The future of Australia’s tertiary education sector is the subject of a new collection of essays by some of the country’s leading education researchers.

Produced by the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, Visions for Australian Tertiary Education, presents a progressive and provocative agenda for transforming tertiary education in this country.

 Twenty-six authors, including 18 from the University of Melbourne, have contributed to the volume’s 12 chapters that discuss, among other things, the best way to resolve current funding and regulatory anomalies created by the inefficiencies and complexities of the current system. 

 MCSHE Director Professor Richard James, says a serious re-evaluation of many of the traditional features of Australia’s tertiary education system is overdue.

 “Recent debates reveal deeply contested views on so many issues including the increasingly blurred relationship between higher and vocational education, the functions of the state and federal governments for funding and regulations, and the role of industry and business in research and education.

 “At a fundamental level, the role of tertiary education is increasingly being questioned, revealing deep uncertainty about its broader purpose and value,” Professor James says.

 The volume, co-edited by Professor James, Dr Sarah French and Dr Paula Kelly from MCSHE, will be published online on February 27. It also looks at:

 How to fund the system in a way that provides for quality and affordability;

  • Whether Australia’s tertiary education providers are ready to embrace vastly different forms of educational delivery;
  • Improving the demand-driven system to better address skills shortages and employability;
  • Micro-credentials and their effect on university degrees in the future;
  • Big data and the use of learning analytics;
  • The future recruitment, integration and safety of international students.

 Professor Richard James is available for interview. Read a chapter in Pursuit.