Minister for Education and Training Dr Chris Bourke today reported to the Legislative Assembly that, "Further work on exploring collaborative arrangements between Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) and the University of Canberra has been placed on hold. This is pending the finalisation and implementation of a range of VET (Vocational Education and Training) sector reforms at institutional, ACT and national levels."
"The government is committed to reforming the ACT VET sector through initiatives to improve quality, transparency, access and efficiency. This is consistent with the national directions as expressed in COAG's National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform," Minister Bourke said.
"The ACT is currently negotiating details of an Implementation Plan for the National Partnership. The development and implementation of income contingent loans as well as a national training entitlement, all within a more open market, are just some of the reforms that need to be carefully considered.
"Any future collaborative activity that involves CIT will have to take the targets and objectives of the National Partnership into account, given that it is worth some $28 million to the Territory.
Minister Bourke noted, "COAG is working to achieve greater harmonisation of the two tertiary education sectors. However, just as other Australian jurisdictions have found, bringing vocational and higher education institutions together, even into a modest collaborative venture, is not a simple task."
The landscape in higher education and VET has dramatically changed this year affecting the assumptions in the Bradley report from July last year. The Federal government has altered the higher education structural adjustment fund guidelines and announced the major investment in VET Skills reform.
We now have an opportunity to invest $28 million to build a stronger VET sector in the ACT through the CIT. It will make the Canberra economy even stronger by better serving the needs of Canberra students and industry. Any further work on collaboration between UC and CIT will not happen in the term of this Assembly and will depend on first implementing these VET reforms in the ACT.
- Statement ends -
Section: Dr Chris Bourke, MLA | Media Releases