21 May 2013 | Universities are continuing to lower entry scores to maintain expanding numbers, sparking warnings that school inequality is to blame as regional and poor students get left behind. Commonwealth student applications and offer data for this year also show that universities are continuing to recruit into teaching degrees a rising proportion of school leavers with Australian Tertiary Admission Ranks of 50 or less. The proportion of university offers to school leavers with ATARs of 50 or below has doubled over the last two years to 4.1 per cent in 2013, and now 1-in-3 applicants with a score of 50 or below gets an offer of a place, compared with less than 1-in-5 in 2011…..[READ MORE]….
21 May 2013 | Employers have been warned against using redundancy programs to get rid of ”undesired employees”, after RMIT University was fined $37,000 by the Federal Court for breaking workplace laws, and ordered to re-hire one of its professors. RMIT sacked youth studies and sociology professor Judith Bessant last April, claiming the redundancy was for financial reasons alone. But in a decision handed down last week, Justice Peter Gray found the university had likely fired Bessant after she made allegations of bullying and intimidation against another professor…..[READ MORE]….
21 May 2013 | Five GippsTAFE trade teachers have been made redundant and will lose their jobs in the coming weeks. Carpentry, cabinet making, painting and decorating teachers have been told GippsTAFE is halving the number of teaching staff in those areas. Staff say last year’s State Government TAFE funding cuts have forced the institutions to become focused on the bottom line and that politicians do not understand how the funding cuts have affected the TAFE sector….[READ MORE]….
Snowballing debt could alienate students and challenge the bottom line of future budgets, with debts from just one year expected to exceed those accumulated over the first 20 years of the HECS scheme. Budget papers predict that students will owe the government $42.1 billion by the end of the forward estimates in 2016-17. Last year’s projection, for 2015-16, was $30.6bn. .…[READ MORE]…..
The University of Melbourne and Australian National University have dominated Australian institutions in the QS World University Rankings by Subject. QS puts Melbourne as the leading local institution in 15 out of the 30 subjects, while ANU led in 9 subjects. Meanwhile, The University of Melbourne’s executive education arm has been ranked number one in Australia by the UK’s Financial Times newspaper.…[READ MORE]…..
Some Indian students are using the university-only streamlined visa system to get to Australia, and are then jumping ship to cheaper private providers, according to two “well-regarded” education agents. They said the abuse appeared to be on a small scale now but was bound to increase as student arrivals gain momentum under the new visa system…..[READ MORE]…..
Northern Sydney Institute has been granted the only tertiary vocational TEDx license in the Southern Hemisphere, and will host its first TEDx event in a new state-of-the-art facility in August. The Institute has advised that under the terms of the agreement, NSI will host “TEDx Northern Sydney Institute: This Way Up” on 28 August….[READ MORE]….
While there were several small initiatives fort he higher education sector – and additional funding of $346 million in the Budget to account for an upward revision in demand for places since October last year – universities remain disaffected by recent funding cuts of over $2 billion. The TAFE sector was none too happy either, pointing to the disparity in funding growth in recent years for VET, as against schools and universities.
20 May 2013 | This is Australian Financial Review’s own summary of lead items in its online education supplement. As this is a subscription service, you or your organisation will need to have a subscription to The Australian Financial Review to view the full article.
20 May 2013 | This is Campus Review’s own summary of lead items in its online edition. As Campus Review is a subscription service, you or your organisation need to have a subscription to Campus Review to view the full article. All non subscribers to Campus Review can have access to a free online trial offer provides free online access to the website for 28 days.
Kim Bannikoff has wide experience in education and training as a consultant and public servant in Victoria, Queensland, and the Commonwealth. He represents the VET sector on the Australian Qualifications Framework Council and is a Senior Fellow at the LH Martin Institute at the University of Melbourne. This article is based on a speech delivered by Bannikoff at the Australian Education Union’s Federal Conference in February 2013.
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Fifteen years ago I was working in the Education Department in Queensland. It was the period of time that Kemp introduced the SES funding model for schools that Gonski is now trying to correct. In Queensland the effect of Kemp’s reforms was that in the areas where there was growing competition between private schools and state schools, private schools received more government dollars per head than state schools. The Director General described the reforms as “the greatest blow against equity in education that we will see in our lifetime.”
15 years later there is a chance that this might be rectified; but it’s taken 15 years.
TAFE is in a very similar position now. We’re seeing a rolling set of reforms and changes to vocational education and training in Australia which amount to the destruction of a sector of education. Australia can’t afford to wait 15 years for this to be rectified. The damage to our skills and knowledge base and the quality of our education system will be devastating.
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This is a story of failure in public policy – how a good idea got buggered up over time and through inattention. The good idea was TAFE.
Universities Australia’s advertisements about higher education funding are aimed at the public, not politicians, according to UA chair Sandra Harding.
Harding acknowledged that the campaign had taken on a “sharper edge” following last month’s announcement of $2.3 billion in funding cuts but any political influence will be a by-product. “This wasn’t positioned as a political campaign, and indeed we’ve committed that when the writs are issued for the election, we will cease this particular campaign. [It] is meant to provide information to the public, because this is information the public have requested. This is about a long-term repositioning [of] higher education and research in the public mind, the public psyche.
Harding stressed that no taxpayers’ funds were being spent on the $5 million campaign, which has been bankrolled by university-owned company Education Australia.
UA has refused to comment on a rumour that Liberal party pollsters and campaign advisers Crosby Textor have been providing it with advice as part of its $5 million marketing push.
Responding to queries from The Australian, the peak body was at pains to point out that it had employed advisors from both sides of politics. It would be crazy not to, really.
edXpress is the subscription based monthly e-bulletin from the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) with news and views on what’s happening on campuses around the country.
With confirmation that the commercial television broadcasters are to provide studio-based coverage of this year’s Federal election and abandon the National Tally Room, an institution of Australian election nights appears to be drawing to a close. The ABC is yet to announce a decision but the ABC’s resident psephologist and election night analyst Antony Green made clear in 2010, the Tally Room, despite a sentimental attachment that many of us hold, is simply now an expensive backdrop for election nights. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has to spend in excess of $1 million setting it up and broadcasters bear their own costs (for the ABC $500,000 plus). In his opinion (which presumably counts) the ABC should follow the lead of the commercial networks and go to to the more cost effective studio-based coverage and presentation. The AEC is saying that it will go ahead for this year but, in the absence of the national TV networks, that’s not really sensible, is it?
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