduced by government this year.
Universities are preparing to implement the government’s Job-Ready Graduates Package and discussions continue on a “sustainable research funding pipeline” through the Research Sustainability Working Group.
In the VET sector, the Commonwealth, state and territory governments’ $1bn in extra funding is being rolled out. The Australian Skills Quality Authority is progressing a new self-assurance regulatory model, and the sector awaits the final advice of the Productivity Commission on the next National Skills Agreement.
In the face of these changes it can be difficult to find the time to think through the likely long-lasting impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. There are a number of changes which have either resulted from the pandemic or been accelerated by it and which higher education and VET providers need to understand.
Specifically, I think the new “post-COVID normal” for the Australian tertiary education sector will include;
* changes to who we educate (in terms of both domestic and international student profiles)
* more flexible working arrangements and more online delivery (with a resultant shift in investment away from bricks and mortar and into improved technology)
* greater use of on-line programme management partnerships to deliver degrees and VET courses,
* increased use of virtual and augmented reality
* changes to who teaches our students in the form of much greater use of international experts and through disruptive partnerships
And on that note, I think we will continue to see growing competition from outside the formal sector.
I have teased these thoughts out further in a briefing note, here .
Claire Field is an adviser to the tertiary education sector