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Deakin welcomes expert report into tertiary education

17 March 2010

Deakin University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Walker, believes the University is well placed to support initiatives outlined in a report released today by an Expert Panel advising on the growth of Victorian tertiary education and the development of a Victorian tertiary education plan.

The Panel, chaired by Professor Kwong Lee Dow, made 40 recommendations to the Victorian Government including:

  • taking a coordinated statewide approach to the planning and investment required to make a significant improvement in regional student participation in higher education
  • increasing the proportion of people in the 25 to 34 year-old age group who attain a bachelor degree qualification to 47 per cent by 2025, which is above the Australian government’s target of 40 per cent
  • establishing a Partnerships Facilitation Fund and an industry-tertiary education network program to facilitate partnerships between TAFE, higher education institutes, industry and communities
  • reviewing the entrance processes to tertiary education to use a broader range of criteria in addition to students’ ENTER scores.

“We support the Panel’s proposals on partnerships as this will encourage greater collaboration and linkages between educational institutions and the communities they serve,” Professor Walker said.

“For example, we have a four way partnership agreement with the Gordon Institute of TAFE in Geelong, South West TAFE in Warrnambool and with the Box Hill Institute of TAFE.

“Deakin has a longstanding commitment to improving regional aspirations and access to higher education and we already work with a number of partners to achieve increased participation from regional students.

“As the Panel recognised, Deakin is a partner in the Corio Norlane Neighbourhood Project which takes a whole-of-community approach to education - improving academic achievement and increasing attendance and engagement.

“Deakin also has a number of established partnerships with Institutes of TAFE in Sunraysia, East Gippsland and Chisholm through the innovative Deakin at Your Doorstep program.

“This program too is aimed at reaching groups who typically have been under-represented in higher education.”

Professor Walker said the recommendation to increase the participation target for those in the 25 to 34 year old age group was necessary as the State moved toward a knowledge economy.

“Reaching this target will require universities to encourage non school leavers and those in the workforce who are currently without tertiary qualifications to re-engage with education,” she said.

“Universities such as Deakin, with highly developed flexible delivery capacity and multiple campuses, are well placed to cater for this group.”

Professor Walker said the Expert Panel’s advice that industry needed to be more involved in partnerships is sound, particularly in relation to supporting internships and other work based experiences which can be incorporated into student learning.

“We would caution however that matching industry demand, student demand and universities’ interests is not always a simple matter.

“Different drivers affect industry and student demand and university course offerings.

“A great deal of communication and coordinated planning is required to make partnerships work effectively.”

News facts
  • University is well placed to support initiatives outlined in expert report into Victorian tertiary education
  • Proposals on partnerships will encourage greater collaboration and linkages between educational institutions and their communities
  • Recommendation to increase the participation target for those in the 25 to 34 year old age group is necessary

Media contact

Sandra Kingston
Deakin Media Relations
03 9246 8221/ 0422 005 485
sandra.kingston@deakin.edu.au

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

17th March 2010