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TAFE should position as the “discount HE provider”

The Australian    |   1 August 2014

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NSW TAFEs have been told that they should take advantage of Coalition reforms by reinventing themselves as the “discount airline of higher education” vis-a-vis universities. We see the point but you need to be careful: TAFE ought not be – nor be seen to be – as a cheap, low quality and potentially unsafe alternative.  TigerAir gets a bad press and, from our once only experience, thoroughly deserves it.
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Budget HEIn a report on fees and pricing strategies, consultants SMS Management and Technology told TAFE NSW that federal government proposals — specifically, the deregulation of higher education fees, and the extension of teaching grants to non-universities — would create a unique branding opportunity.

“TAFE NSW may choose to take advantage of deregulation (and) establish a branding and business model as the alternative low-cost provider of higher education services, competing directly with universities,” the report says.

“The experience gathered in delivering partnership pathways could be leveraged to this end.”

TAFEs could brand themselves as “the Jetstar or Kmart of higher education”, the report says.

In a prepared presentation, the consultants said management needed to understand opportunities to make “strategic pricing decisions in response to changes in the market … specifically addressing TAFE branding in relationship to different approaches to fees”.

It could style itself as the “AirAsia of higher education”, the presentation says.

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