Posted by: Janek | June 25, 2011

Launching the strengthened AQF

I have been at a few conferences this past week, but one of the most fascinating has been the symposium to launch the strenghtened Australian Qualifications Framework. These are the guidelines that set forth the standards to be expected of a graduate as they obtain a certain level of qualification – Certificates I/II/III/IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Associate Degree, Degree, Honours, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters, and PhD.

Part of the purpose behind this is to allow for stronger pathways from one qualification to the next, allowing for upskilling, and for the standardisation of qualifications across Australia and internationally.  CAPA had a strong participation in the consultation over the past two years, and I was asked to present at the conference. You may find a copy of my presentation from the day here.

Because not everyone follows me on twitter, I have reproduced my feed from the day below (only the relevant tweets, no breakfast descriptions here!). You may follow me on twitter at @janek85. I have to apologise, they are in reverse chronological order, so you might want to skip from here to the bottom.

  • Dawkins – the #aqf will be launched in a few moments, and resistance is futile!
  • John Dawkins suggests that the room is full of #aqf survivors, and we need to organise a regular alumni event (possibly with drinks)
  • It is disappointing to hear the VET sector refer to their students as ‘customers’, though I know this is common #aqf
  • Jones – just as most knowledge base is outside academy, increasingly learning base will be outside academy #aqf
  • Jones – need for better decisions and more discussion around “generic capabilities” #aqf
  • Jones – 50% less likely to get job with Diploma now than 10 years ago due to higher skilling of jobs “needed” #aqf
  • Jones – universities and VET sector *MUST* have multiple entry and exit points and appropriate prior skills recognition #aqf
  • Jones – need to get over Bachelor degree as entry into tertiary education. Dip — > Grad Dip –> Masters already popular #aqf
  • Jones – need to consider mix of qual’s and pathways (eg, gap betw’n Cert III and Diploma already challenging to bridge) #aqf
  • Jones – working people need degrees/courses that modulate and adapt as situations change #aqf
  • Jones – need to consider 70% of 2020 workforce is already working, those in workforce prefer not to enrol for long term qual’s #aqf
  • Jones – #aqf should allow all to access higher levels of education for earning and learning
  • The value of qualifications is not just earning power, but also reflect ability to learn – Anne Jones #aqf
  • Bradley – #aqf will require commitment from ALL edu. inst. towards lifelong learning. We must find a way to credential workplace accredit’n
  • Recognition pathway of university to VET sector is infinitely worse than the poor other direction #aqf
  • Noted movement of degrees as societal needs change – such as the change in nursing from Diploma on the job to Bachelor or Masters #aqf
  • There is a curious gap analysis in the tertiary education sector that is only being done now as the #aqf is launched
  • Room becoming fractious over matter of prior skills recognition including universities charging to say that prior learning didn’t count #aqf
  • Recognition of prior learning has not been grappled with well by Universities and tends to be done ‘on the vibe’ #aqf
  • Charles Darwin University points out that pathways that have been developed by #aqf still a little rocky and can cause trip from Cert IV up
  • To my challenge on moving degrees from Bachelors to Masters, USyd responds by saying some switches were done ages ago #aqf
  • Suggestion that we need to know who the stakeholders are – not the people in the room? Surely we count! #aqf
  • Need for a sector-wide response to challenges with #AQF, rather than individual university responses
  • Discussion now on what needs to be done to benefit from #aqf nationally or internationally
  • RT @frala_fontaine: And @janek85 is pricking the controversy around Masters/Bachelor issue and Telling It Like It Is. #aqf
  • RT @frala_fontaine: How do we address generic skill acquisition for PhD students? Where does that fit in the AQF? #aqf
  • Lilly now commenting of low literacy and numeracy systemic in graduates. Industry will *have* to fix it, she almost sighs #aqf
  • Lilly seems to be refuting Kim Carr’s presentation from Tuesday about funding and migration #aqf
  • Lilly – employers look at qualifications at time of recruitment, new #aqf will allow for improved understanding
  • Lilly – maximisation of credit and enhance progression for students from #aqf welcome
