A survey of 110,000 university students at campuses across the country has found found 80% rate their overall experience as “good” or “excellent”, with all key demographic groups reporting consistent satisfaction. However, more than half of those surveyed believe paid work affected their study. And a majority of Australian students say support services are irrelevant to their needs…..[READ MORE]….
New education portfolio minister Craig Emerson has endorsed Labor’s massive expansion of university education, arguing that a highly skilled workforce will be Australia’s competitive edge in the 21st century. Calling it “a great reform of the Gillard era”, he says the government’s policy of funding a place for every Australian student that a university will accept successfully delivers on Gough Whitlam’s attempt to open higher education to disadvantaged young people….[READ MORE]….
The Victorian government gave $13.6 million in the 2011-12 financial year in subsidies to 19 private Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) which have since been deregistered by federal and state authorities,. at least 9 of which were closed for “critical non-compliance” issues. One has since had its registration reinstated following a legal challenge.
Overall, $639 million in subsidies went to private RTOs in 2011-12. The approved providers list in Victoria, which featured more than 600 training organisations in 2011, now stands at 462. Enrolments in “soft” courses dropped to 13% after July 2012, from 31%, after subsidies were cut….[READ MORE]….
The chairman of the Australian Institute for Teaching School Leadership, Tony Mackay, says new national standards for accrediting teaching courses will result in a shake-out of the programs offered by almost 50 higher education institutions. Mackay says that while the accreditation process is in its early days, initial results suggest “as many as 20% will have serious work to do and, of those that will not get up at all, I’d be very surprised if it were less than 10%”…..[READ MORE]….
26 March 2013 | The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against Swinburne University of Technology following its decision last July to shut its Lilydale campus and the relocation of the design faculty Prahran campuses in the wake of the Victorian Coalition government’s $290 million cuts to TAFE. The NTEU alleges Swinburne management was required by its collective agreement with the union to consult with staff and the NTEU prior to making major decisions such as shutting-down campuses….[READ MORE]….
25 March 2013 | Trade minister Craig Emerson’s job has grown substantially, with the addition of tertiary education, skills, science and research to his responsibilities. Given that the trade minister generally spends a fair bit of time overseas and, when at home, covers for the foreign affairs minister, who spends a lot of time overseas, loading Emerson with a major domestic portfolio looks a bit unwieldy, to say the least. Although Emerson will have the support of a junior minister and an assistant minister for science and research, these new arrangements can be seen, quite reasonably, as a downgrading of the relative importance of both higher education and skills….[READ MORE]….
The depth and dimensionality of universities
In today’s context, and particularly in Australia, what really is a ‘university’? And what is the University of Melbourne? What is it, as distinct from RMIT or ANU or Ballarat? Can one be distinguished from others? How does a private higher provider, like Kaplan Business School, resemble a university?
Marian Thakur profiles a university profiling tool being developed by the LH Martin Institute in collaboration with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment is to inquire into and report on the role played by TAFEs in education and the economy and will be looking at current funding issues.
That’s not what the evidence says, according to Andrew Vann
The complex issue of teacher quality is, of course, part of the equation, but state governments are also concerned that too many people are being allowed to study education leading to an oversupply of graduates.
The dots are perhaps too easily joined here – governments now see raising university entry scores as a way to deal with oversupply, the problem of lifting the status of the profession and lifting quality all at the same time.
After all, it’s easy to assume that lifting entry scores would be a solution when courses that are hard to get into (like medicine) are highly respected and those that have lower cut-offs, (like teaching) are less so.
But there are plenty of questions left here and a closer look at the evidence is needed.
Does making a degree more exclusive drive respect or vice-versa? And what might be the unintended consequences of mandating higher entry standards?
A compilation of leading items from the weekly education press.
Reflections of a once petty official
24 March 2013
Former Rudd/Gillard government speechwriter Dennis Glover, in an opinion piece (Blood will have blood) published in the Australian Financial Review the day after the ALP Leadership abortive spill, put it that:
…only people who had never read Macbeth or Julius Caesar could have thought that any good could possibly come of the slaughter of Kevin Rudd, not yet through his first term.
But Rudd wasn’t slaughtered: he was sacked and he was sacked because he was no good and the government of which he was leader was completely dysfunctional. This was apparent very early in the piece. John Lyons wrote in June 2008 (Captain Chaos and the workings of inner circle), barely 6 months into Rudd’s Prime Ministership, that Rudd himself was (and presumably remains) a driven micromanager, who effectively couldn’t see the forest for the trees. And his office?
The two words most commonly used about Rudd’s office are chaotic and dysfunctional.
The problem for the ALP is that Julia Gillard has been no more capable of providing the sort of disciplined leadership which a prime minister – indeed, the leader of any political party – has to be able to deliver than Rudd was.
It helps solve one of the most fundamental riddles of the universe: how the Big Bang created something out of nothing 13.7 billion years ago.
In what could go down as one of the great Eureka! moments in physics — and win somebody or a lot of people the Nobel Prize — scientists say that after a half-century quest, they are confident they have found a Higgs boson, the elusive subatomic speck sometimes called the “God particle.”
4-5 April, RMIT University Melbourne
The conference,open to all members of NTEU, is built around the key themes of:
- Learning and teaching in a mass higher education system.
- The digital revolution and tertiary learning and teaching.
- Autonomy and authority in higher education courses and curriculum.