VET quality

RAINBOW________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

News

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

International sector growing strongly

flags16 July 2015 | In what is already a $17B plus industry, the latest international student data shows further positive trends. There were some 168,023 commencements in Year To Date (YTD) April 2015, representing a 9.1% increase over the same period last year. The higher education sector had the largest share of enrolments at 50.0%. Enrolments and commencements increased by 9.4% and 7.8% over 2014. China and India accounted for 35.4% and 11.7% respectively of enrolments….[ MORE ]….

Universities warned to brace for funding cut

see saw2 July 2015    |    Universities have been warned their funding will be cut by 20% almost immediately, an average of $32 million a university, if the government can get its higher education reform package through the Senate by the end of the year. The legislation, rejected by the Senate in March, was due to be reintroduced during the budget sittings of Parliament but has been left to “lie fallow” as education minister Christopher Pyne presumably cultivates the Senate crossbenchers. Most informed commentary is that the legislation has little prospects of passing in its present form. So will the government amend the bill? Perhaps, but it would be deprived of a double dissolution trigger if government does amend it. We don’t think a double dissolution is likely – it’s way too complicated and high risk – but holding the legislation back keeps the option open, and Pyne himself raised the prospect in his negotiations with the crossbenchers in March. The sector has been thrown into turmoil after the federal Department of Education and Training published cluster funding rates for next year that applied the 20% funding cut. Under the government’s reform package, universities are expected to be able to recoup the lost funding by charging higher, deregulated tuition fees. Vice-chancellors and peak groups were forced to seek clarification from education minister Christopher Pyne and his department last week as to whether the government intended to apply the 20% cut whether the legislation was passed or not….[ MORE ]…..

VET withdrawal fees bannedSimon Birmingham

30 June 2015      |     The Commonwealth government has banned training providers from imposing withdrawal fees on vocational students who leave courses early. The rules, announced on 25 June, ban providers from charging withdrawal fees to students who drop out of courses before the education census date. The assistant minister for education and training Simon Birmingham said private providers had been charging exorbitant withdrawal fees, with some students forced to pay as much as $1000 to exit before the census date. The new rules are part of a wider crackdown on the distribution of misleading advertisements and the soliciting of students for courses they are not suited to by training providers. A joint investigation by the NSW Department of Fair Trading and The Australian Competition and Consumer Authority in March into unscrupulous training providers, revealed that at least 600 people had been duped into taking out unfair student loans….[ MORE ]….

Vic to blitz “dodgy” VET providers

Deloitte230 June 2015    |    The Victorian Government is launching a major blitz to crackdown on “dodgy” training providers in order to lift standards in sector.  A review by Deloitte has revealed widespread abuses, including qualifications being issued to students who have no demonstrable skills, inappropriate marketing practices, short course duration, providers claiming government funding for non-existent training delivery and poor oversight of third parties delivering training.  Skills minister Steve Herbert said that since November 2014, the government has had to restore funding eligibility for more than 10,000 students who gained inadequate qualifications, and has found dubious practices in a range of qualification areas.  He said the Government will spend $9 million on auditing, interviewing students, ensuring the paperwork was right and make sure they were getting “high-quality” training. The priority is to crackdown on providers who are doing short course delivery about which there have been complaints and are suspected of not providing quality training…..[ MORE ]….

Fewer people in publicly funded training

ncver-logo

30 June  2015    |   The number of people enrolled in government-funded training declined 3.5% to 1.79 million last year compared with 2013, with student numbers at TAFE continuing to fall as against private providers. The number of people enrolled in government-funded training declined 3.5% to 1.79 million last year compared with 2013, according to data released. Data published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) in Government-funded students and courses 2014 show student numbers declined at TAFE and other government providers (8.8%) and community education providers (12.2%) but increased at other registered providers (8.4%) to 582 500. Overall, the number of enrolments is similar to the level in 2010.  Comparing training activity for 2014 with 2013, student numbers declined across the board but was more pronounced for young people (aged 15 to 19 years), down 29 900 or 6.7% to 418 000…..[ MORE ]…..

UA’s ‘Keep it Clever’ campaign wins national award

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Universities Australia’s (UA) public awareness campaign ‘Keep it Clever‘, highlighting the importance of proper investment in university education and research, has been awarded the Government Relations Campaign of the Year 2015: Services Sector at an award ceremony in Canberra..

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

read-more-button2

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Saving Mr Ross

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The following note is from The Australian’s High Wired column of 3 July 2015 about John Ross,  the doyen of VET reporting in the mainstream media in Australia.  Nice smile, too.

