ACU calls for improvements to funding, placements and integration

Australian Catholic University has called for changes to university funding, allocation of professional placements, and improved integration of the higher education system in its submission to the Australian Universities Accord Panel on its discussion paper.

The university has posed three key measures for discussion:

  • Proposal of funding models designed to ensure that base funding is sufficient to cover the full range of core university activities (including teaching, infrastructure, community engagement and some research);
  • Recommendation of a fairer recalibration of funding clusters and bands (ie. what students pay and what the Commonwealth pays for the various disciplines); and
  • Setting out a series of practical suggestions to help address the bottleneck in placements, particularly in respect of health and initial teacher education courses.

In its submission, ACU argues that the new base funding model for Australian universities would  recalibrate Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) funding rates, which would moderate the increases to student fees particularly in Cluster 1 humanities courses, as introduced under the Job-ready Graduates package reforms.

It would also streamline existing funding arrangements and adequately support universities to deliver on all core aspects of their roles, including community engagement and infrastructure development. 

The submission advocates for better integration of the tertiary education system and to support lifelong learning, recommending the Commonwealth:

  • Facilitate the creation of a national recognition of prior learning database to ensure individuals’ skills and experience are assessed consistently nationally.
  • Review and revise theAustralian Qualifications Framework to better connect skills with their practical application and map out the clear progression of pathways.
  • Redistribute existing Commonwealth funding for places in enabling programs across all universities, abolishing the existing arrangements, and allowing universities to use base funding for enabling places.

A suite of reform proposals in the submission are designed to address significant workforce issues and blockages in placements or work-integrated learning opportunities in initial teacher education (ITE) and health. These include:

  • creating a clearinghouse to provide an equitable and transparent mechanism for allocating placements in both health and education.
  • piloting the recognition of advanced simulation in place of some in-situ health placements.
  • facilitating use of the My eQuals platform to streamline accreditation processes.
  • matching the workforce needs of schools with ITE student placements via networked databases maintained by the three major school employer groups.
  • introducing a voucher scheme to grow the number of available health and education placements.

Read the full submission and other contributions to public policy development here.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs