The Scan 13 August 2013



VCs doing OK

Bag of moneyAn analysis  by the National Tertiary Education Union of the 2012 Annual reports of Australia’s 37 public universities shows that their vice -chancellors (VCs) were well financially rewarded for their efforts. In total the VCs received remuneration packages worth close to $30m.   Only one V-C is paid less that the Prime Minister, with most getting considerably more…. [READ MORE] …..

Employers losing faith in training systemskills (1)

A  Victorian government-commissioned survey has found that employers are losing faith in the quality of training qualifications, adding more ammunition to ongoing criticism of the state’s open market for training subsidies that has led to a proliferation of private providers. The survey of about 140 Victorian employers, as part of an effort to assess their training information needs,  found many would rather buy qualifications than trust the training system to improve staff skills…. [READ MORE] …..

Employers verbal unis on work readiness

experienceEmployers are blaming universities for their own shortcomings  for not producing work-ready graduates ,according to  Open Universities Australia CEO Paul Wappett .  But this “lament” coincides with “an extraordinary decline in the willingness of corporations in particular, but also government and other institutions, to provide their employees with on-the-job training”.  He said it was unrealistic for employers to expect the tertiary education sector to “supply them with people that they don’t need to put any training and development into.”…. [READ MORE] …..

Australian unis fail business funding test

Australian universities perform far below the world’s best in attracting research money from business, according to a new innovationdollar key index.   The index, produced by Times Higher Education from its world university rankings data, says Australia places 15th in the world and is outranked by key Asian nations in the amount of research money its universities get from industry.   South Korea and Singapore lead the table, with the average per annum gained from this source by academics worth $US97,900 ($A106,262) and $US84,500 respectively. China is in seventh and India in 10th place.  In Australia, the $US25,600 figure means it is just behind the US with $US25,800…. [READ MORE] …..

UC wins $2.4m in equity funds

UC signThe University of Canberra has scooped the pool of new projects aimed at supporting disadvantaged students – winning $2.4 million of $50 million in new federal funding.   Higher Education Minister Kim Carr announced 17 successful projects under the latest round of the government’s Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) – three of which are based at the UC.   The UC’s Stronger Smarter Schools Project received $755,000 to break down barriers to higher education for indigenous students and those from low SES backgrounds….. [READ MORE] …..


Students chose uni over TAFE

UNIVERSITY STOCK9 August 2013    |    The proportion of school graduates enrolling in TAFE courses in Victoria has slumped to the lowest point in 10 years amid a sharp rise in the popularity of bachelor degrees.  The removal of enrolment caps at universities has helped drive a marked increase in student numbers, prompting concerns that some students need more support to complete a degree.   The latest On Track survey of Victorian school leavers  revealed 53.2% of school leavers enrolled in university this year, compared with 42.6% of graduates from 2003.  The proportion of school graduates enrolled in TAFE and vocational courses dropped from 25.8% to 15.8% in the same period…..[READ MORE]…..

ANU to review tutorial phase out

9 August 2013    |    The Australian National University has agreed to review its decision to cancel tutorials in its College of the Arts and Students2Social Sciences CASS), following widespread opposition from undergraduates and postgraduates as well as the National Tertiary Education Union.  Students within the college were informed last Wednesday (31 July)  an executive decision had been made to phase out tutorials in favour of large interactive workshops and forums……[READ MORE]…..



Barney Glover to take over as V-C at University of Western Sydney

The University of Western Sydney’s has announced the appointment of Professor Barney Glover as it’s new Vice-Chancellor and Barney GloverPresident.  Professor Glover, currently Vice-Chancellor of Charles Darwin University (CDU) in the Northern Territory, will formally commence at UWS on 1 January 2014 on the retirement of Professor Janice Reid. Professor Reid has been at the helm of one of Australia’s largest and fastest growing universities for almost sixteen years.  A graduate of the University of Melbourne with a Diploma of Education, a Master of Science and PhD in Mathematics, Professor Glover is a noted and internationally recognised mathematician with expertise in applied mathematics and mathematics education.

Kangan appoints Grant Sutherland

Grant SutherlandKangan Institute in outer Melbourne has announced the appointment of Grant Sutherland as its new chief executive officer.  Mr Sutherland will succeed Richard Turnbull who has held the role of interim CEO since February.   Mr Sutherland brings with him over 14 years of experience in the VET sector and is currently the CEO at The Gordon Institute. Previously, Grant had held the position of The Gordon’s deputy CEO and executive director for business development.

