The University of New England and TAFE New England have officially launched their collaborative Integrated Degree programs which are pioneering the way for combined TAFE and university study in Australia.
The degrees are offered in the overarching disciplines of Agrifood Systems, Health and Community Services, and have been developed with input from industry experts to provide students with the skills and knowledge to enhance their careers, or to start from scratch in the industry.
UNE Academic Registrar Eve Woodberry says the aim of the degrees is to deliver graduates who are able to work immediately upon graduation across various levels of their sector.
“Through the integrated degrees, students are offered the ‘hands on’ skills typically obtained through TAFE, along with a deep, contextual understanding of the sector of their choosing from the beginning to the end of their studies. A Certificate IV and Diploma are also part of the degree structure so students who work as they study will also have the opportunity to advance their career along the way.
“The Integrated Degrees offer flexible entry and exit points, which means greater, more equitable accessibility for students from all walks of life. Importantly, students studying an Integrated Degree are able to gain recognition and credit for existing qualifications, skills and industry experience, which means they will be able to fast-track their studies accordingly.”
The launch of the degrees is the product of many months of collaborative work by both UNE and TAFE New England.
“The launch of the degrees is testament to the strong partnership between UNE and TAFE New England,” Ms Woodberry said.
“The degrees are unique in Australia because they seamlessly integrate vocational training within Bachelor degrees. Students gain industry-ready practical skills as they study, and because Certificate and Diploma qualifications awarded by TAFE are embedded in their degree, students are job-ready and in demand even before they graduate.”
Director of TAFE New England Alison Wood says TAFE New England is delighted to have the opportunity to partner with the University of New England to provide these innovative, integrated degrees.
“These degrees will not only provide great new opportunities for individual learners, they will also produce highly skilled, work ready graduates that will contribute to the economic growth of the New England North West region,” Ms Wood said.
Last year, the degrees were recognised as finalists in the Northern Inland Innovation Awards for the unique and streamlined approach to dual sector study, and their commitment to producing the right graduates for important sectors of our society.