On 2 February 2016 AHEIA released the Australian Higher Education Workforce of the Future Report, which was commissioned in association with the DVCs Corporate group of Universities Australia to put the spotlight on how to enable universities to compete in a globally competitive market.
The report looks at the university environment as affected by environmental change drivers over the next 10-15 years, and concludes that major changes to the higher education workforce are needed, and are needed now. It sets out a roadmap for implementation of necessary changes, that will differ in emphasis from university to university in 12 related areas covering capability, engagement and structure of the university workforce.
The key findings of the report include:
The study revealed that 42% of university leaders believe government policy and funding will be the most significant driver over the period. It also revealed the importance of differentiating and future proofing university business models. The report identifies a range of workforce reforms that universities need to consider implementing to better align their workforces to strategic priorities.
All universities will need to consider the design and skill requirements of existing and new job roles, with a view to introducing flexibility that is responsive to employer and student demands. The report also highlights the need to invest in leadership, and a need to look at the design of performance management and reward systems.
The report concludes that:
“Should the sector not undertake this change now … the challenges identified above and throughout this report will continue to accelerate, putting more pressure on both the higher education sector and its workforce as a whole, and also Australia’s future workforce and economic prosperity.”