20 December 2013
Advance TAFE, GippsTAFE and Federation University have announced they intend to pursue a new formal partnership to sustain Gippsland’s education and training options.
Their decision follows a comprehensive review of several potential partnership options, which seeks to create a sustainable future for Gippsland-based education.
Support for a Gippsland regional partnership with Advance TAFE, GippsTAFE and Federation University came from several sectors across the region, as community leaders from government agencies, regional economic development groups and key figures from local businesses, industries and regional education, have expressed support for a regional partnership in recent weeks.
Advance TAFE Board Chair, Scott Rossetti, said that the Board believed the best option for serving the needs of the community was the partnership with GippsTAFE and Federation University Australia. “A strong and regionally focused partnership will increase opportunity and help local students and workers remain in the area while they undertake new qualifications,” he said.
The decision had been reached only after careful consideration of the various options. Mr Rossetti said: “This has been a thorough process to arrive at what we believe is an innovative move for the future. We have been encouraged by the strong community messages of support for a Gippsland-based partnership that includes the local university and we believe this will be the best model to meet regional needs.”
GippsTAFE Chairman, John Mitchell, said: “The Board has undertaken a thorough evaluation of options, including a review of independent consultant reports, discussions with several training and education providers, and importantly input from independent educational sector experts.”
“Each partner will bring to the mix unique and complementary strengths, and these will blend well to create better choices for our students at all levels,” he said.
Federation University Vice-Chancellor, Prof David Battersby, said that the Gippsland partnership also allowed for an integrated approach to offering pathways between TAFE qualifications and higher education. “As we work through the detail we expect there will be many opportunities for further collaboration and providing even greater choice of tertiary qualifications across the region,” he said.
Chisholm Institute Board Chair, Stephen Marks, said: “After evaluating the options and information available, Chisholm has decided to withdraw from the process. Chisholm Institute will continue its strong focus in the south east and provide, in collaboration with its partners, quality education and training programs across both VET and Higher Education”.
“Chisholm will continue its support for vocational education and training in Gippsland and work with the new arrangement to explore collaborative opportunities and further develop the Technology Enabled Learning Centres funded by the state government,” he said.
As Advance TAFE, GippsTAFE and Federation University Australia start 2014 with detailed planning of the operational and strategic issues, the three institutions await the TAFE Structural Adjustment Fund and government investment in the preferred model. There will be significant structural and organisational change in developing the new model and a process from early 2014 will determine the extent of those changes and new structures.
The new model under development is consistent with the government reform objectives; to innovate, collaborate and offer education and training in a sustainable way. It will take time to fully develop the detail from early 2014 and we look forward to continued support from the Victorian Government to ensure success.
5 December 2013 | Victoria’s Advance TAFE and GippsTAFE are involved in talks with eastern Melbourne’s Chisholm Institute and the dual-sector University of Ballarat “to explore the best fit in terms of organisational objectives and stakeholder needs”.
25 November 2013 | A potential merger between GippsTAFE and Chisholm Institute of TAFE will be workshopped over the coming months, through a Memorandum of Understanding signed between parties exploring joint course delivery models.