New models at the intersection of school and tertiary education
While the education sector waits for the implementation of the recommendations of the AQF Review, a few new models are emerging at the interface of the senior secondary school system and the VET/higher education sectors.
Professors (and University Chancellors) David Gonski and Peter Shergold made recommendations to the NSW government in March 2021 to establish an Institute of Applied Technology as an entirely new form of Australian tertiary institution.
The NSW government has accepted the recommendation and intends that the new IAT will deliver “fully integrated theoretical and practical employability skills, provided through a number of constituent colleges, with curriculums designed in collaboration with industry and focused on the state’s emerging labour market needs.”
The IAT will be piloted at the proposed TAFE Centres of Excellence at Meadowbank and Kingswood. These centres will be delivered in partnership between TAFE, universities and industry.
In April the ACT government announced that they too are focussed on reforming senior secondary study and helping students get to university. Their new program will allow Year 11 students to start university-level courses as part of their ATAR and gain credit towards study at the University of Canberra. Enrolments will start small (only 25 students in 2022) and students will study:
- Business Decision Making
- Information Technology
- Systemic Anatomy and Physiology
- Understanding People and Behaviour
Outside the government sector, private higher education and VET provider, Aphacrucis College, and St Philip’s Christian College have launched a school-VET-higher education hub which is focussed on (a) offering students VET alternatives to Year 12 and also (b) offering a new model of tertiary education teacher training.
In April they welcomed a range of politicians interested in education to visit the hub including Senator Deborah O’Neill (Federal ALP), Scott Farlow (Parliamentary Secretary to NSW Treasurer), Mark Latham (One Nation and Chair, NSW Education portfolio committee) and Clayton Barr (then Shadow NSW Minister for Tertiary Education).