Uni surpluses don’t reflect “underlying position”

Uni finances

The Australian | 16 April 2015 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………   Victoria’s vice-chancellors have warned that their universities’ surpluses are artificially “inflated” and may bear little relation to reality. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Among other pressures, the end of the Education Infrastructure Fund means need to generate healthy surpluses to fund future investments. Victorian Vice Chancellor’s Committee chair and La Trobe vice-chancellor John Dewar says: This is the only way a university can fund a capital program given that there are no longer any sources of government funds for capital projects. By and large, universities operate with very low … [Read more...]

Record Vic TAFE losses

The Age     |      16 April 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Victoria's TAFE sector has racked up huge financial losses, with one metropolitan institute losing more than $13 million. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......……   Annual reports tabled in State Parliament show only two institutes generated a positive operating result for 2014. The combined operating deficit was expected to hit $52.5 million in 2014, from a combined $8.9m deficit in 2013, the state government reported. Holmesglen reported the biggest loss at $13.7m on income of $150m, followed by Box Hill with a $12.8m loss on income of $102m.  GoTAFE recorded a loss of $10.9m on income of $61.2m, … [Read more...]

The Scan #167 16 April 2015

Game of Loans

Student debt growing rapidly as compliance declines 16 April 2015   |    With student debt ballooning, reform of the FEE-HELP system (HECS) is now a pressing budget issue with the nation’s second biggest financial asset, after the Future Fund, being eroded as one in five debtors renege on their loans. That figure is expected to rise to 25% by 2017. The government will have more than $70 billion in unpaid university student loans on its books in another two years, double the figure owed in 2013-14. According to researchers Richard Highfield and Neil Warren, the loans system is being compromised by successive governments’ commitment to increasing participation in tertiary education while not … [Read more...]

Ian Jacobs takes over at UNSW

Ian Jacobs

16 April 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Professor Ian Jacobs commenced as Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales in February 2015, succeeding Fred Hilmer, who stepped down after eight years in the role. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......……   Professor Jacobs came to Australia from the UK, where he had a distinguished career as a leading researcher in the area of women’s health and cancer and in university leadership. Immediately prior to joining UNSW he was Vice President and Dean at the University of Manchester and Director of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, a partnership linking the University with six healthcare … [Read more...]

Student debt growing rapidly as compliance declines

HECS Debt

16 April  2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… As student debt balloons, reform of the FEE-HELP system (HECS) is now a pressing budget issue with the nation’s second biggest financial asset, after the Future Fund, being eroded as one in five debtors renege on their loans. That figure is expected to rise to 25% by 2017. The government will have more than $70 billion in unpaid university student loans on its books in another two years, double the figure owed in 2013-14. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......……   According to researchers Richard Highfield and Neil Warren, the loans system is being compromised by successive governments’ commitment to … [Read more...]

Science contributes $145 bn directly to GDP

Chubb2

Chief Scientist    |   25 March  2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… A report released by Ian Chubb, Australia’s Chief Scientist - The importance of advanced physical and mathematical sciences to the Australian economy - has found that advanced physical and mathematical sciences make a direct contribution to the Australian economy of around $145 billion a year, or about 11% of GDP.   When the flow-on impacts of these sciences are included, the report finds the economic benefit expands to about $292 billion a year, or 22% of the nation’s economic activity. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Chubb says that for the first time we now have the numbers on the table … [Read more...]

Dodgy providers can now be fined

quality

DET Media Centre     |     2 April 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) breaching standards can now be issued with an immediate fine under the new infringement notice scheme. New laws recently passed in the Senate require anyone, including brokers and other third parties, marketing a vocational education and training (VET) course to clearly identify which RTO is providing the qualification. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, said that up until now the national regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) could only write warning letters, or … [Read more...]