Accord sets course for enhanced higher education in NSW

The Australian Universities Accord is the first national review of the higher education system since 2008.

NSW Minister for Skills, TAFE, and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan today welcomed the release of the Australian Universities Accord Final Report, which highlights opportunities for national reform to strengthen the higher education sector.

The Australian Universities Accord is the first national review of the higher education system since the 2008 Bradley Review. It focuses on priority areas to meet Australia’s knowledge and skills needs now and into the future, including:

  • improving access and opportunity, including for students from disadvantaged and equity backgrounds
  • considering investment and affordability system settings
  • enhancing governance and the contribution of the sector to national prosperity
  • engagement and alignment between the vocational and higher education systems
  • quality and sustainability, including of international education
  • supporting innovation and capability in the research sector.

The Accord Final Report sets out a roadmap for future reform to help meet these ambitious goals.

Critical for NSW, and for Australia as a whole, will be expanding access to the transformative potential of world-class higher education to more students, especially those from less advantaged backgrounds who stand to benefit the most.

With nine out of 10 jobs created in the next decade requiring a post-school qualification, and half of these needing a bachelor’s degree, there is an urgent need to make the most of this opportunity, both for individual benefit and for broader community and social benefit.

The Accord Final Report includes key recommendations for widening participation, changes to funding settings including costs to students, seamless navigation between vocational and higher education, as well as supporting innovation and impact in research and industry engagement.

The 2024 Universities Accord report is available on the Department of Education’s webpage at:

NSW Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan, said:

"The Universities Accord is an exciting step from the Albanese Government to give our vital higher education sector longer-term certainty and a framework for extending tertiary education to more NSW residents.

"I’m particularly excited about opportunities to improve support for regional and remote students; along with students who have found access difficult in the past.

“The accord aims to build a stronger alignment between universities and vocational training. That is vital if we are to meet the workforce needs of the future – particularly the transition to renewables and advanced manufacturing.

“We have an excellent higher education sector in NSW and I look forward to the accord and a strong Federal Government commitment giving them the certainty to build on their success.”

  • Ministerial media releases
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