There are more than 1 million students in higher education. Given the uncapped demand-driven higher education system, students and universities need to be well informed about career options and future labour market needs. Policy should seek to optimise the quality and the quantity of graduates, with a focus on employability skills. Industry needs a stronger voice in determining teaching and learning standards.
Australian Chamber policies for higher education include:
- Support higher education funding reforms designed around basic principles that will improve outcomes including a focus on quality, equity of access, choice, transparency, evidence-based and fiscally responsible, and which continues the uncapped demand driven system with a fee contribution from students and allows for funding for sub-bachelor courses and non-university approved higher education providers.
- Emphasise the critical role of an informed market, to ensure that students undertake courses that are needed in the labour market, and are aware of graduate employment outcomes.
- Seek stronger and more connected industry representation on the higher education standards panel and other leadership groups in the system to ensure there is an industry voice in the setting of teaching and learning standards for higher education.
- Participate with other higher education stakeholders in the implementation of a national strategy on Work Integrated Learning (WIL), including the opening up of more opportunities for work placements and internships with businesses.
- Improve university/industry collaboration, particularly in the area of research both in terms of the potential to commercialise and also by informing business practice.
- Support the Colombo Plan, emphasising the mutuality of the arrangement and the useful role that bilateral business councils can play.