There is plenty of policy on the government’s agenda
While few if any VCs and HE lobbies endorsed Labor in the election, dozens of them supported the party’s system-wide initiatives, notably a return to demand driven funding of undergraduate places, and funding for campus-specific developments. Some will be hoping the coalition appreciates the difference.
But there is a worse result for the higher education community than ministers deciding the sector is against them – that they do not care.
Despite Tanya Plibersek and Kim Carr’s hard work to make post-school education and research policy an election issue the government’s less low than subterranean profile does not appear to have hurt it nationally. Even worse, it could well have helped in regional electorates where universities pitch themselves as community assets and the government handed-out cash for campuses.
So, the post compulsory community needs to work hard to get net new ministers to talk to it – because there is policy business to be done.
For higher education providers there is Peter Coaldrake’s review of category standards, which will consider whether universities must be institutions that both research and teach.
As for training; everybody who dismissed the
Joyce Review, quietly released on budget day, should have another read. The national skills commission it proposed is already on the books and there are mass of ideas that will appeal to conservatives who do not think shovelling money into TAFE is the way to fix VET.
And then there is the big one; the review of the Australian Qualifications Framework, chaired by Peter Noonan. This looks like it could include micro-courses offered by higher and VE providers, in cooperation with corporate suppliers from outside the accredited spaces.