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Australia's education and training systems to be made more seamless and flexible

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SENATOR THE HON CHRIS EVANS Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations Leader of the Government in the Senate


23 June 2011

Australia’s education and training systems to be made more seamless and flexible

Australia’s education and training system will benefit from a strengthened national qualifications framework launched today.

Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, Senator Chris Evans, said the new Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) will build confidence in qualification outcomes, improve student pathways in education and increase the national and international mobility of graduates and workers.

“The strengthened AQF will help ensure Australia’s education and training system remains among the best in the world,” Senator Evans said.

“It incorporates a national policy supporting the various pathways students can take between the three education sectors - schools, vocational education and training, and higher education - in order to gain qualifications.

“This will help students move seamlessly from vocational education and training to higher education.

“Many of Australia’s education and training institutions are actively working towards extended pathways and credit arrangements to better meet the needs of students and industry, and these arrangements are supported and encouraged under the new AQF.

“These changes are vital if we are to tackle our skills shortages successfully.”

The AQF sets out recognised qualifications in Australia, from senior secondary certificates of education to VET and higher education.

In 1995, Australia was one of the first countries in the world to develop a national qualifications framework.

“More than 15 years later, this strengthened framework reflects the many changes over that time including new delivery methods and course design, and a more integrated tertiary sector,” Senator Evans said.

All Federal, state and territory education ministers have endorsed the new national framework.

The strengthened AQF is the result of more than two years’ development and consultation by the AQF Council, led by the Hon John Dawkins AO.

“The timing of the new AQF is also important as we move towards new national regulatory arrangements for higher education and vocational education and training,” Senator Evans said.

“It will boost confidence in our education and training systems and ensure quality, clarity and transparency into the future.”

The framework is available at

Senator Evans’ Media Contacts: Karen Brown 0413 080 956 Rhys Davies 0411 138 572

DEEWR Media: Non-media enquiries: 1300 363 079