VET in Higher Education: A Future for Regional Australia?

Barbara Cram

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


The need to connect Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education (HE) systems is widely acknowledged (e.g. Bradley et al. 2008, AQF 2010, and DIUS 2008). Governance structures supporting cross-sectoral pathways in Australia include colocated dual-sector institutions, degree program offerings in TAFE colleges (HE in VET) and MoU-driven partnerships that guarantee articulation and credit transfer for students from a vocational institution to a University or vice versa. The qualities of each system have been broadly debated (e.g. Beddie & Curtin 2010; Moodie et al. 2009, Wheelahan 2010) and existing structures provide neither seamless nor transparent mobility to students wanting to extend their studies beyond VET. This paper offers a critical perspective on the potential for cross-sectoral models to raise higher education access, participation and achievement levels for young and mature aged people living in regional Australia. Data is presented to demonstrate how collaboratively designed credit arrangements can enhance access and increase retention in education, create meaningful pathways and promote student success and retention. Provision of professional development for teaching staff and academic support for students is also important for successful delivery in regional and low socioeconomic status contexts. The paper presents a cross-sectoral model for the design of courses and pathways between school, VET, HE and employment. The model values the role of VET in HE and promotes joint delivery of Diplomas in regional locations. The author proposes that the model offers a viable approach to the delivery of tertiary education that promotes access to higher education for under-represented groups in non- metropolitan centres.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch and Development in Higher Education: Reshaping Higher Education
EditorsK Krause, M Buckridge, C Grimmer, S Purbrick-Illek
Place of PublicationMilperra, NSW
PublisherHERDSA Inc
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)978090855785X
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventResearch and Development in Higher Education: Higher Education on the Edge - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 4 Jul 20117 Jul 2011


ConferenceResearch and Development in Higher Education: Higher Education on the Edge
CityGold Coast


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