Better teaching quality, re-building the VET sector, genuine options for acquiring new skills as people switch jobs and careers, using new technological models for educating people, and creating teaching-only universities are just a few of the many changes that need to be made.

It’s not often that you see a headline like that in a report by government, to government and tabled in Federal Parliament.

Yet, that’s exactly how the Productivity Commission has summarised it’s findings on the Education Sector in its Shifting the Dial Report, tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament on 24 October 2017.

Chapter 3 of the Report and a number of its Supporting Papers focus on Future Skills and Work and concludes that “If we had to pick just one thing to improve … it must be skills formation” by (among other things):

  • Creating confidence and stability in the VET system and
  • Improving university outcomes – including by ensuring that the Australian Consumer Law applies to the higher education sector and giving universities some financial “skin in the game” – financial incentives linked to student and taxpayer outcomes.
  • Possibly, eliminating internal cross-subsidies between research and teaching within universities by making CSP funding more closely reflect the expected cost of teaching