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

For those who don’t already know, HW’s talented colleague John Ross had a massive heart attack one Tuesday morning just over three weeks ago. Miraculously, he survived. Just days out from a quadruple bypass operation, John lay in his hospital bed and penned a piece about what had happened and the serendipity of strangers. It’s a compelling, heart-rending and extraordinary piece of writing.  Please read and share.

John Ross

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Scan in June 2015

In June The Scan posted 48 items and only one edition (#171) – we’ve been a bit busy with other things, The Scan being a pro bono sort of thing that Top Tendoesn’t actually put bread on the table. Speaking of bread, the level of remuneration enjoyed by vice-chancellors was a runaway winner in clicks: across the sector, it turns out our vice-chancellors are paid very well indeed by international standards.  Academic gongs, recording honours awarded to tertiary people, rated highly. It’s a curious thing that nobody at all from the VET sector, who we could identify, scored a gong for services to education and training – not a single one. It can’t be because VET people are undeserving of recognition, so it must come down to a lack of nominations: you got to be in it to win it and there are links in the post as to how nominate someone. Same goes for the continuing under representation of women.  Issues relating to the quality of VET provision features heavily in The Scan’s coverage and in readers’ interests: five of the Top Ten reads in June fall into this category. Of particular interest to readers – and it’s still rating well – was ASQA chief commissioner Chris Robinson’s presentation, to an ACPET forum, on the agency’s regulatory activity since its establishment in 2011. The Scan’s Life & stuff section looks at some aspect of the world around us not directly connected to the tertiary sector, usually something a bit quirky or offbeat. None of these posts ever make the Top Ten but our post about the challenges of budget airline travel – Feckin’ cheap flights, a performance by musical comedy trio Fascinating Aida – came very close: it not only rings true, it’s very funny. It comes complete with sub-titles so’s you can sing along.

read-more-button2

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Milestones

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt to head ANU

29 June 2015

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Professor Brian Schmidt AC has been appointed the next Vice-Chancellor of The Australian National University (ANU). He will take up the position on 1 January 2016 at the conclusion of the term of current Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO.

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

ANU chancellor Gareth Evans AC said the University Council is delighted the renowned astrophysicist and winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics had accepted the offer Brian Schmidt4to become the University’s 12th Vice-Chancellor.

Brian Schmidt is superbly placed to deliver on the ambition of ANU founders – to permanently secure our position among the great universities of the world, and as a crucial contributor to the nation. We had a stellar field of international and Australian candidates, and have chosen an inspirational leader. Brian’s vision, vitality, global stature and communication skills are going to take our national university to places it has never been before.

Professor Evans praised the work done by current vice-chancellor Professor Young to modernise the operation and strengthen the reputation of the University over the past five years.

read-more-button2

__________________________________________________________

Peter Whitely to drive VET growth agenda

29 June 2015

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania plans to significantly increase its VET student numbers by developing new courses to meet changing industry demands, improving flexible delivery options and expanding into key international markets, with the appointment of Peter Whitely as Vocational Education and Training and Deputy Director, National Centre for Ports and Shipping.

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

Peter Whitely1Associate Professor Whitley has held senior executive positions across both the university and TAFE sectors and joins AMC from the Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE. He has extensive international experience rolling out vocational training programs in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and sub-Sahara Africa.

“AMC’s history is strongly linked to shipboard training, and while that will continue to be a focus we must also look at expanding to meet the needs of the entire industry,” Associate Professor Whitley said.

“The maritime industry extends to people that work on the wharves: the stevedores, transport and logistics personnel, and those responsible for managing staff and financial resources. We need to be exploring training the whole workforce.”

He sees partnering with companies to tailor programs that meet their specific training requirements as central to growth in the University’s VET sector. In a competitive marketplace, students and their employers are looking for flexible options that include access to online lectures and resources, on-site course delivery and periods of work integrated learning.

read-more-button2
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Steven Schwartz to chair ACARA

29 June 2015

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Emeritus Professor Steven Schwartz AM has been appointed as the new Chair of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) Board.

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

Professor Schwartz said he expects ACARA to continue pursuing a rebalancing of the national curriculum in line Steven Schwartzwith recommendations made to the government by education researcher Kevin Donnelly and business academic Ken Wiltshire.

This should focus on streamlining subjects and prioritising the basics, such as literacy and numeracy in the early years of schooling, he said.

We don’t want to have such a constipated curriculum that there is no room for schools to put their own touches on what students are learning. We don’t want to fill it up to the point where there is no room for anything else.

read-more-button2

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Comment & analysis

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Free public education:

Gonski reforms are all but dead

The Age | 26 June 2015

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Free public education has existed for more than a century in Australia, and Abbott and Pyne know they cannot change that. So what are they really planning, asks Glenn Savage? If the Australian public ever needed proof that school funding is a mess or that the Gonski reforms are all but dead, we now have it.

