By Claire Field
We need a more national approach to VET funding
With the government set to invest $134 million over the next four years on VET reform, including the establishment of a National Skills Commission – last week’s data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research shows why we need a more national approach to VET funding.
While most analysis has examined the decline in overall funding, by year or by provider type, what is largely overlooked is the different investment states have made in their VET systems.
Looking back over the last four years at the national level there has been a modest 6er cent decline in government-funded VET students. But that masks major state-territory differences: in NSW, for example, government-funded students increased by 26 per cent in the same period, whereas they declined in Victoria by 27 per cent.
There are also significant state-level differences in the funding available to students studying at either TAFE or a private provider.
Looking again at Victoria – there has been a 12 per cent increase in government-funded students in TAFE and a 56 per cent decline in those studying with a private provider.
Irrespective of where you line up in the public versus private funding debate there is an urgent need for a more consistent approach.
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Claire Field writes a subscription guide to VET, international education and private HE.