31 August 2010, by Emeritus Prof Richard Carter
When Australia developed and implemented its competency based vocational training system, a significant area of debate and concern for the quality of training occurred in the area of the duration of training. Advocates for competency-based training (CBT) argued, appropriately I believe, that the education and training system was too firmly attached to notions of duration of training rather than the achievement of competency. Opponents of CBT on the other hand were concerned that the development of conceptual understanding and underpinning knowledge would be lost as short duration and narrowly instrumental training would result.
31 August 2010, by Prof Elizabeth Harman
Currently, in dealing with low SES students, universities often operate like enthusiastic amateurs. They have many bright ideas funded from a myriad of sources. The ideas may have a limited impact and are not easily scaleable to reach large numbers of students; they manifest as interventions within universities to attract and retain students, and externally in university partnerships with schools and VET providers. With the best of intentions, tertiary programs that seek to partner with schools appear haphazardly across the country and within institutions themselves, often getting in the way of their own and schools’ operations. We have limited evidence as to which of these ideas are working, which deliver a real ‘bang for the buck’, and which can be scaled up to reach a substantial number of students.
31 August 2010, by Prof Gareth Parry
The practice of signing up students at one institution and paying for them to be taught at another has had a mixed reception. As a model taken from business, the critics of franchising highlight the threat to academic standards and relationships of trust posed by the advance of the market in higher education. Its defenders point to the contribution made to increasing and widening participation by offering courses in locations, styles and modes accessible to students.