The Productivity Commission, the Australian Government's principal review and advisory body on microeconomic policy and regulation, has released a major report which highlights challenges in the way Australian universities prepare graduates for employment.
The Report вЂњShifting the DialвЂќ (http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/productivity-review/report) was tabled in Parliament on October 24, and is the first in a series of 5-year Productivity Reviews.It departs from previous practise in that for the first time it directly addresses social factors; notably inequality: вЂњA key issue will be to ensure that future economic, social and environmental policies sustain inclusive growth ... Productivity growth provides a capacity for higher incomes and poverty alleviation. The motivation for limiting inequality extends beyond its intrinsic value to the desirability of avoiding too great a dispersion in incomes, given evidence that this can, in its own right, adversely affect productivity growth. Public support is also more likely for reforms that offer benefits to the bulk of people.вЂќ
The Report examined in detail three areas where вЂњ…reform is longer term and more fundamental. We chose health care, education and cities…вЂќ.Higher Education is addressed in a section entitled вЂњFuture Skills and WorkвЂќ, which draws from the CommissionвЂ™s analysis of University Education (http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/productivity-review/report/productivity-review-supporting7.pdf).
The Report identified a series of problems with the current education and training system, with specific university challenges, including:
The Commission outlined a series of recommendations, including:
The Commission and the Government are seeking feedback on the Report, which will influence policy considerations for this and subsequent Governments.The Productivity Commission Report is a key input to BHERTвЂ™s developing thinking about Work Integrated Learning and university-industry collaboration on sectoral outcomes in graduate employability.
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