As the nation heads towards a federal election on 18 May 2019, one that will have a strong focus on education and skills, candidates across the political spectrum are being asked to endorse the work of independent providers in the tertiary education system. That’s the message from the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET), the peak body representing independent providers in the higher education, vocational education and training sectors.
“The independent tertiary education and training system plays a significant role in providing students and their employers with the outcomes needed to support a growing economy. It has a track record of offering higher completion rates and higher post-study employment rates. Importantly, it achieves these outcomes at a lower cost than its public sector counterpart,” said Troy Williams, ACPET Chief Executive.
The 2018 VET Student Outcomes Survey published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows that the proportion of graduates who were not employed before training and then employed after training was greater at independent providers than it was at universities and public TAFE colleges.
“In this election it’s clear, if there is to be a genuine commitment by the next government to provide entrants to the workforce with the skills they need to gain employment, policy settings should clearly support independent providers as it’s this sector that provides the best outcomes,” Mr Williams said.
The NCVER study also showed that subject completers at independent providers were more satisfied with their overall quality of training compared to students at universities and public TAFE colleges.
“As we debate the nation’s investment in education and skills during the election we need to do this in the context of outcomes and student satisfaction. It’s the independent sector that kicks goals and this should be reflected in the funding commitments made during the campaign,” Mr Williams said.
The ACPET membership spans the entire tertiary education system encompassing higher education, vocational education and training.
“Over the course of the federal election campaign, ACPET will showcase the outcomes delivered by the independent tertiary education system so as to position it at the forefront of the debate on the future direction of the nation’s education and training system,” Mr Williams said.