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ERIC Number: ED507118
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
Some Ideas from England: A Practitioner's Perspective
Shreeve, Robin
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
Australia's vocational education and training (VET) system is well regarded internationally, in particular for its competency-based training and flexible delivery. Yet we can also learn from the experiences in other countries. In March 2009, NCVER invited Robin Shreeve, Principal and Chief Executive of City of Westminster College in the United Kingdom (UK), to present at a seminar on developments in vocational education and training in the UK, where VET is known as the skills or further education (FE) sector. This paper provides Shreeve's views on the UK system and his insights into lessons for Australia. Key messages include: (1) The English and Australian systems, while sharing some similarities, have distinct differences socially, economically and politically; (2) One of the biggest differences between Australian technical and further education (TAFE) institutes and English FE colleges is the student profile. In the UK over 40% of students use FE colleges as the primary pathway to gain university entrance rather than as direct preparation for a job; (3) Foundation degrees in the UK (equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor degree) are largely delivered by FE colleges and offer a "cross over" level qualification between VET and higher education. This model is worth considering in Australia if we are to increase articulation into higher education; and (4) Course success rates are used as a key performance measure for FE colleges. Used appropriately, they emphasise learner achievement and clearly affect institutions' behaviour.
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United Kingdom; United Kingdom (England)