The choice between vocational and higher education – Melbourne

University leaders are calling for the re-instatement of demand driven funding, which let them enrol unlimited numbers of bachelor-degree students. At the same time, there are widespread calls for the vocational education system to be strengthened to attract more young people, especially into the trades. In this event a panel of experts asks: Are these goals in tension? What advice should we give people thinking about their post-school options?

Listen to the podcast.

Date And Time

Tue., 20 August 2019
6:00 pm – 7:15 pm


State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000


Professor Linda Kristjanson AO

Professor Kristjanson is Vice-Chancellor of Swinburne University, a dual sector institution that is a university and a TAFE. Before her current role, Professor Kristjanson was Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Development at Curtin University. Professor Kristjanson chairs the board of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology & Engineering, and a member of the board of Universities Australia.

Professor Peter Noonan

Peter Noonan is the Professor of Tertiary Education Policy at the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University. He has played a major role in shaping policy in Australia’s education and training system as a policy adviser, senior executive and consultant to federal and state governments, universities, higher education providers and TAFE institutes. Professor Noonan is currently chair of the Australian Qualifications Framework Review.

Frances Coppolillo

Frances Coppolillo is Chief Executive of the Melbourne Polytechnic, formerly the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE. Melbourne Polytechnic also offers a range of higher education courses. Ms Coppolillo has extensive experience in education, joining the vocational education and training sector as a teacher in 1986. She was a founding director on the board of the VET Development Centre, and has led projects in learning resource development, and best practice projects in student engagement and retention.

Andrew Norton

Andrew Norton is the Higher Education Program Director at the Grattan Institute. He is the author or co-author of many articles, reports and other publications on higher education issues. His most recent report is on the student choice between higher education and vocational education. In 2013-14 he was the co-author of a government-commissioned review of the higher education demand driven funding system.