Teachers the students at higher education conference

TEACHERS must remain committed to growing higher education opportunities in regional Victoria, a conference heard.

Teachers were the learners, when 200 university and TAFE educators came together at Ballarat Lodge last week to discuss the future of the industry.

Project leader Lorraine Bennett said the Learning and Teaching Conference was hosted by the University of Ballarat as an opportunity for TAFE and tertiary staff to meet together, share ideas and learn from one other.

“This is a strategy of partnerships the University of Ballarat is developing,” she said.

“Generally there is a feeling of excitement and optimism, but there is a feeling of unease in what is going to be the future of TAFE opportunities.

“Finance is tough, times are changing and rural and regional students do miss out.”

Associate Professor Bennett said it was important students knew they could live, work and study in regional areas.

Keynote speaker Roy Tasker, the 2011 Australian University Teacher of the Year, said universities and TAFES were getting a more diverse range of students than ever before and with this came new challenges for the sector.

He said teachers could no longer afford to teach on intuition alone, but needed to be more aware of how to motivate students.

“We are getting a greater variety of students in tertiary education and we can change lives,” Professor Tasker said.

“We owe it to them to teach on the basis of best practice.”