IARC was established in 1999 with a relatively modest purposed, for a professional association. It has existed for over 15 years now, providing a point of contact and a mechanism for maintaining quality standards for post-secondary education institutions from any country or discipline, and of any size or scope of operation.
Being a member of many other professional bodies, I’ve noticed over recent years many struggling to reinvent themselves. More often than not, these other associations were formed with, or evolved into an organisation, which had broader goals and purposes than what IARC ever aspired to. Bigger organisations inevitably develop wider range of services to members; but as that happens, they need more funding to sustain their activities. They may access government funding, or charge add on fees to members for conferences, seminars or other services. Many larger organisations have been suffering over recent years though; largely because the world is changing so fast. When an organisation employs a dozen people and is offering lots of different services, it can be very difficult to find and adapt to a new purpose, when the world around them changes and the original purpose disappears.
IARC is not immune to the need to adapt to a changing world, but being smaller in scope of operation and in our number of members, may well be a massive advantage for us in the current climate.
The past year has seen increasing change in the education industry worldwide. Reports in the media keep emerging that point to crisis after crisis, from difficulties in funding to problems with what is being taught. A recent article I saw pointed out that most people at universities are studying for jobs that will not exist in the future. Despite such reports, many institutions continue as if nothing is different.
Some education institutions are making big efforts to reinvent themselves, as are some professional bodies. There is no doubt that there will be an ongoing need for an education industry, and for organisations that provide a point of contact between professionals and maintenance of quality standards across institutions.
The world of education has changed a lot over the past 12 months and is likely to change even more in the next 12 months. There’s no doubt that IARC can continue to have an important role for the entire membership, but we also need to recognise and respond to change. It may be time to re-examine our purpose and if need be make some adjustments to what we do and how we do it. The real challenge though is to understand that we are in an age where change is a constant and the norm. We can’t change IARC to be something that suits 2016 and expect that to also suit 2017 and 2018. The education landscape has become a dynamic landscape, ever changing and perhaps bodies like IARC need to become dynamic organisations, also in a constant state of change.
This may not be an easy goal to achieve; but it may be an inevitable one to confront.
What we have been doing this year:
- Over this year, we have spent considerable time working on setting up UK banking – this has been a somewhat arduous process for the regional team there, namely Tracey Jones, whom we extend our sincere thanks for her effort.
- We also thank Sarah Edwards for her contribution to IARC in the role of Acting Secretary for 6 months.
- We currently have 61 members (including parent and subsidiary memberships). Over the past year we have lost 4 members and welcomed 7 new members.
- Bloom Learning (AUS)
- The Career Academy (NZ)
- Study Smart Online (UK)
- Grow Online Courses (AUS)
- SATRA AND Mindworx Academy (SA)
- UR Creative (AUS)
- SEA-PHECC (ASIA)
- Health Schools Australia
- Courses Direct
- Health in Hands Massage
- College of Integrative Veterinary Therapy (CIVT)
We receive enquiries relating to membership applications every week. We have one interested school currently preparing an application currently and received an application for recognition for a new school by a current member also.
In closing, I wish to thank you all for your dedicated ongoing support for the Council. Your acknowledgement of our mission and vision remains steadfast. As always we look forward to strengthening our place in the global education arena over coming months with your sustained participation.
Mr John L. Mason Dip.Hort.Sc., Sup'n Cert., FIOH, FPLA, MAIH, MACHPER, MASA