Renewing federalism: our tertiary education system needs a rethink

federalisme

The Conversation    |     18  September 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The reform of Australia’s federation is under review. In a special series, The Conversation has asked leading Australian academics to begin a debate on renewing federalism, from tax reform to the broader issues of democracy.   Victoria University’s Peter Noonan examines the effect of the funding relationship between the state and Commonwealth on tertiary education and says funding of vocational education is suffering given neither the state nor Federal government has sole responsibility.   ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......……   A major imbalance exists in Australia’s tertiary education … [Read more...]

Higher education reforms face mounting odds

Higher education budget

LH Martin Institute    |     19  September 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Crunch time has arrived for the government’s higher education reforms. Having passed in the House of Representatives, the legislation is now being kicked around the Senate like the football it  has become, having been referred to a committee.  Geoff Sharrock (LH Martin Institute) at the policy trade-offs that might be necessary to get the package through. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The accompanying table shows the package as a balancing act of spending and saving. Politically, the odds are stacked against the three major reforms: higher HELP loan interest rates (Policy 7), cuts to … [Read more...]

Vocation share trading suspended

Vocation

19  September 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Trading of shares in ASX-listed VET provider  Vocation has been temporarily suspended, at the request of the company, given ongoing speculation regarding its Victorian government funding contracts. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Trading of shares in ASX-listed VET provider  Vocation has been temporarily suspended, at the request of the company, given ongoing speculation regarding its Victorian government funding contracts. Since listing in December 2013, Vocation has derived 80% of its revenues from subsidiary BAWM, most of which (90%) comes from Victorian government VET funding. However, that funding … [Read more...]

Australian Qualifications Framework Council disbanded

19  September 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Australian Qualifications Framework Council, which was responsible for governance  of the Australian Qualifications Framework, has been disbanded.   No public announcement was made. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......……   The council was originally established to deliver a review of the AQF, which culminated in the strengthened AQF.  With this work completed, the government says it was timely to reconsider the role of the council. Stakeholders have been advised that the decision does not diminish the government’s commitment to the AQF, the residual functions of the council will be transferred to the … [Read more...]

Margaret and David to leave the building

17 September 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton have been, for the 28 years that they have been reviewing cinema together, the voice of Australian film criticism. They have now announced that they’re leaving their long-running SBS/ABC program At The Movies (The Movie Show) at the end of 2014. The show will not be returning with new hosts.  Here, Cate Blanchette and Geoffrey Rush review Margaret and David for the 25th year of their program. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......……     … [Read more...]

Students should party while they can

17 September 2014 The burden of US student debt ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… With a furious debate going on about university fee deregulation in Australia, the US system of fee deregulation, lauded by the proponents of fee deregulation, has seen student debt in the US surpass debt from credit cards and auto-loans, and become second only to mortgages. US talk show host John Oliver advises US college students to enjoy themselves – to party and to get out and about: Please, make sure your colleges years are the best ones of your life, because thanks to the debt we are saddling you with, they almost certainly will … [Read more...]

Fee free-for-all a risky strategy

Swinburne University News    |     10  September 2014 Cap needed to take the idea of $100,000 degrees off the table! ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Andrew Dempster(Swinburne University) argues that a cap on fees needs to be considered to avoid universities competing solely on price, which would see all universities move to or near the price set by first movers, in order to maintain reputational value.  He suggest it's no accident that the current fee for an Australian student to study a Bachelor of Business at Bond University is $95,568, which is almost identical to the maximum HELP borrowing limit of $96,000 for such a … [Read more...]