Let’s start with the good news: international education in Australia is on a record-breaking run, with over half a million students enrolled in tertiary education in the first half of 2018 alone. That’s a 12% increase on the same period last year, with international student enrolments rising 54% since 2013. Highest source markets include Nepal, Colombia, Brazil, India and China.
“Australia is uniquely positioned to meet the demands of an increasingly competitive international education market. Students know we have some of the best education institutions in the world, they know how much we value the diversity of experiences and views they bring with them, and they know the quality of living and opportunities here are second to none,” said Minister for Education & Training, Simon Birmingham.
Conversely, the PIE News have noted that tense relations between China and Australia could potentially impact this good news story – with the Chinese government recently issuing safety warnings to students going to Australia.
All’s not exactly well on the home front either, with reports last week that the number of Australia’s with tertiary qualifications is expected to plummet over the next decade.
Commentary was based on the ‘Participation in Tertiary Education in Australia’ report by Peter Noonan of the Mitchell Institute, which warns that “we will have fewer people of prime working age able to contribute to the future labour market if participation rates in higher education and VET fall as the population increases.”
The Mitchell Report calls for a “comprehensive, sustainable and long-term funding framework for VET and higher education” to ensure participation levels grow and not decline and to provide a better balance between the higher education and vocational education and training sectors.
In an effort to lift standards across the VET industry, our peak industry association ACPET has introduced an industry certification program to recognise members for educational quality, ethical practices and behaviours, continuous improvement practices and professional student services. A great initiative, that we’d encourage everyone to participate in.
I am also proudly an independent member of the Academic Governance Board of the newly-approved Higher Education Leadership Institute (HELI) – a new education provider aimed at fulfilling a niche role in the independent higher education sector.
HELI has just launched its first 1-year part-time online certification program for academics, the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Academic Practice (GradCertHE) which will commence on 16 July 2018.
Aimed at enhancing the knowledge, skills and understanding of academic practice in the higher education sector this course can only contribute to the continued elevation of our industry as a whole. We are all looking forward to welcoming the first cohort this year.