Dr Craig Fowler,  the managing Director of the National Centre for Vocational Education (NCVER) has just released a publication on the relationship between both the VET and higher education sectors and their mutual value within a coherent tertiary education system.

While the media has well documented the decline in VET participation over the past year, higher education participation rates have remained strong. The decline in VET participation can be partly attributed to the VET FEE Help scheme, which came under considerable public scrutiny during the last two years. However, the difference in participation rates between these two forms of tertiary education has left many within the VET sector wondering what will happen to VET in the future.

In his paper, Dr Fowler discusses the benefits provided to students by having the ability to pick and mix from university and vocational education and training, be it skilling, academic study or work experience. This level of choice can only be beneficial to the needs of employers and to student’s future jobs.

Consequently, Dr Fowler also emphasises the importance of improving and systematising cross-sector transfer arrangements, so that both the students and the VET and higher education sectors can benefit from the wider range of educational options.

Finally, Dr Fowler discusses the boundaries and connections between both VET and higher education.  He points out that while both sectors are very different in purpose and practice, higher level VET qualifications such as diplomas, are as much concerned with providing students with increased employability skills and technical capabilities to enhance their transferability across jobs as higher education is. According to Dr Fowler, both sectors collaborating and connecting over their commonalities will positively contribute to a more productive and effective tertiary education system.

To read the full article visit the NCVER website

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