Higher education insights

01 Mar 2017

UniSuper’s insights from CEDA’s first 2017 Vice Chancellors panel

UniSuper was the major sponsor of CEDA’s first 2017 Vice Chancellors Panel in Melbourne. The event brought together Vice Chancellors from Victoria and Tasmania, sparking lively discussion around challenges facing the higher education sector and the need for better collaboration with industry and government.

Ever-changing learning environment

The panel discussion focused on the ever-changing learning environment and how the higher education sector needs to transform alongside it. The challenge of delivering relevant courses is constant for universities – many of the skills required by the future workforce are not yet known and curriculum, particularly in the technology and digital space, quickly outdates. It was commonly felt that working more closely with industry and government was an important step in adapting and delivering skills for tomorrow’s workforce.

In addition, students are increasingly looking for online learning materials and personalised education. The future of education looks vastly different— how, when and where students complete their degrees is no longer defined by a physical campus or full-time expectations.

The cost and accessibility of tertiary education

The panel agreed the cost and accessibility of tertiary education is a growing concern particularly for regional and rural areas. For aspiring students from these areas, it’s not just the cost of education but relocation costs such as rent and bills which impact participation. This is particularly evident in Tasmania where participation rates are at their lowest.

The important contribution of our universities

The contribution of our members, and universities, to Australia’s future and transition to a high skill, knowledge economy is so important. Our education institutions play a decisive role in inspiring innovation, undertaking research and upskilling Australia’s future workforce.

The sponsorship builds on UniSuper’s existing relationship with CEDA and support of previous Vice Chancellor panels last year. UniSuper became a National CEDA member in 2016, joining Australia’s leading businesses, government, academic and not-for-profit organisations which are committed to driving public policy debate.

UniSuper is dedicated to supporting events that matter to our members and the higher education sector, particularly events which acknowledge the important role universities have in shaping Australia’s future. Supporting the higher education sector is our way of giving back to our members and university partners.