Victoria University and Kangan Batman TAFE have joined forces to offer students improved pathways between TAFE and higher education programs.
Recent announcements by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard have emphasised the importance of TAFE and higher education links to improve access and grow the proportion of Australians aged 25-34 with degrees by 20 per cent by 2025.
A Memorandum of Understanding signed recently by VU and Kangan Batman provides for close co-operation in the following areas: Indigenous education, early childhood education, automotive studies, engineering, business studies, community services, health and sport.
The agreement means Kangan Batman graduates in these fields of study may apply for articulation into VU degree programs following completion of the required units.
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor John McCallum said the agreement would assist students from the disadvantaged north-west of Melbourne to gain university qualifications.
"This area is significantly disadvantaged in access to post-secondary education. Vocational education pathways into higher education are proven ways of providing access to university study for disadvantaged students," Professor McCallum said.
"As the demand grows for graduates in the west and north-west of Melbourne with high-level skills, these arrangements will become even more significant. Collaborations between complementary institutions are the way forward for Australian education."
Kangan Batman offers vocational programs at seven campuses throughout the north-west and the city, including the new Docklands automotive centre, which will become the largest such facility in the southern hemisphere.
VU offers more than 600 higher education and vocational education programs across 11 sites in Melbourne's west and the city.
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