3 July 2008

UC chief calls for greater university-TAFE links

| notdingers
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This report from the ABC

“University of Canberra (UC) vice-chancellor Stephen Parker has called for a radical shake-up of tertiary education with stronger links between universities and TAFE colleges.

Professor Parker says universities have catered to an elite ideal for too long and new ways of encouraging people into tertiary education need to be developed.

The idea that the UAI [Universities Admission Index] or the entrance score as a sole criteria is the best judge – I think that’s an outdated idea. “

I am not sure if this is a step forward or not, any current students or people involved with the universities have an opinion on this?

To my thinking Universities were originally places of higher learning and centers for research, if anything vocational learning and uni should be more seperated so reasearch and acedemia can carry on and people who want to train for a profession can do that.

Happy to listen to alternative views though.

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The cat did it11:40 am 04 Jul 08

Does UC have a case of falling enrollments? Any connection with the small cars in Civic, towing billboards promoting UC as a great place to study?

Dawkins has a lot to answer for. While Universities needed to get rid of their snobbishness, the current system is geared to lowest common denominators- lower the pass mark until 90% pass, or hand out First Class Honours to over half the class.

It is ridiculous the kinds of courses that people are forced into these days at uni (well, at UC.. that is like uni, right?)

Teaching? Landscape Gardening? Sports Coaching? Design?

These belong at TAFE, not at university. With TAFE level fees.

The longrun effect of having these kinds of courses at a university (ie, the institution becomes a running joke, ala Uni of Canberra) is being ignored for short term gain.

We used to have a good 3 tier system, that Dawkins wrecked. We had Universities, which were higher learning, education for education’s sake, and lots of research. We had TAFEs, which were technical and trades training, what they taught was driven by industry, they taught skills.

And in between, we had the higher training sector, the colleges of advanced education, teaching colleges, ag colleges, nursing schools… higher learning that was geared to vocation.

Dawkins did away with the middle tier, forcing them to become universities. It’s never worked. It’s pulled down many of our previous universities, and diverted the attentino of the TAFE-style insititutions from their primary aim.

It’s interesting that the VC of UCan has come out with this, as it highlights the problems of training institutions being forced to aspire to being centres of research and higher learning.

It wouldn’t surprise me if we saw a move back to teh 3 tiers, except the current new unis aren’t going to relinquish their university status.

Felix the Cat8:05 pm 03 Jul 08

UC used to be a glorified TAFE college – Canberra College of Advanced Education. Maybe Prof Parker is trying to talk up UC as it seems to be in the shadow of ANU.

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