Australian Universities Accord Implementation Advisory Committee Oversight

Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA)

The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) voices its strong concern regarding the absence of representatives from independent higher education providers on the newly formed Australian Universities Accord Implementation Advisory Committee. This significant oversight occurs as the Australian Government embarks on sweeping reforms that will reshape the landscape of higher education in Australia.

Independent higher education providers, including numerous dual sector institutions, play a pivotal role in the nation’s tertiary education sector. These institutions are uniquely equipped to bridge the divide between higher education and skills training, making them crucial to the national agenda of aligning the higher education and vocational training systems.

The fact that independent higher education providers include the vast majority of dual sector providers are excluded from the Advisory Committee not only undermines the inclusivity of the Australian Universities Accord reform process but also diminishes the potential for comprehensive sectoral integration.

ITECA believes that the lack of representation for independent providers on the Advisory Committee is a missed opportunity for the Australian Government. ITECA members contribute significantly to both higher education and vocational training, are ideally positioned to offer invaluable insights that support the alignment of these sectors.

This oversight is particularly concerning given the Advisory Committee’s mandate to engage with the tertiary educational sector to inform the legislative design of key initiatives such as the Australian Tertiary Education Commission and the new Managed Growth Funding System, including Needs-Based funding. Without the inclusion of independent higher education providers, the committee’s ability to fully understand and integrate the diverse needs and capabilities of the entire tertiary education sector is significantly compromised.

ITECA urges the government to reconsider its composition of the Advisory Committee to ensure a truly representative, inclusive, and effective reform process. Inclusion of independent providers is not just beneficial but essential for achieving the broad, transformative goals set by the Australian Universities Accord.

Independent higher education providers support around 10% of the 1.6 million students in a higher education awards program and independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) support around 89% of the 4.5 million students in skills training.

/Public Release.