New agreement for better and more flexible education opportunities
Students in the Mildura region will have better and more flexible educational opportunities when La Trobe University and Sunraysia Institute of TAFE sign a new agreement for credit transfer and articulation arrangements today, 29 September.
The document will be signed by La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Johnson, and Sunraysia Institute of TAFE Chief Executive Officer, Ms Win Scott, at 9 am at The Sunraysia Institute of TAFE Board Room.
Professor Johnson said an effective credit transfer and articulation system enables greater mobility between institutions and sectors, and is a key component in making lifelong learning a reality. This is especially important in the Mallee, where participation in tertiary education is relatively low.
The agreement will help students with prior VET sector experience and qualifications to more easily access higher education. It will also enable students who have higher education experience or completed qualifications to undertake VET sector programs. In both cases, formal recognition of prior learning will mean additional studies can be completed in less time.
The new-generation La Trobe University 'umbrella' agreement has been designed by La Trobe in consultation with a number of TAFE CEOs for articulation arrangements at all La Trobe University regional and metropolitan campuses. It can also be used for offshore programs and can be initiated by a La Trobe campus Head, Dean of Faculty or local TAFE.
Executive Director of La Trobe University's Mildura Campus, Kent Farrell, said articulation arrangements between the University and Mildura TAFE have existed in a variety of forms over the years and the model agreement ensures a consistent approach across the University.
'La Trobe already has an excellent relationship with Sunraysia Institute of TAFE, sharing staff, library and resources. We often encourage prospective students who are apprehensive about tertiary studies to consider TAFE as a pathway into future university courses – and, likewise, University students often want to go on to practical courses at TAFE.'
The provision of local University courses is important to the local community, with more than 88% of La Trobe Mildura graduates choosing to work in regional Victoria.
Some of the students to immediately benefit from the agreement are, at University level, those in courses including Division Two Nursing, Diploma of Business, Diploma of Children Services and Diploma of Community Welfare Work, all areas in which there is strong demand locally for skilled graduates.
CEO of Sunraysia Institute of TAFE, Win Scott said that 16% of students undertaking a TAFE qualification already have a diploma or degree. The TAFE courses that they enrol in include the arts and the trades - building and construction, plumbing and automotive.
Briefing sessions about the new agreement will be held on both the TAFE and La Trobe campuses. Details will be forwarded to local schools and are also available on the La Trobe pathways web page and TAFE website.
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