Over three decades, independent higher education institutions have featured among its members that span the breadth of the country’s tertiary education sector.
ITECA Higher Education represents a commitment to those members that the peak body can provide the focused policy leadership they need, according to chief executive, Troy Williams.
The new division is necessary as the government looks to reform the university sector via the Australian Universities Accord, the peak body says, but it warns independent providers are being overlooked.
Independent institutions enrol some 17.5% of international higher education students in Australia.
“ITECA Higher Education provides peer-to-peer collaborative networks and member-driven policy advocacy,” he said.
“The focus of ITECA Higher Education is on creating an environment in which independent institutions can deliver the best outcomes for students.”
The new chapter comes at a critical time as the Australian government looks reform the sector, ITECA noted.
It will aim to “put students at the heart of the higher education system”, where they can study with the institution of their choice. It also wants to create a system where there is universal access in Australia to higher education funding, loan programs and research funding.
“The approaches of the Australian government that favours public institutions are no longer appropriate”
“The approaches of the Australian government that favours public institutions are no longer appropriate and don’t support students at all well,” Williams added.
The wing’s advocacy priority will be to ensure that the Australian, state and territory governments pursue policies that are “provider agnostic”.
“In that context, the Australian Universities Accord Interim Report disappointed our members with its overt focus on, and support for, public institutions.”
Williams previously stated that the Universities Accord needed to “recognise the complementarity of independent and public higher education providers”, calling for the plan to be renamed a “higher education accord”.
“Going forward, ITECA Higher Education looks forward to working with existing members, new members, and government on the issues that are critical to the delivery of quality education,” he concluded.