Feds propose takeover of TAFE

4 February 2016    |  The Commonwealth government would take over TAFE funding from the states under a radical plan to be presented to the states and territories at the next meeting of the Council of Australian Governments in March. Under the Turnbull government proposal, TAFE fees would be deregulated and TAFEs would receive the same levels of funding as private colleges in a bid to increase competition in the sector.  States could provide some top-up funding for TAFE, but only enough to ensure “competitive neutrality” with private providers under the shake-up, which would transform the vocational education and training (VET) sector.  The plan has already been slammed by the NSW and Victorian skills ministers – and without the agreement of these two states, the proposal will be going nowhere in a hurry…..[ READ MORE ]…….

Academic Gongs – Australia Day 2016

26 January 2016      |     604 Australians have been recognised with Orders of Australia on Australia Day 2016. As always, members of the tertiary education sector featured strongly in the honours list, with 77 awards (81 in 2015), particularly in the upper categories.  People associated with the tertiary sector received 4 out of the 11 Companion awards (36%), 24 out of 45 Officer awards (53%), 36 of 174 Member awards (20.6%), for 27.4% of the higher awards (33% in 2015) .  In the most common category, Medal of the order, only 14 of 374 awards were tertiary sector related people (3.7%). Women continue to be under represented with 40% of all awards, mainly in the Medal category; still, that’s up from 33% in 2015.  Only two of the tertiary sector awards were to people in the VET sector (excluding the two chancellors of dual sector universities who received AM awards)….[ READ MORE ]…….

WA offers 2016

20 January 2016 |      Applications from 2015 WA Certificate of Education (WACE) students showed a significant increase over 2014 (following the ‘half cohort’ last year) and a 6% increase over 2013. Offers made to 2015 WACE applicants are up 59% on last year, and 7% on 2013/2014, with 93% of those who applied receiving an offer (91% last year). Compared with last year, the total number of offers made has increased by 36%, returning to numbers similar to those in 2013/2014. A greater percentage of applicants were successful in securing an offer (88% of all applicants, compared to 85% last year)…..Read more >>

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UAC offers 2016

21 January 2016    |    The NSW University Admission Centre’s (UAC) participating institutions have made 44,344 Main Round offers, a decrease of 2,159 (about 5%) on last year but the total number of offers made this year is up on last year.  The Main Round is still UAC’s largest offer round, and, even though there are less offers made in the Main Round than in previous years, universities are making more offers overall.  UAC has received 82,597 domestic applications so far, a 4 % decrease on last year – at the same time last year there were 86,035 domestic applications.  Universities have made 76,789 offers in total to date this year, including offers from earlier rounds, an increase of 454 offers on the same time last year (when 76,335 offers had been made)….[ READ MORE ]…….

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VTAC offers 2016

18 January 2016 | Some 57,208 Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC) applicants received main round offers on 18 January 2016 for undergraduate courses in 2016. Since December 2015, VTAC has also issued 2,047 offers to international Year 12 students and 8,393 early offers. As a result, over 63,163 individuals have received at least one offer at this point, with several more offer rounds to come over the next month. Overall, this is a slight decrease from 2015 of 2.3%. Universities issued 47,944 main round offers, 615 (1.3%) fewer than in 2015. TAFE institutes issued 7,080 main round offers, 370 (5%) fewer than last year, and private colleges issued 2,184 main round offers, 250 (12.9%) more than last year. Catherine Wills, VTAC Director, indicated that the 2.4% decrease in the number of offers may in part be due to the direct application protocol that allows adult applicants applying for a single approved course to apply directly to the institution…..[ READ MORE ]….

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Markets4

Uni offers favour wealthy & realistic students

 18 January 2016 | With tens of thousands of students around Australia receiving university offers this week, neew research shows it is wealthier students with realistic expectations who achieve ATARS above 70.   The research by La Trobe and Swinburne universities reveals that poor students are twice as likely to receive no university offers than wealthier students. They are also 60% more likely to reject university offers. Students who are overly ambitious and fail to match their university application to the reality of their ATAR are less likely to receive an offer. A student’s success is also linked to how many times they change their university preferences. Students who change their preferences in response to their ATAR are more likely to receive an offer and then accept it than those who make no changes……[ READ MORE ]….

