Advancing Australia’s VET Sector – curated industry news #08 2021

The Australian Financial Review released their ‘Power Issue’ recently, and interestingly the five most powerful education leaders in 2021 are all male which is noted within the article:

“Education is a feminised sector. So why are there no women on the list? Mostly happenstance. The peak groups are out of favour and what power exists is mostly wielded by the heads of statutory bodies.”

The issue goes on to focus on the gathering momentum of ‘remote learning’ which has increasingly gained speed due to the impacts of the global pandemic.

“Although the impact of COVID-19 on the education sector has been profound, the movement, en masse, to online learning across schools, colleges and universities might be its most enduring legacy.”

In addition to the pivot in teaching, “the most painful shock” for the education sector “has been the almost overnight halt in the flow of international students who contributed $40 billion to the economy in 2019.”

That noted, the Commonwealth Government has now given the green light to a pilot plan to see the phased return of fully vaccinated international students to NSW by the end of this year. Although the borders won’t be open to everyone just yet:

“Hundreds of international students will start returning to NSW by the end of this year, although vaccine restrictions will mean students from key markets in China and Nepal are not likely to be among them….A government source said the Indian market was one of the top priorities for the NSW government as part of its new trade and investment strategy.”

Claire Field of Claire Field & Associates has provided commentary on why she thinks there is reason for optimism for the return of international students to Australia

“While reopening the border hinges on vaccination rates and then how well NSW and Victoria progress with their lifting of restrictions (and the resulting impact on their hospital systems), it looks increasingly like we will see relatively large groups of fully vaccinated international students coming in to Australia in the first quarter of 2022, at least in New South Wales, South Australia and possibly Victoria and the ACT, with high enough vaccination rates.”

A series of reports has been released by NCVER analysing the impacts of COVID-19 on apprenticeships and training; the swift transition of the vocational education sector to online training; the impact of the pandemic on student employment outcomes; the VET-led youth unemployment recovery; and the adaptation of businesses (as opposed to innovation) for staff to transfer existing skills to new roles without the need for much additional training. We’ve included links to all of these reports below.

ASQA has also issued its first Insights Paper on its’ strategic review of online learning in the vocational education and training sector, with some key feedback from the sector gained through a series of webinars requesting more guidance on the challenges faced by trainers and assessors in designing and delivering VET in an online environment.

In addition we’ve sourced some great articles on developing online learning – enjoy!