  • Lilly – new structured pathways beneficial as people take part in breadth of career options #aqf
  • Lilly – aging population needs to be addressed with more skilling of younger students, redressing funding and provider numbers #aqf
  • Lilly – what is the roles of skills and skilling in Australia’s future? Tied to productivity. Need more Cert III and higher qual’d ppl #aqf
  • Megan Lilly of the Australian Industry Group talking of next steps from the revised #aqf
  • McGaw – universities demand common school assessments, but resist it for themselves #aqf
  • McGaw – Measurement not of quantity but quality shows strengths across OECD and points of comparison #aqf
  • Professor Barry McGaw now introducing session on impact of #aqffor students and workers nationally and internationally
  • Interesting point made about skills discussion at TAFE and learning discussion at University – pathway with near disconnect #aqf
  • Absolutely fascinating presentation from Hawthorne – some horror stories from the 80s, as the regulatory systems still based on 19thC #aqf
  • Hawthorne – university recognition of previous degrees for international students will have a large impact on migration upon completion #aqf
  • Hawthorne – another side of the #aqf is transfer from temporary to permanent visa, allow for better screening
  • Hawthorne – new #aqf will allow for better assessment of unscreened migrants (family and refugees, primarily)
  • Hawthorne – currently takes 28+ years for migrants to reach wage parity in Canada with equivalently trained locals #aqf
  • Hawthorne highlighting that, despite the current permanent migration, employers reject NESB consistently #aqf
  • Lesleyanne Hawthorne now talking about transferable skills #aqf
  • Grayston – differentition between Bachelors and Honours is beneficial due to int’l comparisons (integrated hons, equiv’t to UK ME) #aqf
  • Grayston – essential for engineering degrees to be internationally benchmarked due to nature of work #aqf
  • Grayston – EA has a rigorous ongoing professional development programme as well as accreditation of courses at universities #aqf
  • Rupert Grayston now speaking on behalf of Engineers Australia on the #aqf and pathways to professional accreditation
  • RT @dr_krystal: Also mentioned by Ian Chubb at #npc lunch this week MT @janek85disconnect still exists between industry, employers, universities #aqf
  • Room echoes concerns for enforcability of #aqf by TEQSA
  • Professional regulatory bodies need to bring whole sector with them with a cohesive approach #aqf
  • Peter McCallum notes a disconnect still exists between industry, employers, universities #aqf
  • More international equivalency requested, need to be able to integrate EU, UK, USA frameworks #aqf
  • Question asked – what can the #aqf council to do maximise the impact over the next term. Carol challenges to consider whole workforce
  • Dawkins jokes that he can see from the data that obviously he achieved something as education minister (in the late 80s) #aqf
  • It seems that Bode is trying to show that higher qualification leads to stronger workplace participation #aqf
  • I believe there’s a point to what Bode is trying to say, just no one in the room, including him, seems to know what that is #aqf
  • Bode – in the last 9 years, Bachelors attainent has gone from 24-34% #aqf
  • Bode – when compared internationally, data has strong bias towards diploma and up (Ignores all Cert 1-4) #aqf
  • Bode – looking at aspects of well being of australian society, including education and improvements from education #aqf
  • Our next speaker is Garth Bode, First Assistant Statistician at the ABS #aqf
  • Hockridge – most importantly, #aqf nat’l standard allowing for state-comparisons #aqf
  • Hockridge – the ability to assess previous skills and issue with qual’s is essential for ongoing QR operation #aqf
  • Hockridge – investment in people critical, particularly those with expertise, and will require internal develop’t or job-ready employ’t #aqf
  • Hockridge – #aqf levels will be developed into leadership programme, can be used to separate Asst Manager & Manager, for example
  • Hockridge – will be calling on #aqf for learning pathways, and the use of qualifications for promotion and as part of leadership
  • Oh, sorry, I see – the qualifications and traning will be recognised under the #aqf, particularly for safety training (level 3/4 = Cert 3/4)
  • Hockridge just had a five minute musical introduction slash ad for QR. Now talking about workforce development and how the #aqf will impact
  • Lance Hockridge now stepping up to speak, former head of #qr during the transition from public to private company #aqf

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