college of advanced technology

College of Advanced Education

The College of Advanced Education (CAE) was a class of Australian tertiary education institution that existed from 1967 until the early 1990s. They were similar to Australian universities of the period, but were state owned and controlled instead of federally funded and independent. Many issued their own degrees and higher awards, but these tended to be less prestigious than those from universities, and more vocational than academic in character. They offered shorter courses, such as certificates and diplomas in addition to degrees. Additionally, their staff were paid less.

CAEs were designed to complement universities, forming a binary system modelled on that of the United Kingdom. This system was created by the Menzies government on the advice of the Committee on the Future of Tertiary Education in Australia, chaired by Sir Leslie Martin.

The initial intention was for CAEs not to issue degrees, instead offering lesser awards. However in the first year of the sector's establishment, the Victorian College of Pharmacy was permitted to issue a degree by the Victorian government, and its Commonwealth funding was not cut off for breaking the rules. Many other degree courses followed, and the policy was reviewed.

Until 1974, the sector mainly comprised technical, agricultural and specialist paramedical colleges. In that year, the state government controlled Teachers College systems became CAEs, leading to teaching students' comprising half of all students in the sector.

The colleges were known by a number of different titles:

  • "Colleges of Advanced Education" were generally former Teachers Colleges that slowly diversified their course offerings after their name (and often concurrent structural) changes. These changes happened at a time when there were more teachers being trained than the local market could support.
  • "Institutes of Technology" were oriented toward vocational education, and offered a range of courses up to higher education level.
  • Other names, often with the title "College" or "Institute" were also used.

This sector ceased to exist when the Hawke-Keating government implemented the reforms associated with the Dawkins Revolution. The states, eager for increased education funding, merged CAEs either with existing universities or with each other to form new universities. Details of these mergers are available in an AVCC report, see External links below.

In each state, the most prestigious university that was founded on the basis of an Institute of Technology became a founding member of the Australian Technology Network.

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