Honey Bees

Catalyst     |     25 September 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… At a time  when the government is seeking to linking research funding to "practical" outcomes, here's an example of truly engaged research involving CSIRO, the University of Western Australia's Centre for Integrative Bee Research and the University of Tasmania's Institute of Agriculture.   CSIRO suffered substantial funding cuts in the 2014 Budget, as did science generally.  This is a truly engaging bit of television with a simple message (apart from the everyday importance of science): If we want to keep taking advantage of all the benefits that bees offer, then it's only fair that we provide good food, … [Read more...]

Government to commemorate Gough Whitlam by making tertiary education free-for-all

Gough

The Shovel    |      21 October 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Shovel is Australia’s satire news service. This is The Shovel's take on the demise of Gough Whitlam, who introduced free university education in 1974, and the government's current fee deregulation agenda. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The Coalition Government has announced plans to honour the life of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam with a range of educational policies, including a commemorative $100,000 university education, to become available as early as next year. Mr Whitlam – who died on 21 October 2014  aged 98 – was known for his educational reforms, particularly in the … [Read more...]

New VET regulatory standards signed off

VET Reform

23 October 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Ministers at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry and Skills Council on 26 September 2014 agreed to new regulatory Standards for training providers and regulators.  Industry minister Ian Macfarlane signed off on the new standards on 20 October. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The government says the new Standards represent another important step towards an effective risk-based regulatory system and introduce important changes that strengthen industry engagement, improve the quality of training and reduce the regulatory burden on training providers. The new Standards also increase protections … [Read more...]

Field to lead on Vocation compliance

The Australian    |  17 October 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Coming on the back of regulatory issues in Victoria, the ASX-listed education provider Vocation has appointed former ACPET chief Claire Field to head an independent committee to provide oversight over the company’s compliance with regulatory standards. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Vocation disclosed in late August that the Victorian Department of Education was reviewing two of its training organisations, Bawm and Aspin, which together account for a significant portion of the group’s revenues. Mark Hutchinson, Vocation’s managing director, told the company’s recent annual general meeting … [Read more...]

Dropping interest will make very little difference to student debts – NTEU

NTEU Chart

NTEU    |   20 October 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The National Tertiary Education Union says that dropping the highly controversial proposed “real interest rat”e on university student debts will have little impact on student debt levels. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… NTEU analysis shows that while removing interest from HELP debts will marginally reduce the cost and the time it takes to pay off HELP debts, it is the amount students will be required to borrow or the cost of their degree which will be the most important factor determining the size of their debt and how long it will take students to repay their student debt. The NTEU posited a … [Read more...]

Pyne will concede on interest in return for fee deregulation

$100 notes

The Daily Telegraph    |    19 October 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Commonwealth education minister Christopher Pyne has confirmed that, if the Senate will agree to his fee deregulation plan for universities, the government is willing to back down on the budget decision to set the interest rate for HECS debt at the 10-year government bond rate which is currently set at the Consumer Price Index. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Pyne has been in regular talks with Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer about the university changes, expected to be voted on in the Senate next week. A Senate committee report on the legislation is due by 28 … [Read more...]

NTEU’s unAustralian campaign

1bg

NTEU    |      21 October 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The National Tertiary Education Union  has provided its glimpse into the future should the government’s higher education changes pass the Senate, by way of a spoof edition of The Australian.  Set in the year 2024, it's a somewhat dystopian future with student debt totalling $225,529,072,382 and surpassing Commonwealth debt and Joe Hockey spruiking a rent-a-bomb (as in an old jalopy) site. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… … [Read more...]