COPHE provides a voice for private higher education institutions calling for equitable higher education policy for all students.
Our members cater for students studying from diploma to doctorate level at more than 80 campuses around Australia.
They cater for more than half of the private higher education students in Australia.
After a thorough, nation-wide search, the COPHE Board has found a replacement for COPHE CEO and co-founder Adrian McComb, who is retiring from the position at the end of this year.
The Board has decided by unanimous vote to offer the position to Mr Simon Finn who will begin his new role in January 2017. Currently employed as an Executive Officer by Professionals Australia, Mr Finn has extensive experience at senior levels of government and in public sector leadership, including serving as a State Government Minister.
COPHE Chair Dr Donald Owers said Mr Finn's capacity and passion for strategy development, together with his skills in policy, advocacy and management will enable him to build on the excellent work done by Mr McComb.
Dr Owers commended Mr McComb on his dedication, skills and insight in establishing and growing COPHE's services to members and its influence as a key peak body for private higher education. Mr McComb has agreed to continue at COPHE for the time being in a part-time advisory role.
Mr McComb, who has led COPHE for over 15 years, has long advocated that the solution for Australia's higher education policy shortcomings is to put students' needs first which involves ensuring equity, choice and diversity throughout the higher education sector.
Education is opening doors to help build a new nation. Helena de Jesus from East Timor has graduated from her Liberal Arts degree at Campion College, Toongabbie.
‘‘I want to return to work in education or health…The community here is great, everyone is friendly and helpful.’’ – Miss de Jesus.
"Being qualified as both a conventional and complementary health practitioner has broadened my perspective…This is about looking deeper to ensure my patients receive holistic care, which will better improve their quality of life.” - Dr Clayton Smith, qualified Sydney psychiatrist and also naturopathy graduate of Australian College of Natural Medicine (now Endeavour College of Natural Health).
“I knew if I wanted to get ahead in this industry, I knew I needed to learn fast. I am now going head-to-head with senior designers for studio jobs in some of the most well-known studios in Australia and thanks to the Academy, I have the skills I need to succeed." - Tim Cruickshank, now UX Architect at web agency Deepend, graduate Bachelor of Design Arts, graphic and digital design major, Academy of Design Australia.
Newly arrived from China, Le Ma chose a Top Education Institute pathway program to help her prepare for her Bachelor of Commerce in Professional Accounting degree at Macquarie University. She has won several awards, completed her Master of Financial Analysis from the UNSW in 2010 and is now lecturing and working on her PhD.
Dominique already had a nursing degree place near her home in Hobart, but she visited the Campion Summer Program in Sydney and completely changed her choice. “I met some awesome people and really enjoyed it. Now here I am enjoying every minute. Campion College not only has a great degree to prepare you for anything life throws at you, but the people and the environment are amazing!”
“Having studied at larger institutes, one of the things that set the Academy apart was the small, family-like class environments where we were driven by creative like-minded people to do our very best. Our tutors provided the resources and the edge to build strong folios, making the job-hunting process a breeze! I was able to land an internship at Ogilvy.” - Felisha Mina - Bachelor of Design Arts at the Academy of Design Australia.
“Aim high - there is no significant downside.” Dr James Goudkamp, now Associate Professor in the Oxford Law Faculty, UK. He started his academic career with a university entrance course at UOW College, which provides pathways programs into the University of Wollongong. “The course was wonderful preparation for the study of law at university and in some ways gave me a significant edge over students who came by the high school route,” he said.
“When I was a kid, I loved selling random things to my schoolmates, so my family encouraged me to do a Bachelor of Business. The students in my batch represented 13 different nationalities – this helped me develop my skills and world culture knowledge in a completely practical way.” Kezia Hephzibah Pasaribu, from Indonesia, studied at S P Jain School of Global Management, in Singapore and now in Sydney.
Excelsia College has challenged me to work hard to find and grow my vocation and then think hard about how it could be applied to and used in the world. The highly qualified lecturers care deeply, supporting us every step of the way.” – Jessica Gray, Bachelor of Dramatic Art graduate, now studying teaching (postgraduate) at Excelsia.
Teale Blessington, Bachelor of Sports Business student at the Australian College of Physical Education, Sydney: “I started studying marketing at TAFE, then uni, but moved to ACPE to incorporate my passion for sports. I aspire to one day contribute to female sports. With work experience and networking occasions … ACPE helps its students step straight out into desired careers. I have never felt like a number here.”
Emily Elsworth, final year student in Bachelor of Design Arts at the Academy of Design Australia, Melbourne: “I was attracted by the flexibility to study both advertising and graphic design in an interactive, intensive learning environment. Our lecturers are always engaged with the industry in which they are teaching. ... I actually got an ATAR of 95 so had lots of choices, but I came here, because I knew it was the best that I can possibly get.”
Katrina Arch, Bachelor of Complementary Medicine student, Endeavour College of Natural Health, Brisbane. “I have a degree in stage management from 20 years ago but now I have a passion for health and healing. I love it here - all we do at Endeavour is natural health so I know it’s top quality, but it’s also flexible. With this degree, if I choose not to be a practitioner, I can still be the practitioner's boss. I’m studying online so I work, raise my family, study – here I can have it all."
“Teaching involves a great responsibility so I appreciated the supportive environment at Christian Heritage College where you journey with your peers towards your professional and personal goals, consider all the integral dynamics of teaching, whilst being shaped into the best teacher you can be.” – Tiani Stirling, primary teacher at John Paul College; graduate Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree, which includes practicums and internship in a variety of school settings.
Settling in a new nation with his family, electro-mechanical technician Chris de Lange realised the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) was just what he needed to fast-track his career while still working full-time. “Webcasts with a living, interested lecturer to ask questions and other students to interact with – perfect,” he said. Having completed an Advanced Diploma of Mechanical Engineering, he is now completing an Advanced Diploma In Applied Electrical Engineering.
Bek Strachan founded her own business, RAW Training, a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) group fitness program, after she completed a Bachelor of Business at Christian Heritage College. She said the strategic, financial and organisational knowledge she gained in her degree helped her to establish a business which aligned with her personal values and interests. “This knowledge and the support of my lecturers allowed me to start my business with a solid foundation.” – Bek.
The Government’s HE reforms proposed in 2014 would have delivered equal treatment for all students giving them the freedom to choose the course and institution which best meets their needs. Already about one in ten Australian higher education students are choosing to study at private institutions. All private HE institutions are regulated by TEQSA, as are all universities.
COPHE continues to call- for a single, coherent loan scheme so all HE undergraduates would be treated equally, paying the same loan fees, if any applied. Currently there is a 25% loan fee on FEE-HELP but no loan fee at all on HECS which only applies to public university students.
Expanding student choice drives innovation and diversity as well as allowing students the best outcomes to suit their individual needs. Support of pathway courses is critical to boost the experience and results for students who for various reasons, need additional assistance to prepare them for second year studies at university level.
Australia needs to allow the teaching-focused HE options successfully driving efficiency and building capacity in other nations. The Government has opened discussion on expanding HE provider types through the work of the Higher Education Standards Panel.
For more details on the HE reform package visit: