Professor Peter NOONAN

Professor of Tertiary Education Policy, Mitchell Institute for Health and Education
Professorial Fellow, Centre for Research on International Education Systems, Victoria University, Australia

Topic: Governance and Performance

Date: 16 June 2017

Time: 15:30 - 16:00


This presentation will consider various evolving models for vocational education and training (VET) system governance and their relationship to VET system performance. Governance is defined broadly to include how power is exercised, who exercises the power and governance models relevant to VET, including co-governance with industry, governance in federal systems such as Australia and Germany, and devolved governance (such as the various levels of autonomy of training providers and institutions). The differences in planned versus market-based systems and the intersection between governance in VET and other systems (schools and higher education) will also be considered.

System performance will then be considered in terms of the purposes of VET systems, using a case study of Australia, which has a long history of VET system performance assessment and performance measures. The presentation will also highlight the limitations of system-level performance measures and argue for a greater emphasis on provider or institutional performance, particularly in countries that have adopted market-based approaches to VET, such as Australia, where information on provider performance is essential to the effective functioning of VET markets.

The presentation will conclude by considering the benefits and feasibility of international benchmarking of VET system performance, such as system benchmarking projects currently underway in the higher education sector.


Peter Noonan is Professor of Tertiary Education Policy and a Professorial Fellow in Mitchell Institute at Victoria University. Peter is also an Honorary Senior Fellow in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Melbourne in the LH Martin Institute for Tertiary Education Leadership.

Peter has played a major role in shaping policy in VET, Higher and Post Compulsory Education in Australia for over 25 years as a researcher, senior public servant, consultant, and adviser to national and state governments.

He was a General Manager of the then Australian National Training Authority where he led the development of key elements of the national VET system in Australia and has also held senior management roles in the Queensland and Victorian VET systems.

He was a member of the 2008 Expert Panel for the Review of Australian Higher Education (Bradley Review), a member of the Expert Panel advising the current Australian Government on higher education policy and is a former adviser to the national higher education Minister for Higher Education in Australia. In 2010 he undertook a review of Post Secondary Education and Training for the Queensland State Government. In 2015 he advised the Victorian VET Funding Review on future funding options for VET in Victoria.

Since 2014 in his current role Peter has undertaken highly influential work, and is a frequent media commentator, on the financing of higher education and VET and the case for a more coherent tertiary education system in Australia.

Peter has extensive international experience in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Japan, the USA, England, Brazil, Namibia, and Papua New Guinea.

Peter holds degrees in Arts and Education from the University of Western Australia and was awarded a Fullbright scholarship in 1993.