22 vision the vision underpinning the access to

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2.2 Vision The vision underpinning the Access to Bandwidth Projects and this Project was the need to provide VET sector with a very high capacity network with no constraints on usage. To serve VET needs it must operate as a national network. The Australian Research and Education Network (AREN) was the model for the Project: a not-for-profit network established to provide high capacity, high performing network services to the research and tertiary education sectors and an affordable price. The Commonwealth has invested significant amounts of money to develop this network along with the universities and research organisation. It is desirable and economically sound to re-use this infrastructure to provide Proof of Concept Network Project Final ReportJanuary 2010 Page 6 of 55
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this infrastructure to provide an expanded tertiary network to include the VET sector. DEEWR identified an opportunity: it noted many TAFEs were proximate to the existing tertiary network and that for, in networking terms, a small amount of funds, the tertiary network could be expanded to include the majority of TAFEs. It was hypothesised that a national network would: enhance the capacity of TAFEs to meet the skills needs of the future enable the widespread use of interactive e-learning materials and virtual classrooms provide easy and speedy access to content collections no matter where they are located in Australia facilitate mutual recognition, credit transfer and cross-jurisdictional and cross-sectoral portability expand the number of course offerings for learners in regional, remote and Indigenous communities reduced time-frames for completion of courses of study facilitate microeconomic reform of TAFEs by allowing them access to markets across Australia in the longer term, influence future funding directions to ensure effective use of public funds to reduce duplication of teaching effort and resources across the nation. 2.3 Supporting Policy The vision of a high capacity, end-to-end, optic fibre network for the VET sector was supportive of and complementary to current Federal policies and initiatives such as: the Bradley Report and subsequent Council of Australian Government decisions to develop more clearly a tertiary sector from both the higher education and VET sectors build on the Australian Government’s $88 million investment in the high-speed research network for universities, the Australian Research and Education Network (AREN), by extending this network to the training sector the Digital Education Revolution, and the National Broadband Network. Proof of Concept Network Project Final ReportJanuary 2010 Page 7 of 55
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The network would also provide the essential infrastructure to mitigate the looming shortage of teachers by providing a platform where scare knowledge could be shared Australia-wide.
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