The decline and demise of the Commonwealth’s strategic investment in quality learning and teaching
In May 2016, the Australian Government announced that the funding to be saved from closing the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT), a branch of the federal Department of Education and Training, would not be redirected to a new National Institute for Learning and Teaching (Milbourne, 2015) as had been promised by (then) Education Minister Christopher Pyne in 2015. This decision has significant ramifications, not only for the quality and competitiveness of Australian higher education, but also for the inevitable long-term impact that withdrawal of strategic investment for systemic change and innovation will have on the nation’s third largest export earner (Universities Australia, 2016). This Invited Feature republishes a statement from Professor Sally Kift, President of the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows (ALTF) and one of the Editors of Student Success, and is representative of the national reaction to the closure of the Office. It highlights the significant role the OLT and its predecessor bodies (the Carrick Institute and the Australian Learning and Teaching Council [ALTC]) have played, both symbolically and financially, in enabling collaboration and developing and disseminating sector-wide innovation and good practice in tertiary learning and teaching.