Our public policy priorities for 2016
“As a global university of technology, design and enterprise, RMIT has a long-term stake in the quality of public policy design and decision making, and can contribute a range of expertise to policy development in many areas.”
Ready for Life and Work
Since 2014, the Federal Government has been considering reforms to the higher education system that may affect students. In May of this year the Government launched a new period of consultation with the higher education sector in the form of a paper outlining a series of options for reform.
RMIT worked closely with our partners in the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) to develop a joint submission in response to the options paper.
The ATN submission released in July makes it very clear that, as a group of universities, we believe:
- Australia should have a sustainable higher education system, which remains affordable and accessible to all who are eligible, regardless of background or circumstance;
- Appropriate safeguards should be in place to protect students and ensure they will not be crippled by debt;
- The Government and the learner should be equitable partners in bearing the costs of education.
You can read the full ATN submission here.
RMIT also made our own response to the options paper, in which we spelled out our priorities for higher education reform.
We have urged the Government to:
- Make sure the funding debate refocuses on the value delivered to students;
- Guarantee the quality and consistency of international experiences for both Australian and foreign students;
- Extend the demand-driven system to sub-bachelor degrees, which provide pathways and tailored learning experiences for a wider range of students; and
- Ensure access and equity are central to the Government’s reform considerations.
In an uncertain policy environment, there is a real opportunity to position RMIT as a leader on areas such as enterprise and innovation, as well as promote Melbourne’s CBD as part of the fabric at RMIT and a crucial hub in a dynamic global network.
Five key public policy priorities to guide decisions and relationships with all levels of government have been developed and endorsed by RMIT’s Council. They include:
Putting students first
RMIT has put the interests of our students first because their experience, outcomes, life changes and contributions are central to our mission as an institution. Our approach to public policy explicitly prioritises the interests of students, in order to ensure that their interests are not downgraded or overtaken by other pressures or interests.
Equity and access
RMIT is an accessible and open institution serving the needs of the whole community. As a ‘dual-sector’ university, RMIT offers qualifications and pathways across vocational and higher education. We are able to create ‘connected pathways’ to achieve the personalised goals for life and work, whatever a student’s circumstances.
Jobs and entrepreneurship for an economy in transition
RMIT works to foster job creation and entrepreneurship and prepare its students to participate successfully for an economy in transition.
Driving innovation and industry collaboration
We are driven by impact, using collaboration to help solve real world problems and enrich the economy and wider community. RMIT will advocate for effective public investment in innovation and participate in selected long term partnerships designed to build innovation capability in areas that align to RMIT’s core priorities.
Facilitating a globalised experience
RMIT will facilitate a globalised university experience for prospective and current students coming from Australia and from overseas. We will advocate for government policies to improve the quality, accessibility and reliability of these globalised experiences.