Strengthening the Australian Qualifications Framework discussion paper
Universities are supportive of a strong and widely utilised qualifications framework for Australia, and we endorse the aim the Australian Qualifications Framework Council (AQFC) proposals to bring Australian arrangements into line with international best practice. At the same time, Universities Australia is concerned that there is a risk that a strengthened AQF may become overly prescriptive of the structure of qualifications and that this will stifle innovation and diversity among education providers. The objective must be to achieve an appropriate balance between quality assurance and institutional autonomy. Recent authoritative international research makes clear empirically how university autonomy and freedom contributes to national research excellence and innovation.
Universities Australia supports the intention to move the AQF to a consistent Knowledge/Skills/ Competency taxonomy of learning outcomes. Universities Australia encourages the AQFC to involve education providers fully in the development of such a framework to ensure that specifications are appropriate to each qualification and are not unnecessarily rigid or burdensome. In this respect, Universities Australia would not support having a stand-alone category for generic skills, which will not always be easily separable from discipline-specific skills in a higher education context.
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