The National Commission on Education criticises the decision to separate discussion on the purposes and size of the sector from that on funding and argues: "The present arrangements for institutional funding and personal support for students have become so unsatisfactory that they demand action now".
It reiterates calls for a tuition fee based on a restructured income-contingent loan scheme and a more flexible qualifications framework.
While recognising the importance of research - in particular as a motivation for choosing an academic career - it argues that it has "sometimes been accorded quite unreasonable primacy over teaching in universities".
It calls for much greater emphasis on teaching skills, and says that all teachers should possess a teaching qualification. Welcoming quality control, it argues that the current system is wasteful and calls for a stronger, independent regulatory framework .
Institutions should take a leading role in regional alliances of education and training institutions to provide a full range of opportunities, enable further reorganisation of education and training and the removal of the "new binary line" between further and higher education.