By Mariska Murphy, produced for online by Ainsley O’Keefe

The Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE (MSIT) at Mt Gravatt will offer bachelor degrees to students in business and early childhood education from July.

Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment John-Paul Langbroek says it represents a major shift in the state’s vocational and higher education sector.

Kaylene Harth, director of MSIT, says the Mt Gravatt campus is looking forward to the initiative, which has been in the works for 12 months.

“These particular areas are areas that MSIT has offered diplomas and advanced diplomas programs in for many years, so I guess it was a natural progression,” she said.

Pat Forward, federal TAFE secretary of the Australian Education Union, agrees, adding people are increasingly recognising the value of TAFE qualifications.

“The very argument in favor of these degree programs is that they often respond to a very particular need in a very particular industry area,” she said.

“I think that there is plenty of need for education and training to go around and there is a place for TAFE’s and universities in this provision.”

Mt Gravatt TAFE will next year expand the program to include a Bachelor of Fashion and a Bachelor of Screen Production.