The Council of Australian Governments (COAG 2009) and the Review of Australian Higher Education (2008) have established targets which propose that 90 percent of Australian 20-24 year olds will have attained a Year 12 or equivalent qualification by 2015, and 40 percent of 25-34 year olds will hold a Bachelor degree or above by 2025. These targets are significantly higher than current rates of participation and achievement in post-compulsory education in Australia. The Skills Australia position paper Foundations for the Future (2009) proposes an education and training framework that builds a sustainable skills base through integrated national systems. The under-representation of Indigenous students, rural and remote students and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds in further and higher education, however, highlights the inequalities of existing provision. As a component of a Diversity and Structural Adjustment Fund (DEEWR) project, the author is carrying out research that explores sustainable educational pathways that can enhance participation in further and higher education for rural residents of the South-East region of NSW, many of whom belong to disadvantaged groups. This paper illustrates disparities in the provision of vocational and higher education programs in seven regional towns. Through a series of community forums, the author distinguishes a number of barriers to post-compulsory education participation in these towns – including geographic isolation, low high school retention rates, limited educational pathways, market-driven policies and sectoral separation. Models to support the delivery of coherent, accessible educational programs in regional towns are presented.
|Title of host publication||2010 Papers: AVETRA 13th Annula Conference 2010: VET Research: Leading and Responding in Turbulant Times|
|Place of Publication||Online|
|Publisher||Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|Event||Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) 13th Annual Conference. VET Research: Leading and Responding in Turbulent Times - Surfers Paradise, Australia|
Duration: 8 Apr 2010 → 9 Apr 2010
|Conference||Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA) 13th Annual Conference. VET Research: Leading and Responding in Turbulent Times|
|Period||8/04/10 → 9/04/10|
Cram, B. (2010). Raising participation rates in post-compulsory education: perspectives from a regional project. In 2010 Papers: AVETRA 13th Annula Conference 2010: VET Research: Leading and Responding in Turbulant Times (pp. 1-10). Online: Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA).