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Reforming the Transition from Secondary to Tertiary Education

ALL’s vision from its inception was to introduce new ideas into the learning landscape in a bid to change thinking. Most recently we have been privileged to work in partnership with Mitchell Institute at Victoria University on the very big issue of reconfiguring the transition from secondary to tertiary education.

We became committed to this change agenda following our 2017 lecture The New Success delivered by Charles Fadel and introduced by Jennifer Westacott from the Business Council of Australia.

Charles Fadel spoke of the world we have entered as VOLATILE, UNCERTAIN, COMPLEX and AMBIGUOUS, providing us with compelling evidence of how the world is going to accelerate and the imperative for us to prepare young people with a set of skills and attributes that would allow them to flourish in that world. Jennifer Westacott equally stressed the importance of the new Work Ready Skills identified by the Business Council of Australia, saying that employers were looking for more than a qualification.

Both pointed to tertiary entrance requirements as a main blocker to students achieving these needed skills and attributes as they force schools to focus on achieving a score rather than on these capabilities.

We know that significant transformation is underway. Big Picture schools, micro-credentials, the ATEP program at Swinburne, the Block Program at Victoria University, and the work of the Australian Council for Educational Research and Grattan Institute are leading examples.

Nevertheless, we have to accelerate this transformation to ensure that we do have new measures for this new world order working at scale.  Mitchell Institute’s Crunching the Number paper highlighted the need for an urgent national conversation on reforming the transition from secondary to tertiary education (vocational and higher education).

Image credit: 

Andy Drewitt