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ERIC Number: ED528867
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 68
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 69
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-9219-5581-5
ISSN: ISSN-1837-0659
Shaken Not Stirred? The Development of One Tertiary Education Sector in Australia. NCVER Monograph Series 08/2012
Wheelahan, Leesa; Arkoudis, Sophie; Moodie, Gavin; Fredman, Nick; Bexley, Emmaline
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
The sectoral divide between vocational education and training (VET) and higher education in Australia is blurring as a consequence of broader social and economic pressures for a more highly skilled population, but also as a consequence of government policies designed to develop tertiary education markets and to diversify institutional types. The mixed-sector institutions that are emerging are additional to Australia's five dual-sector universities, with their large higher education and TAFE (technical and further education) divisions. Mixed-sector institutions, on the other hand, are institutions with most of their student enrolments in one sector, but which are increasingly offering programs from the "other" sector. At March 2011 there were 90 institutions in Australia registered to offer programs from both sectors. This includes large dual-sector universities, universities with a small amount of VET provision, TAFE institutes that offer a small amount of higher education and private providers offering both. While there is still only a small number of mixed-sector tertiary education institutions, their importance exceeds their size, since they offer different models for future institutional development and their emergence is a key way by which the government will achieve its objectives for institutional diversification and competition. However, they remain relatively under-researched. This project attempts to address this gap by examining universities that offer a small amount of VET and private providers that offer both VET and higher education programs. It complements a previous National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) project which researched TAFE institutes offering higher education and compared these with single-sector TAFE institutes and dual-sector universities. Both research projects used a similar research design to allow a comparison between different types of mixed-sector institutions and a consideration of the implications for tertiary education policy in Australia. The sharp distinctions between the VET and higher education sectors are giving way to a more differentiated single tertiary education sector with greater institutional diversity. However, as this research shows, the result is a more stratified and hierarchical tertiary education sector, as university provision becomes the benchmark and comparator for other forms of provision. Appended are: (1) Methods; (2) Profile of interviewees; and (3) Profile of mixed-sector universities and private providers. (Contains 12 tables and 12 footnotes.) [For related report, "Mixed-Sector Tertiary Education. Research Overview," see ED528868.
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: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; 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