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

Gonski post

Free public education has existed for more than a century in Australia, and Abbott and Pyne know they cannot change that. So what are they really planning?

If the Australian public ever needed proof that school funding is a mess or that the Gonski reforms are all but dead, we now have it.

A confidential discussion paper by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet shows how radically the Abbott government has departed from the equitable funding model proposed by the Gonski report in 2011. Not only is Gonski gone, but it also appears that a range of weird and wonderful new reform options is on the table.

The paper emerges in response to current Reform of the Federation processes and flags four major options for comprehensively reshaping school funding in our nation.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

quote marks Not only is Gonski gone, but it also appears that a range of weird and wonderful new reform options is on the table.

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

read-more-button2

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Granting TAFE a monopoly isn’t good for it in the long term

But current market design is seriously flawed

26 June 2015

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

While the pivotal role of TAFE in VET provision needs to be recognised and funded, seeking to restore a TAFE near monopoly, as the SA government appears to be doing, would be a mistake, argues Peter Noonan, limiting student choice and diversity within the system. Nevertheless, the publicly funded training market as it has emerged in VET is seriously flawed and needs a fundamental rethink and redesign.

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

Tonsley

The South Australian government has decided to largely limit funding for government-subsidised vocational courses to TAFE South Australia, the sole public training provider. The decision has resulted in a significant backlash from non-government providers and from peak business and social welfare bodies in the state.

The federal government has also intervened. It is threatening to withhold A$65 million in vocational education and training (VET) funding to the state, arguing that it is in breach of the VET National Partnership Agreement. This agreement commits the states to contestable VET funding.

Under this contestable funding agreement, TAFE has lost a large amount of the market share in Victoria and South Australia. These are the states that most strongly embraced contestable VET funding. Government cuts to TAFE in Victoria emerged as a significant issue in the 2014 state election and the Andrews Labor government is undertaking a major review of VET funding in Victoria.
read-more-button2
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Seven seriously bad Ideas that rule higher education

29 June 2015

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The commodification of higher education….casualisation of the academic workforce….online is the way to go….public disinvestment in education is inevitable …. higher education is in crisis. This repost from Inside Higher Ed by Joshua Kim is about the US higher system but the themes are all too familiar to anyone associated with Australian higher education.

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

Seriously bad ideas, I’d argue, have a life of their own. And they rule our world.
Paul Krugman, from Seriously Bad Ideas
The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Leyland P76 is an example of a seriously bad idea – click image.

Seriously Bad Idea #1 – Institutional Sustainability Requires That Faculty Costs Be Minimized:

Institutions that follow a cost saving strategy of adjunctification and other non-full-time, non tenure-track faculty models are trading short-term cost savings for long-term viability. The critical comparative advantage offered by any college or university is the highly trained and experienced educator.
Treating teaching as a commodity, rather than a highly intensive skill best undertaken by a dedicated educator, is the surest way to enter a race to the bottom. Smart institutions will invest in faculty, since faculty create the institution’s value.
read-more-button2

__________________________________________________________

Life & stuff

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Nature is speaking

2 July 2015

Nature doesn’t need people – people need nature

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The The Abbott government bangs on a bit about “intergenerational theft” – the “public debt legacy” current generations are leaving to to their children and grandchildren to sort.   As one business writer has observed:

That’s a bit rich coming from a government that has axed the carbon tax, tried to increase university fees and hopes to cut youth welfare. It’s a bit rich coming from a government that doesn’t have a thing to say about Australian housing policy or the superannuation concessions that largely benefit older and richer Australians.

It’s also a government that is quite evidently lukewarm on the fundamental intergenerational issue of our time, perhaps all time:  climate change.  The following clip narrated by Julia Roberts is from a series produced by Conservation International featuring celebrity actors giving a “voice to nature”.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….……

>

__________________________________________________________

One Hundred Stories

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Monash University’s commemoration of the Great War.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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.

read-more-button2

<

__________________________________________________________

Noticeboard

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

VTA

read-more-button2

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

NCVER No Frills

read-more-button2

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ACPET Conference

read-more-button2
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
TDA Conf 2015

read-more-button2
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Velg conf

read-more-button2
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Click image to donate

Click image to find out more!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The VET Store

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The VET Store is a  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

Click image to find out more!

__________________________________________________________

Click to listen

Click to listen

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)

__________________________________________________________

Is there something interesting near where you live and/or work? Got an interesting story? Got an event coming up? Tell us about it!

subscribe

%d bloggers like this: