7 Long Lasting Benefits of Higher Education Registration
Higher education compliance in Australia is complicated, complex and messy. There are many regulations and the national regulator, TEQSA, makes it deliberately obtuse to gain registration. The process could be simplified greatly, and a boom in higher education could change place.
If you are seeking to register as a higher education provider in Australia, you should keep you eye on the long term benefits.
Here are 10 long lasting benefits of higher education registration.
1. The Future is Private Higher Education
There is little doubt that private higher education is the future of adult education. Government run education, such as the vocational education and training sector, is expensive, costly and in a sense, anti-educational. Governments really have no business running education, and it should all, in our view, be run by the private sector. While many groups believe that universities should be free, few would doubt that their ethos and approach to education should be free from government intervention. Unfortunately this is not the case with government subsidized education.
By creating more variety and diversity in the education system, supporting entrepreneurs and business people to create businesses (especially education businesses) is the future of the ‘knowledge economy’.
2. More Diversity in Educational Offerings
A stated object of the TEQSA Act is to provide diversity in the higher education sector. A little known fact is that Australia has (at the time of writing) a substantial variety of higher education providers. These include groups offering religious, psychological, legal, alternative education, and specialist industry skills. If you have visited already, we recommend visiting our Higher Education Guide which highlights this rich variety.
For providers seeking entry into higher education, their size, offering or approach to education should not be a deterrent. Australia should be proud of diversity and variety in higher education, and it is unfortunate that this message is not promoted or encouraged or understood more.
3. The Decline of Vocational Education and Training
Since 2016, the Australian government and public service has declared a war on vocational education and training. The decline of vocational education and training has seen countless large, small and in-between education providers, de-funded and put out of business. Without government funding, many Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) have not been able to continue trading and have been highly dependent on public fundings to provide their service. While the spotlight in 2016 was on pointing to ‘rorts’ in the VET sector, the intense scrutiny has really been an attack on those taking risks to set up their RTOs.
Unfortunately, with the decline and continued attack on VET providers, there are few places left to go then up. Many VET providers have sought higher education and not done particularly well, however. Having said this, there is little choice for many than to pursue higher education registration.
4. Breaking Up a Monopoly Industry
Universities in Australia educate over 90% of students. There are few other markets which have a business control over 90% of the market, and if there was, it is most certain that there would be calls to break up that industry. A number of reports from university vice-chancellors have encouraged the development of private, niche higher education providers, particularly those in teaching and learning. This is a good idea.
Universities should focus on research and development, theory, and knowledge advancement. However, this is not the focus of many universities. Instead, it is to import international students, maintain a large bureaucracy and fund large infrastructure projects and tenured professors. Breaking up this monopoly would stimulate more energy in the economy, focussed and competitive education markets, and more choice for those seeking new skills and knowledge.
5. Business Survival
For many RTOs, it is an unfortunate situation that they are put into a situation of pursuing higher education or going out of business. Our view is that if you are going to pursue higher education, you should at least have resources and advice to guide you through the process. It is not a simple process, and it is for this reason we exist.
Often pursuing higher education is an emotionally charged time for owners and entrepreneurs. Unused to taking risks, they see higher education registration as a risky proposition. And it is. However, the choice is to pursue business survival and invest in seeking higher education and being apart of a growing industry. Or going out of business.
6. Greater Choice for Students
Higher education provides greater choices for students. Being able to complete vocational education studies and then stay with the same institution to complete higher education qualifications is a great advantage for students. Many international students are attracted to higher education as it creates greater choice for them. They can take advantage of niche and focussed education, getting to know their lecturers and college, without the anonymity and bureaucracy of university education.
Students also have benefits of studying subject matter and in environments not often at university. For those who ‘miss out’ on higher education at a university, smaller, niche higher education providers can provide a commensurate quality at a fraction of the price.
A major reason to move into higher education is to create a legacy. While Australia is going through a transition, and the smallish private higher education is in a nascent phase, it is undoubtedly true that over the coming decades it will grow. In the coming decades, there will be a legacy and status for private higher education that have some history behind them. Of course, being an owner/founder of a higher education provider (hopefully university by then) will be a great achievement in its own right.
It must be said that higher education registration is not easy, however, most great achievements are a challenge. This is why great legacies are possible.