Collaboration ‘opens horizons’ for tertiary education

Published 18 April 2008

tafemou.jpgThe University  of New England and the New England Institute of TAFE have entered a new phase of collaboration that will further enhance the range of educational opportunities for people in the region.

The Vice-Chancellor of UNE, Professor Alan Pettigrew, and the Director of TAFE’s New England Institute, Gary Pollock, signed a new Memorandum of Understanding last week – the latest in a series of MOUs that have facilitated UNE-TAFE collaboration over the past 12 years.

One important aspect of this collaboration has been the development of educational pathways from TAFE to UNE. “Articulation between TAFE and university qualifications has enormous potential,” Mr Pollock said, “especially since there’s a thrust in education towards higher-level qualifications.” He mentioned nursing, film and television, and children’s services as areas that were already benefiting from such pathways.

“Getting the whole of the New England Institute aligned with the University really opens our horizons,” Professor Pettigrew said, “particularly as government policy encourages greater collaboration between different sectors of education.”

In recent years, collaboration between the two educational institutions and the local Area Health Service has enabled the establishment – with Commonwealth Government funding – of a broadband network integrating and enhancing education and health communications throughout the New  England region.

The broadband network links UNE’s eight Regional Access Centres – all on local TAFE campuses – with each other and the University’s Armidale campus and Tamworth Centre, helping students overcome the disadvantages of isolation. Professor Pettigrew and Mr Pollock agreed that the use of the Access Centres would continue to grow throughout the three-year life of the new MOU – particularly when students from UNE’s new School of Rural Medicine begin their clinical placements in regional centres.

The sharing of facilities and services between UNE and TAFE will soon be extended by an agreement to allow reciprocal library borrowing rights to the students of both institutions.

Mr Pollock and the Assistant Director of the Institute’s Educational Development Unit, Pam Morgan, visited UNE on Thursday 10 April to sign the MOU with Professor Pettigrew and UNE’s newly-appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Eve Woodberry.

The image displayed here expands to show (from left) Professor Alan Pettigrew, Pam Morgan, Eve Woodberry and Gary Pollock at the signing of the MOU.