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Participation in tertiary education in Australia: policy imperatives and scenarios

Policy Online carries a link (23.5.16) to a Mitchell Institute report on tertiary education funding in Australia, suggesting policy options for improving the domestic participation rate in higher education and vocational training.

‘Whether our tertiary education system can sustain, let alone improve participation levels, should be an important consideration for public policy.

‘This presentation supporting paper showcases different scenarios of future participation in vocational and higher education in Australia. The forecasts show that governments must take a longer term view about investment in tertiary education, including balancing public and private investment, to sustain and improve participation. By 2030, there will be half a million more 15-24 year olds than today, so participation rates will fall unless enrolments grow significantly.

‘Increased public and private investment is needed to make sure our system can meet the needs and aspirations of young people already at school, and the hundreds of thousands who will follow them. The magnitude of the challenge is even greater when taking into account that thousands of older Australians will also turn to tertiary education to refresh their skills and gain new ones.’

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