Next steps in delivering Universities Accord reforms

The Albanese Government has today released two consultation papers on the implementation of significant structural reforms to the tertiary education sector.

The consultation papers will guide the implementation of the Australian Tertiary Education Commission (ATEC) and a new funding system for higher education.

Both reforms are recommendations from the Universities Accord and are central to setting the tertiary education sector up for the future.

The ATEC will be responsible for tertiary education system stewardship and driving reform over the longer term.

The ATEC is intended to be established in an interim capacity by 1 July 2025, and formally established from 1 January 2026, pending passage of legislation.

The new Managed Growth Funding System will better meet student demand, maintain sustainable growth and increase opportunity for people from underrepresented backgrounds.

The new system will provide for long-term growth in funding arrangements for universities, allowing them to plan for the future, meet Australia’s skills needs, prioritise resources and provide a better educational experience for more students.

This reform is central to reaching the Government’s target of having 80 per cent of the workforce with a university degree or TAFE qualification by 2050.

This new funding system is due to be in place by 2026.

The consultation papers on the ATEC and the new Managed Growth Funding system are now live and can be found here.

Feedback can be submitted via email (AustralianUniversitiesAccord@education.gov.au), with the feedback requested by Friday, 26 July 2024.

These initiatives form a key part of the Government’s first stage response to the Universities Accord.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:

“In the years ahead more jobs will require more skills.

“The Universities Accord sets a target that by 2050, 80 per cent of workers will have a TAFE or university qualification.

“To hit that target we have to break down that invisible barrier that stops a lot of people from disadvantaged backgrounds getting a crack at going to university.

“Part of that is changing how we fund universities.

“The Universities Accord is also bigger than one Budget and bigger than one term of Parliament. It’s a national project. 

“That’s why we are also establishing an Australian Tertiary Education Commission. To stay the course, to drive reform, to help us reach that nation-changing target – no matter who the Minister for Education is.

“Targeted consultation and feedback from stakeholders across the education landscape will ensure we get the detailed design of these vital reforms right.”

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