Background and Overview

The NSW Tertiary Pathways Project, co-ordinated by the department, supports the collaborative development of industry focused qualifications that integrate higher education and VET.

These are quality qualifications valued by and often developed in partnership with industry groups. They respond to a growing need for qualifications which deliver both the practical aspects of VET and the deeper subject knowlege on offer in the university sector.

Tertiary pathway qualifications go beyond traditional credit transfer arrangements. They generally incorporate a clear and seamless progression through a number of qualifications in the VET and higher education sectors with appropriate entry and exit points.

The project has developed a range of pathway pilots with support from the NSW Department of Industry, the NSW Skills Board and the former Board of Vocational Education and Training. Throughout the pathway development process, the department has identified the importance of the following factors, which are explored in more detail in this paper:

  1. regulatory and funding challenges
  2. industry partnerships
  3. work integrated learning
  4. meaningful entry and exit points
  5. student-centred pathway design
  6. supporting students to transition
  7. project management and governance

It is hoped that this paper will assist in the scaling and replication of successful pathway models by demonstrating how they can benefit employers, students and industry. This paper is also intended as a contribution to a broader conversation around how the NSW Government, industry and the tertiary education sector can work together to meet our skills needs into the future.

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