We highlighted the new VET research institute set up at Holmesglen Institute in an earlier VDC News article.

The Institute has released its first three reports.

Bruce Mackenzie envisages a new tertiary education system

In its first discussion paper Bruce “suggests that the theoretical underpinnings for higher education are flawed as a result of a misconception about the drivers of student access and success. That the underpinnings of vocational education in Australia are based on discarded and unproven ideologies.” In addition, he sees that “the current VET system is in decline and unless major reforms are embraced and implemented, beginning with upper secondary education, it is unlikely that this decline can be arrested.” So, he thinks “that the starting point has to be at the upper secondary education level.” You can also access a supplementary paper, too.

In a second paper Tom Karmel has done some preliminary work looking at Certificate Is and IIs in post-secondary VET.

The final paper, authored by Robin Shreeve, is entitled “Removing the tradesman’s entrance – England’s policies to reduce the divide between academic and technical education through initiatives such as T Levels and Degree Apprenticeships”. He sees there are lessons for Australia: He points out that “Critically, they recognise and acknowledge the privileges that Higher Education has traditionally enjoyed over Technical Education.” Nevertheless, “The English technical education route has been strengthened, consolidated and simplified … [and ] Clearer pathways now exist between technical, upper secondary, further and higher education.”

And there is a message for our possible move to ‘higher apprenticeships: “A degree apprentice is clearly on an almost guaranteed pathway to a graduate‐level position. Though small but growing in absolute numbers, degree‐level apprenticeships are attracting very high achieving applicants because a degree can be achieved student debt free.”

Have a look!