Higher education in vocational institutions in Australia: what's going on?

Steven Hodge, Elizabeth Knight, Shaun Rawolle, Susan Webb

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Wrestling with economic shifts and their implications for post-school education are troubling issues for Australia, just as they are for other advanced economies. Australia’s post-compulsory system has traditionally segmented the academic and vocational tertiary routes provided by both public (universities and Technical and Further Education institutes, known as TAFEs respectively) and private providers. Each state and territory have policy and funding responsibility for vocational education while higher education policy and funding are primarily a federal government responsibility. This chapter will draw on a recent empirical study of the growth of higher education in the vocational education sector. Analysis is provided of policy documents, interviews with national and institutional stakeholders, as well as national data sets on student enrolments, experiences and outcomes in order to explore and understand how higher education is developing in the non-university sector in Australia. The emergence of higher education in TVET in Australia has been beset by difficulties that do not relate directly to the economic and social need or demand to which higher education in TVET is seen as a response in other countries. These challenges may explain why higher education remains less than 1 per cent of the Australian higher education enrolments, a small majority of whom are full-fee international students. This chapter discusses the structures and traditions and how the problems they are creating may be blocking the development of HIVE in Australia, effectively distracting policy makers and practitioners from the potential of HIVE to undertake equity work and contribute to Australian society and its economy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEquity and Access to High Skills through Higher Vocational Education
EditorsElizabeth Knight, Ann-Marie Bathmaker, Gavin Moodie, Kevin Orr, Susan Webb, Leesa Wheelahan
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783030845025
ISBN (Print)9783030845018
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2524-6313
ISSN (Electronic)2524-6321

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