IHEA thanks outgoing Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP; welcomes the Hon Alan Tudge MP

Peak body emphasises importance of continuing higher education reforms

Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) today expresses its thanks to outgoing Education Minister, the Hon Dan Tehan MP for his contribution to Australia’s tertiary education sector during his term leading the portfolio.

“Minister Tehan led a substantial reform agenda in higher education, including comprehensive review of the Provider Category Standards, the Australian Qualifications Framework and Senior Secondary Pathways,” said IHEA CEO, Simon Finn.

“The Minister’s leadership of the higher education sector through the impacts of COVID-19 ensured the ongoing viability of independent providers, in turn enabling continuity in education delivery for their students. His support for all providers ensured students had the best opportunities to succeed during a very challenging year.”

“Minister Tehan’s initiative in the development of recognised short course qualifications will have a lasting impact on the Australian tertiary education landscape. Accredited short courses not only provided stimulus for workers to reskill and upskill, they also kick-started the development of Australian micro credentials. In time, this will be seen as a key reform moment in modernising Australian qualifications and enabling workers to rapidly adapt their skills to meet changing industry needs.”

“IHEA thanks Minister Tehan for implementing exemptions from FEE-HELP Loan Fee during 2020/21, reducing the level of impost it places on a small cohort of students based on their choice of provider. We note, however, that many current students will be subject to a 20% FEE-HELP tax half way through their courses and for the first time in 2021 when the Tehan exemptions expire. Abolition of this fee needs to be included in the next Federal budget.”

“IHEA congratulates Minister Tehan on his appointment as Minister for Trade, a portfolio which has a critical role in the recovery of Australia’s $40bn international education industry. We look forward to continuing to work with Minister Tehan in this capacity.”

IHEA welcomes Minister Tudge

IHEA welcomes the Hon Alan Tudge MP as Australia’s new Education Minister, with Mr Finn expressing his confidence in Minister Tudge’s experience and preparedness to take on the higher education challenges of 2021.

“The appointment of Minister Tudge to the Education portfolio recognises his success in the Multicultural Affairs and Immigration portfolios and the importance of this experience to the leadership of Australian education.” 

“Minister Tudge’s experience in policy leadership and program delivery to a diverse Australian community and the importance of visa settings to the Australian economy prepares him well for the international education challenges of 2021. A big challenge of the next Federal budget will be ongoing support for the education sector workers whose jobs depend on a large-scale resumption of international student arrivals.”

“Minister Tudge is well known to IHEA’s independent higher education members. We’ve worked with the Minister during 2020 and have welcomed his participation in IHEA’s leadership forums.”

“While there are big challenges in 2021, the new year provides enormous opportunity to continue higher education reforms and grow the diversity of education opportunities for Australian students and their families. Minister Tudge has a great opportunity to accelerate innovation, diversity and choice in Australian higher education through provider categories with a renewed focus on quality and teaching excellence, abolition of the FEE-HELP Loan Fee and implementation of a new Australian Qualifications Framework.”

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