Australian Financial Review | 9 September 2013
Australian university vice-chancellors, as well as lobby groups for the schools and TAFE sectors, have called on newly-elected Prime Minister Tony Abbott to focus strongly on education. Among the policies announced during the election campaign were a New Colombo Plan to boost foreign study in Asia, a review of the national schools curriculum, a greater emphasis on science and languages in teaching and research, and maintaining the increased funding promised by the previous government under the Better Schools scheme. The latter however will apply only for four years rather than six.
The vice-chancellor of the University of Newcastle, Caroline McMillen, said public debate on the economy needed to move beyond campaign politics to genuinely consider how to create the jobs and industries of the future.
We would be really looking to see more of a focus on how we build knowledge hubs, how we build a strong higher education system to meet our productivity needs.
TAFE Directors Australia (TDA), representing Australia’s 61 TAFE colleges, called on Abbott to put the minister representing vocational education and training into cabinet. Martin Riordan, chief executive of TDA said
It’s a cabinet-level job. It’s a senior job and it goes directly to employment and productivity.