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ERIC Number: ED510868
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Place of VET in the Tertiary Sector. Conference Paper
Beddie, Francesca
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), Paper presented at the VISTA Annual Conference: VET--The Invisible Sector (May 24, 2010)
The utilitarian spirit of Australian education has meant that since the nineteenth century the notion of tertiary education has embraced all post-school learning, delivered in sandstone universities or working men's institutes or on the job. This is not the definition the peak bodies TAFE (Technical and Further Education) Directors Australia (TDA) and Universities Australia (UA) proposed in late April. They see: "Tertiary" education qualifications as those at diploma level and above, including where these qualifications may embed pathways from the qualification level below. TAFE Directors Australia and Universities Australia say their definition is "generally" consistent with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED). At the same time, it is a departure from the understanding of tertiary education that has prevailed in Australia for the past two centuries, which has embraced the entire gamut of adult learning. In their proposal, they are explicit about certificates I and II, which they see as more equivalent to secondary school. They are silent about certificates III and IV, except to suggest these can be a stepping stone to a diploma... but not, it seems, to a degree. Yet the certificate III is a tertiary qualification in its own right, in high demand as the basis on which tradespeople, technicians and others launch their careers. To concentrate attention on higher-level qualifications is not the way to encourage commencements in the trades and to address the demand for skills. In this address, the author argues how all vocational qualifications should be included in the definition of tertiary education. The author is sceptical about a system that concentrates on acquiring higher qualifications to the exclusion of other credentials or indeed unaccredited skills.
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; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia