Universities Accord Group Wraps Up
Last week, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education Executive Director Shamit Saggar joined Federal Education Minister Jason Clare MP at CQUniversity in Rockhampton, Queensland, for the final meeting of the Universities Accord Ministerial Reference Group.
The Universities Accord is the biggest review of Australia’s university sector in more than 15 years and aims to drive lasting and transformative reform in Australia’s higher education system.
Due for release soon, the resulting Accord recommendations will improve the quality, accessibility, affordability and sustainability of higher education for all Australians.
NCSEHE has made a number of submissions to the Accord review, following calls from the Accord Panel for contributions, focused on the areas of ‘access’ and ‘opportunity’. NCSEHE has recommended:
- That the Australian Government ensures that funding for schools be reviewed to ensure that the socioeconomic background of students and communities is not a barrier to aspirations or participation in higher education.
- That the Review seriously consider the case for the re-introduction of the Demand Driven Funding System (DDFS) to Australian higher education.
- That the Review examine two key elements of the Job-Ready Graduates policy package which are very likely to have a detrimental impact on student equity: the changes to student contributions and course cluster funding, and the introduction of the 50% pass rule.
- That the Review considers how the proposed Australian University Accords (AUAs) can set institutional equity targets that are ambitious, yet sensitive to the local context in which the institution resides.
- That the Review support community organisations, such as Regional University Centres, in conducting and leading outreach programs.
- That the Review investigate the extent to which the design and delivery of enabling programs are improving equity outcomes.
- That the Review investigate ways in which the quality and reach of online learning can be enhanced, particularly for equity students.
- That the Review endorse the development of a national strategy for disability in higher education, including an examination of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) practices.
You can read NCSEHE’s complete submission to the Accord Panel here. (PDF, 650Kb)