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Debate over funding and fees

23 April 2014   |    The Kemp-Norton review’s recommended extension of Commonwealth subsidies to students dollar keyattending private for-profit higher education providers has split the public university sector and opened the debate on student fee increases. Universities Australia (UA) says such an extension is a policy high wire act which, if not properly controlled, could endanger the hard won reputation of the Australian higher education sector and called for a cautious. But the Group of Eight welcomes the “diversity” it would bring and argues for fee deregulation.

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Davis bullish on fees

Glyn Davis22 April 2014 |   Glyn Davis, vice-chancellor of Melbourne University, has backed a review of student fees if tertiary funding is cut in next month’s federal budget. He says it is a”reality” that students may have to contribute a greater share of the cost of their education or quality would be sacrificed. He encouraged a national debate on lifting student fees, saying the current funding system is ”incoherent” and ”arbitrary”……[ MORE ]….

Workforce advisory agency abolishedAWPA

22 April 2014 |    The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) will be terminated and its functions transferred to the Department of Industry from 1 July 2014. Confirming the agency’s disbandment to staff, AWPA chairman Philip Bullock said that the move is in line with the government’s plan to “streamline its advisory processes” and that the board wants to ensure a “smooth transition”. He said AWPA’s strategies, reports, modelling and research documents had been used by industry and governments at all levels. The move has been described as “shortsighted” by some commentators….[ MORE ]….

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Milestones

TEQSA leaders on gardening leave?

carol nicollThe two founding leaders of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) have gone on extended leave with no official word on their return. TEQSA chief commissioner Carol Nicoll and Brisbane-based commissioner Ian Hawke, who served as interim chief executive of the new national regulator, are on leave as the agency confronts an agenda of radical reform and a federal austerity budget.

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Comment & analysis

TAFE essential to a diverse and polychromatic VET system

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On Tuesday 15 April 2014 LH Martin Institute Senior Fellows John Maddock and Brendan Sheehan appeared before the current House of Representatives Committee on TAFE to discuss the role of TAFE. Their opening statement below triggered an extensive and intense discussion with the Committee.

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FEDERAL BUDGET 2013 PACKAGE

The Institute is agnostic as to the efficacy of a market orientation in VET provision: it doesn’t matter what institution is delivering a qualification – public or private, TAFE or university – so long as it represents value in terms of both cost and quality.

It follows that governments should be equally agnostic.

We acknowledge that private registered training organisations (RTOs) can add useful diversity, innovation and choice to the overall system.

But the thread running through our submission is that TAFE, as the public provider network, underpins the whole VET system and contributes to the public good in numerous tangible and intangible ways that private RTOs do not.

 

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Life & stuff
23  April 2014

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And now I have seen war. Every way I turn I am looking on men with broken bodies and women with broken hearts. War is not merely the hell that may pass at Verdun or the Somme in the agony of a day or a night that ends in death. War is worse.
- Evelyn Kathleen Luard, a nurse in World War I.

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Eric Bogle is best known for And the band played Waltzing Matilda, often described as one of the most profound anti-war songs. The Green Fields of France (originally No Man’s Land) is about Willie McBride, presumably a Scottish soldier, who fell in France in 1916 at the age of 19 years. It conveys a feeling of the terrible losses of war – which includes, of course, millions of non-combatants – women and children, as well as men.
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