Enrolment stuff up

VU3

6 January 2016 | Up to 14,500 university applicants told before Christmas that they had won a place at Victoria University (VU) have now been told it was a “system” error. VU sent out emails on Christmas Eve, informing applicants they could enrol in their preferred course. But on Monday 4 January, those same students received another email in which the university’s general manager of student administration wrote: “We regret to advise that this email was sent as a result of a system error. All applications are still being assessed by our admissions team.” It’s a cockup, even if the error affects hundreds of applicants; if it runs into thousands, it’s monumental in nature given that in 2014, VU had 5,300 students commencing at bachelor level….[ READ MORE ]….

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The Scan in 2015

This year’s top ten reads were heavily skewed towards the “VET crisis” and attempts by authorities (rather belatedly in our view) to stamp out the obvious rorting, particularly in VET FEE-HELP funding, which has been truly scandalous. In fact, the number one post this year on The Scan is also the number one post of all time and by quite a bit. If you enter “rorting” in the search box in the top right hand corner, the archive runs to 5 pages, VET FEE-HELP runs to another 5 pages (obviously with some overlap) and that’s only the start of it. Quite why NSW university offers rated so highly might be explained by the fact that NSW newspapers now provide precious little coverage of the event. The seemingly generous pay arrangements of vice-chancellors certainly attracted reader interest (and good on The Oz for pulling the story together) and academic gongs remains a perennial favourite. However, the weightiest issue of the year in higher education was the late Abbott government’s deregulation package which died ignominiously in the Senate and led to then minister Christopher Pyne’s manic performance as The Fixer in an interview with David Speers on Sky News. 

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The Zeitgeist 2015

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General relativity: How Einstein’s theory explains the universe, and more

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A century ago, in November 1915, physicist Albert Einstein unveiled a theory that would change the world — general relativity.  ABC science reporter Bernie Hobbs explains this mind bending theory – the development of which was driven by experiments that took place mostly in Einstein’s brain (that is, so-called “thought experiments”) .

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Einstein working at his desk

See
Research shows disorganised people are geniuses.
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What’s disrupting us

From Forbes Magazine

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“The Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion research vehicle is offering a vision of autonomous driving in the future. The luxury saloon with total connectivity gives a preview of how the self-driving car of the future could become a platform for communication and interaction.”

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Best books1
As selected by the staff of Dymocks

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Best books2

“An emotionally-charged and often traumatic novel that is sure to shock you. Be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster, the likes of which I have never before experienced from a book. It’s my must-read title of 2015.”

See
10 of the best books from 2015 to add to your summer reading pile

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Images

From The New York Times

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“This was the year of the great unravelling, with international orders and borders challenged or broken, with thousands of deaths, vast flows of migrants and terrorist attacks on some of the most cherished symbols of civilization, both Western and Muslim.”

Gallery1

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Refugees2

 A child standing near police controlling a rush of refugees into Macedonia.

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Google2

From Google

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The year in music

From Spotify’s playlist

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Spotify

Listen1

See
Pandora’s playlist

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At the movies

From Vogue Magazine

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“I’ve never seen a Cannes screening more hushed than it was during Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s story about a reluctant female assassin (ravishing Shu Qi) during the Tang Dynasty. Although the story is a bit puzzling and rarefied—Hou plunges us right into 9th-century China—the film is a triumph of pure cinema, staggeringly beautiful in its evocation of a distant time and sensibility. It has the mysterious radiance of a Vermeer.”

Assasin

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The year in cartoons

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So much insightful, funny and cutting commentary comes from Australia’s great cartoonists. Many people miss out. Inspired by Barrie Cassidy’s Insiders Talking Pictures, this Facebook page – Political Cartoons Australia – has a selection of the year’s best cartoons.

Pope

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Life & stuff

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21 January 2016

Don’t believe it….?

Just watch!

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This is an amazing effort in editing and synchronisation, marrying the 2015 hit Uptown Funk with clips from films of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

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Noticeboard

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Communications manager – vacancy 

      • Cross-sell and upsell focus
      • Package of up to $99k including 9.5% superannuation 
      • Full-time, up to 12-months position, based at our Hawthorn campus

Find out more

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The VET Store

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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!

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Chakra1Chakra

Chakara at 179 Acland St, St Kilda, and 387 Hampton St, Hampton has an extensive range of quality and unusual gift items. You can order online through Chakra’s Facebook page.

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Caroline2

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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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