AQF Reform A Step Towards A Coherent Tertiary Education System

The expert review of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recommends a landmark reform
pathway that will greatly assist in the workforce acquir ing the education and skills required to be effective
in the jobs of today and tomorrow. That’s the vie w of the Independent Tertiary Education Council
Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent providers in the higher education, vocational
education, training and skills sector s.

The AQF review, undertaken by Professor Peter Noonan, recommends a shake -up of Australia’s
qualification system. The reform agenda will enable students to mix -and -match their subjects across
universities and vocational education, to earn the qualifications they need for the jobs they want.

“ITECA has been a long -standing proponent of reforms to Australia’s tertiary education system that allow
students to transition between the higher education sector and the vocational education and training
sector. The pathway set by Professor Noonan is a significant step to achieving this goal,” said Mr Troy
Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

The review has recommended significant reform to the AQF, designed primarily to make connections and
the transition between vocational education and training and higher education easier for students and
education providers. Recommendations in the review also recognise ‘micro -credentials’ as valid
education tools to fill a skills gap. ITECA welcomes the rec ognition of the important role of micro –
credentials, but notes that funding models will need to change in order to allow students to access these.

“Micro -credentials are an emerging facet of tertiary education and one that’s important as they allow the
wor kforce to continuously update their skills to deal with the changing future of work. The challenge
before government will be to revise funding models to ensure micro -credentials are available across the
workforce, particularly in areas where there are tec hnological advances, ” Mr Williams said.

The AQ F review is highly relevant to the independent tertiary education system that supports 70% of the
4.1 million students in vocational education and training plus around 10% of the more than 1.5 million
students in higher education. As the peak body representing the independent tertiary education system.

ITECA was extensively involved in the AQF review process.

“Professor Noonan ‘s engagement with the independent tertiary education system was first -rate and we
tha nk him for the ability to have input into what has been a very thorough and considered review. ITECA
is confident that the recommendations of the review will support students. We look forward to engag ing
with government as it implements not only the reforms set out in the review, but also the supporting
funding models,” Mr Williams concluded.

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