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Vocation revokes 1100 quals and to repay funding

Vocation snip19 May 2015     |     The ASX-listed education company Vocation Pty Ltd announced on 18 May that it has revoked the qualifications of students who undertook four programs during 2014 in aged care, children’s services, business administration and competitive systems and practices. They also apply to students who did two specific units in First Aid, and Assist Clients with Medication. Vocation will also repay about $8 million in funding to the Victorian Department of Education and Training over the next 18 months. Vocation was responding to the findings of fresh regulatory audits which happened in early 2015. It was also addressing the issues left over from the closure of its controversial BAWM training business, as well as issues related to its Learning Verve business….[ MORE ]…..

Budget cuts to international programsflags1

18 May 2015      |     While there were few changes to training and skills in the 2015 Budget, there were a number of significant cuts in international education programs revealed in the detailed portfolio statements.  With international education Australia’s third largest export and a significant employer, TAFE Directors Australia says the budget changes now place greater focus on the need to finalise the recently released Draft National Strategy for International Education…. [ MORE ]….

UA looking for commitment on Labor research proposal

ua-logo-ua-small16 May 2016     |      The Budget reply by the leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, committed to lifting research funding to 3% of GDP by the end of the next decade but stopped short in identifying the commensurate savings measures that would be needed to fund such a commitment, says Universities Australia (UA). UA chief Belinda Robinson, described it as a worthy aspiration, with universities welcoming research being back on the policy page of ideas for driving future national prosperity. But she says what the community is also looking for is a strong and demonstrable commitment to sustainable and long-term funding for both higher education and research. Universities will be seeking water-tight assurances that this funding would not come at the expense of other higher education and research programs….[MORE ]…..

GDP spending on higher education set to fall to half OECD average

15 May 2015    |    Spending on higher education as a proportion of GDP will fall from 0.56% in 2015 down to 0.48% in 2018, well below the OECD average of 1%, an analysis of the 2015 Budget Education Budget2figures has determined. According to Vin Massaro, an honorary professorial fellow with the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, higher education spending is slated to drop from $9.3bn in 2015, to $8.9bn in 2016, $9.1bn in 2017 and back to $9.3bn in 2018, representing a drop in GDP every year. Massaro told The Australian that “we need to have a serious conversation about the sustainability of uncapped enrolments if the per capita funding levels are going to continue to slide and each place is to be funded at the same level irrespective of the institution and its research performance.” While the budget was based on an assumption the government’s reforms would pass the Senate, the Grattan Institute’s Andrew Norton says there would be both positive and negative consequences on forward estimates of the reforms not passing….[ MORE ]….
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Milestones

New CEO at Melbourne Polytechnic

 20 May 2015

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Rob Wood has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of Melbourne Polytechnic (formerly NMIT).

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Melb PolyMr Wood  comes to this role from his previous position of Acting Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills Group, in the Victorian government.

Mr Wood joined the Victorian Department of Education and Training in August 2014 as the Executive Director, TAFE and Tertiary Education Support and Oversight Division, leading support to and oversight of Victoria’s TAFEs and university relationships.

He had to come to Australia with substantial experience in public administration in Canada.

Mr Wood was the Acting Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills Group during a critical time of transition to the new Government. He has led the Group’s rapid response to the Government’s ambitious suite of election commitments, including establishment of the TAFE Rescue Fund, Back to Work Fund and the Review of Quality Assurance in Victoria’s VET System.

He will commence at Melbourne Polytechnic on Monday 8 June.
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Comment  & analysis

Constructive dissent keeps wheels of knowledge turning

 21 May 2015

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Steven Schwartz, in looking at the Lomborg centre controversey recounts a story about Albert Einstein during his Princeton days; he was Steven Schwartzin the habit of posing the same examination questions every year. Confronted by the dean for his apparent laziness, Einstein explained that the questions never changed but the answers frequently did.

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Dissent1

This story is doubtless apocryphal but it makes a crucial point; science is always unfinished business. As they used to say on The X Files, “The truth is out there”— but we can never be entirely certain that we have found it. “Most institutions demand unqualified faith,” said American sociologist Robert Merton. “But the institution of science makes scepticism a virtue.”

The scepticism to which Merton referred is different from mere doubt. Anything can be doubted. Former South African president Thabo Mbeki doubts the connection between AIDS and HIV, which he considers a harmless virus. US presidential candidate Mike Huckabee rejects evolution as just a theory. Britain’s Christopher Monckton says green­house gases do not affect climate.

None of these opinions advance our understanding. They are a form of dogmatism, a stubborn clinging to a point of view while rejecting all evidence to the contrary. Scientific scepticism is different. In the words of Eric Ashby, former vice-chancellor of Cambridge University, scientific scepticism relies on “the discipline of constructive dissent”.

Practitioners of constructive dissent do not just oppose entrenched ideas. Using their deep knowledge of a field, careful observations and creative thought, constructive dissenters identify patterns and facts others miss. This is where the “constructive” part comes in. Ashby argued that for dissent to be constructive, “it must shift the state of opinion about a subject in such a way that the experts concur”. In other words, it is not enough for Mbeki to deny a connection between HIV and AIDS; to make a useful contribution to knowledge, he must use his knowledge, observations and creativity to convince experts to change their view.
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quote marksThere is no legal, philosophical or moral reason for universities to provide a platform for every divergent view. Competence is essential for the practice of constructive dissent.

Is Lomborg’s dissent constructive? Does he use cost-benefit analysis appropriately? Do experts accept his reasoning? These are the only relevant questions and, so far, no one has even tried to answer them..

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21 May 2015

The VET Store

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The VET Store is a new service by the VET Development Centre which provides access to a range of information to support VET practitioners in the work they do.

VET Development Centre

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ACPET Forum2

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Life & stuff

21 May 2015

A glimpse into the first 21 days of a bee’s life

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We’ve heard that bees are disappearing. But what is making bee colonies so vulnerable?

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Photographer Anand Varma raised bees in his backyard and teamed up with the bee lab at UC Davis to film and get a up close view of the first three weeks of a bee’s life in unprecedented detail. This project, for National Geographic, gives a lyrical glimpse into a bee hive — and reveals one of the biggest threats to its health, a mite that preys on baby bees in the first 21 days of life.  With his incredible footage, set to music from Magik*Magik Orchestra, Varma shows the problem  in this Ted talk … and what’s being done to solve it. There’s also a condensed 60 second clip.

See
Honey bees

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One Hundred Stories

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Monash University’s commemoration of the Great War.

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Wall of Commemoration
The One Hundred Stories are a silent presentation. They remember not just the men and women who lost their lives, but also those who returned to Australia, the gassed, the crippled, the insane, all those irreparably damaged by war. The Great War shaped the world as well as the nation. Its memory belongs to us all.

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Curriculum and course development

Business/ Hospitality ————————- Child care

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Curriculum1A dynamic and reputable education and training provider is looking to expand its offerings into higher education, initially at AQF Level 5 (Diploma) and AQF level 6 (Associate Degree) in the fields of Business/Hospitality and Childcare.
The provider is seeking to develop curriculum and course materials for these courses and requires the services of an experienced curriculum writer to assist it in this project.

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Click to listen

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Radio Double Karma on Pandora

Adult contemporary music

The Fray…London Grammar…Leonard Cohen…Dixie Chicks…Peter Gabriel…Of Monsters and Men…Krishna Das…Cold Play…Snow Patrol….Clck hereAretha Franklin

You do need to sign up to listen but it’s free (for the first 40 hours a month)

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