NSW VCC’s big idea for funding new sorts of study

The NSW VC’s committee submission to the O’Kane Accord ranges from the immediate to the epochal

The committee states it is focused “on tangible and realistic proposals to address key Accord questions” that can be addressed in the ’24 budget cycle but align with possible structural change.”

Which makes a change from the grabathons that make up many submissions.

NSW VCC proposals include,

* philanthropically funded university endowments to fund scholarships for low SES students, with start-up support from government

* short-term funding to address flaws in the Job Ready Graduates model, ahead of a “more complete funding model that properly reflects the cost of delivery, student demand, and industry priorities for graduates in key areas.”

* increase Commonwealth Supported Places for postgraduate courses “in key priority areas” with

* Commonwealth backed currency hedge funding so universities can quote international student fees for an entire course in A$, US$ or UK£.

* full economic cost approach to funding by ARC, MRFF and NHMR.

And then there are ones that set a course away from more of the same fine-tuned change

* CSP for set numbers HECS-HELP eligible joint TAFE-university courses.

The “full-service six” VET-HE institutions put an approximate proposal to the Accord, for “a consistent and nationally recognised spectrum of work-based-learning qualifications,” (CMM April 20).

* FEE HELP for micro credentials

This may not look like a big deal, but it could be.

“Another option is to return to the original concept of HELP, rather than instil even more fragmentation into the current system with a ‘Micro-HELP’ stream. In this case that there be a single income contingent loan system called HELP. This scheme would allow any individual to take up to a lifetime cap (currently $109,206) to use as they prefer across a set of accepted purposes.”

The VCs suggest that it sit outside the student learning entitlement (“as it is not a funded course”) but perhaps it would mainstream the idea of people assembling their own suite of qualifications via study loans.