What BCA is selling UniAus isn’t buying

The Business Council of Australia has stuck to its draft proposal for a radical restructure of post-school education. The original paper was released last October for consultation and is now adopted pretty much as was. “Given stakeholders’ support for the explicit focus on lifelong learning and agreement that learners needed support in their decision-making, the Business Council has not amended its proposed new approach to decision-making, and the model remains unchanged,” the final document states.

The BCA plan has five core proposals.
* distinct VET and HE cultures. “VET as an industry-led sector based around competency-based training and applied learning, and HE offering advanced qualifications to develop highly skilled workers, as well as a broader remit of learning for the sake of learning, academic inquiry and research.”

* a sector-neutral single funding model

* a single source of information on the system designed for students, workers and employers

* a single governance model for HE and VET

* “a culture of lifelong learning to enable workers to upskill and reskill throughout their lives.”

Students would fund education and training through access to sector-neutral government subsidies and income contingent loans.

Universities Australia did not like a lot in the original draft and was quick yesterday to make plain that its position had not changed.  “The revised report does not sufficiently address the concerns held by universities about its potential to undermine our world-class university system, UA CEO Catriona Jackson said.

““The BCA has not established a rationale for a radical overhaul of the policy and funding settings that deliver a world-class university system.

“Universities share the BCA’s concern about the damage done to the nation’s vocational education system by successive funding cuts and policy mis-steps over the past decade – which should be a cautionary tale…. We need a flourishing post-school education system, with both universities and vocational education doing their distinct but complementary jobs at their best.”


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