…unis steady


Seven of Victoria's eight universities reported a surplus in 2012, with the sector generating a total surplus of $454.6 million, compared to a $478.5 million surplus in 2011.  Student fee revenue grew by $107.4 million, mainly due to higher domestic student fee income. Victoria University, which had a deficit of $6.5 million,  was assessed as having medium financial sustainability risk due to its poor self-financing indicator.  Monash University's financial sustainability risk was assessed as high due to low liquidity, however it had financial assets classified as 'available for sale' which can be converted to cash if required.  The remaining six universities had a low financial … [Read more...]

Vic TAFEs’ financial position deteriorates

The financial health of Victoria's TAFE sector is deteriorating, with the Victorian Acting Auditor-General finding that 10 out of 14 "standalone" TAFEs were at medium financial risk last year, compared with seven in 2011. TAFEs were also more reliant on government funding for capital works, being unable to cover asset upgrades through their own activities. TAFEs generated a $58.5 million surplus in 2012, down more than 39% on the previous year due, in large part, to increased employee costs flowing from redundancies. Changes to funding mean that TAFEs are now more reliant on student tuition fees for generating a major portion of their operating revenue. Student revenue in 2012 … [Read more...]

TAFE Queensland set up

The Queensland Government has passed legislation to establish the new TAFE Queensland as an independent statutory body. The minister for education, training and employment John-Paul Langbroek said the new entity will manage all TAFE institutes from 1 July this year.  It follows the recommendations of a review undertaken by the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce. Langbroek said one of the first tasks will be to recruit up to nine board members with commercial experience and in-depth knowledge of VET in order to set the organisational structure of TAFE Queensland. I will appoint the interim CEO, however all future CEO appointments will be made by the board to reflect the … [Read more...]

Red tape review


31 May 2013 With international higher education expert Ellen Hazelkorn having placed the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency at the heavy-handed end of the regulatory spectrum, the government has announced a "red tape review" to reduce the burden of compliance on universities. Tertiary education minister Craig Emerson and higher education and skills minister Sharon Bird said the review is directed at ensuring more of the government's funding is directed at student tuition rather than administration. It is estimated that university regulatory compliance costs are of the order of $280 million a year. A PhillipsKPA report commissioned by the LH Martin Institute last year … [Read more...]

The Scan Early Edition 28 May 2013

#119 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Industrial action set to widen 28 May 2013  | Staff at all Victorian universities are preparing to follow academics at Swinburne by threatening to withhold results for thousands of students as industrial action escalates. The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has reported all Victorian universities have voted in favour of bans on processing results....[READ MORE]..... Scales calls for VET review 28 May 2013  | Former Productivity Commission chairman and now chancellor of Swinburne University Bill Scales has called on both major parties to commit to a comprehensive … [Read more...]

Cuts take a toll

The Australian    |    28 May 2013 The heads of Australia's research-intensive universities say their standing in international rankings is set to fall as budget cuts of $3.8 billion to higher education and research take their toll. "We won't see a drop in rankings over the next couple of years, but we can expect to see our international standing compromised after that," said Peter Hoj, vice-chancellor of the University of Queensland, which has had $90 million cut from its budget over three years. Australian National University vice-chancellor Ian Young has asked staff and students to attend one of 17 forums over the next two weeks to "discuss the challenges we confront and to seek … [Read more...]

Scales calls for VET review

Australian Financial Review     |      27 May 2013 Former Productivity Commission chairman and now chancellor of Swinburne University Bill Scales has called on both major parties to commit to a comprehensive review of the vocational ­educational and training (VET) sector as part of their election pitches.  Scales was also a member of both the Bradley review of higher education and Gonski review of school funding. I think it’s time for a thorough national review of Australia’s VET system.  We’ve got a big gap in terms of our understanding of what works and what doesn’t, and what is the appropriate contemporary role of VET. While there is a parliamentary inquiry under way into the role of … [Read more...]