Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and is a key to escaping poverty. Over the past decade, major progress was made towards increasing access to education and school enrolment rates at all levels, particularly for girls.
– United Nations

In our actions, aspirations and achievements, we embody the United Nations commitment to providing quality education to all people at all levels.

As a 'dual sector' institution – offering both vocational and 'higher' education – we bring together the finest and most relevant practical, academic and research skills. In our strategy for the coming years, we aim to define this field. 

We have a deep and unwavering commitment to inclusion, respectful relationships and diversity, supporting our students to realise their potential, not despite, but because of, their personal background and experience.

4 quality education (book & pen icon)

Research projects & engagement 2020-21

The Centre for International Research into Education Systems (CIRES) released the Evaluation of the Fair Education Program In New South Wales report on a major initiative by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and Australian Schools Plus to support schools in disadvantaged areas. The evaluation confirms the program’s success for improving outcomes and the key features of the program’s support of schools.

Impact of learning from home on educational outcomes for disadvantaged children, by the Mitchell Institute and CIRES was commissioned by the federal education department and government to assess the impact of remote learning due to COVID on educational outcomes, and indicated a range of factors restricting learning from home for socially disadvantaged students and skills and competencies teachers need to effectively manage learning online.

The Mitchell Institute released a series of policy briefings to inform national policy considerations:

  • Australian Investment In Education: Higher Education analyses funding for universities over the past decade and the challenges posed to the sector through border closures in 2020 and the loss of international student revenue.
  • Australian Investment In Education: Early Childhood Education and Care proposes policy reform to: improve transparency and certainty of funding; invest in quality in all early learning services, including child care; and improving the transparency of private investment to simplify funding for families.
  • For Every Early Childhood Educator Matters, Mitchell brought together 33 researchers with expertise in early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce development in a national roundtable to generate evidence-based policy ideas and presented findings in the report, to inform the National ECEC Workforce Strategy due for release in 2021.
  • Student-Centred Senior Secondary Schooling seeks to transform senior secondary learning and pathways through a commitment from governments to school-led reform, by sustaining a holistic focus on lifelong learning and by enhancing learning pathways.

Efrat Eilam, Veerendra Prasad and Helen Widdop Quinton, from the College of Arts and Education, examined the ways in which the Victorian curriculum educates senior-secondary students about the climate change crisis. The researchers propose curriculum reforms to address and incorporate climate change as a coherent body of knowledge.

Dr Jen Jackson was a member of the Macklin Review, Future Skills for Victoria - Driving collaboration and innovation in post-secondary and training, of post-secondary education, to ensure skills development for future economic growth. The Review contracted CIRES for two evidence reports.

The Mitchell Institute made two submissions to the Review, Skills Innovation at Victoria University, examining new ways of delivering tertiary education emerging within VU, and Skills for recovery: the vocational education system we need post-COVID-19, describes the key issues and charts a way forward to create a system that effectively supports a strong recovery from the pandemic.

VU’s Wyndham Tech School (WTS) is a centre of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics learning for area schools. Programs were delivered to 34 schools and over 22,000 Year 7–12 students.

AVID Advancement Via Individual Determination organised a national conference for school professionals in 2020: Lessons from lockdown, and what we learned from teaching and learning remotely. The event brought together teachers, researchers and NGOs from Australia and USA to share their learnings for remote delivery of school education.

Professor Gary Foley commenced free online ‘Black Fire’ lessons on Indigenous political activism and an alternative view of Australian history via Facebook and a series of online lectures for the public, badged Melbourne School of Discontent.

VU has among the highest proportion of first-generation students in Australia with about 40% of students first in family to go to university.

The Kick Start program develops the social capital of first-generation students through intensive workshops that focus on campus familiarisation, study skills, creating academic and personal support networks, and more.

Pre-schooler on a video call