Senate refers VET FEE HELP arrangements to Education Committee Inquiry
The Senate has referred an inquiry into the Higher Education Support Amendment (Streamlining and Other Measures) Bill 2012, to the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee.
The bill proposes to amend the Higher Education Support Act, to make changes to the VET FEE-HELP program – part of the $1.75 billion National Partnership Agreement.
The amendments are designed to “strengthen the integrity and quality framework underpinning the HELP schemes, improve information sharing and transparency with the national education regulators, improve arrangements for the early identification of low quality providers, and position the Government to better manage risk to students and public monies.”
Further details on the scope of the Inquiry are listed here.
Submissions to the Senate Committee are due by 25th October 2012.
My Skills website ‘soft launch’
The highly-anticipated My Skills website has been launched by the Australian Government.
The My Skills website provides information and data that allows its users to consider which training provider best meets their needs and circumstances.
The Government has also explained that the My Skills website will be updated as “new functionality and data becomes available”. To date, only TAFE public sector course and Institute data is disclosed, and private colleges in receipt of public VET funding are shown but no data disclosed.
TDA has issued a media statement supporting the new website, but sought private colleges to bring forward their disclosure.
The next phase of My Skills is planned for late 2012-early 2013, which will contain localised RTO information.
Click here to view the My Skills website.
The Victorian Minister for Higher Education and Skills, the Hon Peter Hall, has announced the appointment of Tim Smith as Chairperson of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).
Tim Smith, a consultant to TDA and former head of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET), joined the VRQA in July 2011 as a board member.
Minister Hall said since Tim Smith’s appointment to the board, and as a member of several VRQA committees, he has been active in the development of the VRQA’s future strategic direction.
Mr Smith is an independent advisor and consultant to a range of clients specialising in the education and training industry and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the VET Development Centre.
TDA congratulates Tim Smith on this senior appointment.
LH Martin/TDA/VDC Lecture: Higher Education in Further Education Colleges in England – Lessons for Australia
Further Education (FE) colleges teach about 10% of all Higher Education (HE) students in England.
TAFE Directors Australia is co-hosting a series of seminars with the LH Martin Institute, titled Higher Education in Further Education Colleges in England: Lessons for Australia.
The seminars will be run by Professor Gareth Parry, who will discuss the impact of policy changes on development, partnerships between FE colleges and universities, the characteristics and attributes of HE students in FE colleges and their experiences, aspirations and sense of identity as students.
The free event will be held on 29 October in Sydney, and 15 November in Melbourne.
Click here for more information.
Language and literacy networking event
The Australian Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) Program Practitioners’ Network 2012 Conference will be held in Brisbane from 8-9 November 2012.
The conference will provide the opportunity for education professionals, including WELL and VET practitioners, policymakers, employers and industry to come together and focus on the role of the WELL program in supporting enterprise workforce development.
Click here for more information.
The LH Martin Institute and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) are hosting the 4th National Student Engagement Conference at the end of this month in Melbourne.
The conference will discuss topics surrounding enhancing retention and outcomes in a competitive environment.
Registrations close on 15 October.
Registration is now open for the Higher Education Compliance & Quality Network (HECQN) forum, Complying with Standards – Maintaining Quality.
The forum will be held on 16 November in Melbourne, and includes presentations from the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE) and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).
The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Council would like to remind training providers of the amendments made to Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma qualification types.
The AQF encourages training providers to read the Addendum to AQF First Edition July 2011. Amended Qualification Types: Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma, which includes details concerning:
- amended specifications for the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma qualification types
- relevant implementation and transition arrangements
Students are largely advantaged from completing a vocational qualification, according to new research completed by the National Research Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).
The value of completing a VET qualification was undertaken by NCVER to explore whether completion matters against a background of relatively low completion rates.
The results show that completion pays off for around 98% of students who want a job after training and 99.9% of students who want to go on to further study.
Students from Holmesglen and Gold Coast TAFEs travelled to China recently to attend the APEC Youth Camp.
Holmesglen teacher, Brent Govan, was selected to accompany the team to the international event. He said the 11-day program gave the students an opportunity to learn about China and how they structure their learning.