Tasmania's tertiary education partnership

D Sadler, S, Conway, S. Kilpatrick

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle in specialist publicationpeer-review


Governments around the world are moving to boost participation in tertiary education. In Australia the participation agenda informed the 2008 Bradley Review of Australian Higher Education recommendation that closer alignment of vocational and higher education be implemented as part of a strategy for increasing the proportion of!ow SES, regional, and Indigenous graduates. Although in recent years both coalition and labor federal governments have moved away from some of the Bradley recommendations, there remains a broad desire to increase participation in higher education. However, growing budget constraints have forced higher education sector players to pursue innovative partnerships that transcend traditional distinctions between universities and vocational training centres and between federally funded institutions and those resourced by the states. The evolving partnership between the University ofTasmania and th~ state's VET suppliers provides an example of successful co-production of education in a previously fragmented policy arena. The partnership's initial success can be attributed to the fact it has delivered what Mark Moore, in 1995, called 'public value' in that it mobilised institutional resources and organisational capability in pursuit of widely recognised policy goals. In these terms, the partnership represents a useful model of relevance beyond the bjgher education sector. The Bradley Review outljned proposals ~e .igued to raise overall participation 111 tertiary education with a particular emphasis on increasing educational oppoi:cunities for students from low ocio-economic backgrounds. These aims are particuhrJy pertinent in Tasmania given its low rates of participation in higher education and poor performance against key educational outcomes - especially in reading, scientific literacy, and numeracy. Given this context and amid a growing determination to improve tertiary education outcomes, in 2012 the University ofTasmania and the Tasmanian Government signed a partnership agreement that included a commitment to work together to increase educational attainment in the state.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
Specialist publicationPublic Administration Today
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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