Federal Parliament Meetings

Adrian McComb, CEO of COPHE (Council of Private Higher Education) kindly convened a series of meetings with a number of its member colleges and with politicians from all party benches, but with a responsibility for education.

EIT’s Dean and CEO, Dr Steve Mackay, as a member of COPHE, joined fellow educators in Parliament House in Canberra on 24th November.

Others in the group included the lovely Ms Helen Zimmerman, an inspiring business woman in education. She is the Executive General Manager for Navitas, a leading global education provider. Another was Professor Ray Roennfeldt of Avondale College which has, incredibly, been around since 1897.

The college heads aimed to project the quality and reliability that COPHE members reflect and the valuable contributions they make to higher education.

They were determined to communicate the need for policy that is directed to outcomes for students. Their focus was on equity, which is lacking across this industry sector, and on the choice and diversity that private education offers students.

The COPHE members met with, amongst others, the Honourable Kim Carr, Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Industry. National Senator Bridget Mackenzie also made herself available to the delegation, her passion for education clear.

The conclusion of the day was a dinner with Senator, the Honourable Simon Birmingham and Minister for Education and Training; a gracious and attentive host.

In an environment where a large number of unscrupulous VET colleges have been abusing Fee-Help and rorting the system the higher education providers present proudly and appropriately claimed the moral high ground.