Victorian Tertiary Education Plan

Report advising on the development of the Victorian Tertiary Education Plan

Higher Education and Skills Group released the Report advising on the development of the Victorian Tertiary Education Plan (PDF 3.1 Mb) in 2009.

Appendices to the Report advising on the development of the Victorian Tertiary Education Plan (PDF 1.1 mb) Appendices 1-7 of the Report advising on the development of the Victorian Tertiary Education Plan.

The Report provides a rigorous examination of Victoria’s tertiary education sector, looking at key issues such as increasing participation, improving equity and ensuring a diverse, high quality system that meets industry needs.

The Report has been influential in a range of key areas and in particular provided the context for a number of initiatives designed to increase participation in tertiary education in regional Victoria.

The Report informed the establishment of the Regional Partnerships Facilitation Fund (RPFF), a $20 million competitive grant fund designed by the Victorian Government to support increased alliances between higher education institutions (universities and private higher education providers) and VET organisations (TAFE institutes, private training organisations and Learn Local organisations). In November 2011 a total of $10.4 million was awarded in grants to seven projects through the first funding round of the RPFF.

The Report also led to the Gippsland Tertiary Education Review which focused specifically on the Gippsland region where students are accessing higher education at among the lowest rate in the state. A key recommendation of the Review was the formation of the Gippsland Tertiary Education Council. Between 2012-2014, Council members drawn from Gippsland's community and education sectors and local industry representatives, focussed on ensuring tertiary education and training is accessible, coordinated and informed by the priority needs of the region's industries and businesses.

In March 2014, the work of the Gippsland Tertiary Education Council (GTEC) was put on hold until the tertiary education arrangements in Gippsland are clarified. This decision was based on a recognition that the strategic context for the GTEC had changed since its establishment. Not only has the Commonwealth Government’s policy decision to remove ‘contract for closure’ options for the Latrobe Valley coal mining industry changed the region’s focus on a low carbon economy, there has also been continued reform of vocational training in Victoria. This has included innovation, collaboration, structural adjustment and business transformation by providers in Gippsland.  Additionally, the need for community integration has driven the formation of an expanded and regionally focussed university in Gippsland – Federation University.

 ​Below is additional information on the development of the Victorian Tertiary Education Plan:

Background to the Report

In 2009 an Expert Panel, led by Professor Kwong Lee Dow, was commissioned by the Victorian Government to advise on the development of the Victorian Tertiary Education Plan. The context is the Commonwealth Government’s policy statement, Transforming Australia’s Higher Education Sector, 2009 which was in response to the findings of the Review of Australian Higher Education, 2008 (referred to as the Bradley Review).

The Expert Panel’s Report was developed following consultation with stakeholders at a series of roundtable meetings across Victoria, meetings with education experts and commissioned research.

Summary of the Report

The Panel’s principal findings were:

  • the existence of a strong case for the Victorian Government to facilitate the alignment of institutional activity to reflect State and regional needs and priorities
  • the need for the Victorian Government to have a strong integrated capability to analyse and contribute to policy debate across the tertiary education sector
  • Victoria will require around 47 per cent bachelor level attainment by 2025 to meet its needs
  • the need for more effective use of existing infrastructure and resources and government-led integrated planning exercises to identify demand and supply requirements in priority areas
  • quality provision and outcomes should be a priority
  • improving equity and participation in higher education for under-represented groups will be particularly challenging and will require a multi-pronged approach encompassing funding as well as aspirational, cultural and social factors
  • growing tertiary education provision will require more clearly defined pathways between TAFE and universities, cross-sectoral linkages and robust alternative selection mechanisms
  • adequate preparation of students is the key to increasing participation, and
  • there is considerable potential for universities and TAFEs to work collaboratively on articulation, preparation of students and TAFE delivery of higher education.

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