$13 million needed to expedite online tertiary education delivery

To support independent tertiary education providers transition to support students with online education.

training and assessment, the Australian Government has been provided with a recommendation for a $13
million initiative. Its proponent is the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak
body representing providers in the higher education, vocational educat ion, training and skills sector.

“The social distancing measures to control the spread of the Covid -19 virus have made it impractical for
many independent tertiary education providers to continue face -to-face delivery. Providers are having to
transition t o online delivery and make this investment exactly at the time that new enrolments are drying -up
thus limiting their cashflow. That’s what makes the proposed grant program so important,” said Mr Troy
Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

In its action plan ent itled COVID -19 Response – Backing Independent Tertiary Education Providers, ITECA
has set out a recommendation for grants of up to $25,000 to be provided to allow five hundred independent
tertiary education providers transition to online training and asses sment.

“This measure would provide timely and targeted assistance for independent providers as they work to
support students no longer able to attend classes. It includes funding for both acquisition of technology and
additional mentoring,” Mr Williams sa id.

As the independent sector accelerates the deployment of online education, training and assessment, ITECA
has been keen to ensure that the sector maintains its reputation for offering students and their employers
the quality outcomes they are looking fo r.

“Online delivery presents as many new opportunities as it does challenges, so the funding proposal includes
development of a new collaboration framework where those providers with experience in this field mentor
those providers entering the space for the first time,” Mr Williams said.

The initiative that ITECA has recommended to the Australian Government would include a capital grant of
$22,500 (GST excluded) for up to five hundred provide rs to purchase and commission equipment to facilitate
online lea rning. The cost of this initiative is a maximum of $13.1 million based upon the take -up by five
hundred providers (capped) at the maximum grant amount.

“This is one of the key measures set out in the COVID -19 Response – Backing Independent Tertiary
Educat ion Providers action plan that will allow independent providers to continu e delivering high -quality
training in these challenging times,” Mr Williams said.

Around 10% of the 1.5 million students in higher education are supported by independent providers. Some
80% of the 4.1 million students in vocational education and training are supported by independent providers.

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