There is little evidence that the Interim Accord’s proposed Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) will help boost enrolments in areas of skills need, according to a new report by ANU Professor Andrew Norton.
In the Paper, prepared for the Centre for International Studies, Professor Norton
reviews about the role of a potential new regulator, the Tertiary Education Commission, as proposed by the interim report of the Universities Accord review panel.
Professor Norton points out the practical challenges of setting up a TEC and attempting to match course enrolments with employer demand for graduates.
“The labour market can change more quickly than the flow of graduates from three-year degrees,” Professor Norton observes
“The number of professional jobs in skills shortage has almost tripled since 2021.
“The 2010s graduate boom times predicted by a previous higher education review were instead the worst ever period for new graduates looking for work.
“The centralised approach preferred by the Universities Accord interim report is unlikely to outperform the more flexible block grand or demand driven systems.”
The report points out that the allocation of student places for medical courses had not been effective, with the nation relying on attracting overseas-trained doctors to prop up its health system.
Professor Norton is unequivocal in shooting down the Interim Accord’s proposed TEC. “The Universities Accord final report … should drop its plan for more university bureaucracy. Decentralised decision-making by universities and students is a lower-risk way of achieving its labour market goals.”