Anne Doolette retires from AQFC

Ann Doolette retired in July 2013 as inaugural Executive Director of the Office of the AQF Council. Ms Doolette assumed the position inAnne Doolette May 2008 with the establishment of the AQF Council in Adelaide, specifically to provide leadership in strengthening the AQF and enhance its standing with education, industry and community stakeholders. During her term, the AQF underwent its first major revision since its establishment in1995. Her influence was international as well as national. With the AQF seen as the leading qualification framework globally, and as an acknowledged authority, Ms Doolette provided expert advice to a range of countries seeking advice on qualifications frameworks including USA and Hong Kong.    Ms Doolette’s departure marks the close of a distinguished career in the tertiary sector which included lecturing in the management discipline, developing curriculum and leading tertiary education quality assurance and regulation in South Australia.


Comment & analysis

Why open access to universities works and should be left alone

Current higher education minister Kim Carr was umming and aahing about the future of the uncapped, demand driven system ahead of the election but the politicians from the two major parties aren’t saying anything much now.  You can bet that, come 8 September, however, whichever party wins government,  in the context of a ballooning Budget deficit , reintroducing caps will be seen as a relatively savings “get” of perhaps $300 million a year.  Andrew Norton of the Grattan Institute is mounting an almost single person rearguard fight in defence of the demand driven system, which he says is efficient, equitable and encouraging a more diverse and innovative sector.  Dumping it would be a serious policy blunder.


NCVER HandsThe demand-driven higher education funding system is a bold public policy experiment. Yet at barely 18 months of age its existence is in question.Encouraged by university leaders, the government is considering re-controlling Commonwealth- supported student numbers.

This re-evaluation is not occurring because the demand-driven system is failing. Rather, it is too successful in its goal of increasing student numbers.

There are 150,000 more Commonwealth-supported student places (CSPs) this year than in 2007.

With expenditure on higher education rising while anticipated tax revenues fell, in April the government announced a $300 million a year cut in university funding. The Higher Education Minister, Kim Carr, has said he is willing to consider budget-neutral trade-offs.

Some university leaders suggest that the $300 million could be saved by reducing student numbers instead.

They want to protect per-student funding for the remaining students, and restore previous funding growth rates for other programs.

To achieve this, 25,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) student places would need to be abolished, given average public funding per Commonwealth- supported student.

It would be very difficult to cut expected growth by 25,000 places without ending the demand-driven system. Some universities could voluntarily reduce enrolments or curb growth, but the students they reject would find other universities willing to take them. In a flexible system, all universities need restrictions to limit total student numbers.

If CSPs were re-capped, the university applicants who miss out would pay the highest individual price. But there are less obvious costs to other students in going back to the old bureaucratic system of allocating student places.



Claiming that university classes have almost doubled in size, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) began its Vote Smart advertising campaign on 12 August.

The TV advertisements call for a Green vote in the Senate and will air in Perth, Adelaide, northern Tasmania and regional Queensland – Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns.



 Election 2013

Manufacturing Skills Plus – ALP

ALP logoPrime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced Manufacturing Skills Plus, a $35 million initiative to provide 6,800 new training places to up-skill workers and help them make the transition to higher paying high tech manufacturing jobs…… [READ MORE] …..

“Step into skills”  – ALP

Kevin Rudd has unveiled a $35 million plan to help young, disadvantaged job seekers become more employable.    The Step into Skills program will help about 9,000 job seekers before they undertake vocational training….. [READ MORE] …..

Greens: “make TAFE a priority”

GreensThe Greens are calling for the mining tax to be amended to give the TAFE system an extra $1.2 billion.  Deputy Greens leader Adam Bandt says the Federal Government has forced TAFE to compete with private providers resulting in campus closures, rising fees and job losses.  The rescue package would inject $400 million per year for TAFE starting from July 2014….. [READ MORE] …..

TDA releases policy statements on funding and internationalTDA logo

In addition to the three statements it has already released TDA has released Policy Position Papers on:

  • Maintaining a commitment to skills funding … highlighting the impact of cuts to apprenticeships and traineeships, and promoting strategies to meet the demand for a skilled workforce
  • TAFE Leadership in international education … removing unnecessary regulation and actively supporting TAFE’s extensive operations offshore.

….. [READ MORE] …..


Life & stuff

The first week

Jesus was a Jew…got to stop the boats – somehow or other…News Corp’s wicked sense of humour….Coalition leads
Daily Tele

The Daily Telegraph front page 8 August – subtle, eh?

10 August 2013 | In many respects, the first week of the 2013 Federal election campaign was more comedic than substantial.

There’s the (now former) One Nation candidate who thinks that Islam is a country and that Judaism is some denomination of Christianity. She now resents being depicted as a “standup criminal” – we think she meant “standup comedian” although she is facing charges for sticking anti-Islam stickers on food products in a supermarket

Then there was the truly excruciating street interview with the Liberal candidate in the Western Sydney seat of Greenway who agreed that Liberal policy was to “stop the boats” and offered that the Libs have a “six point plan”. When pressed, he was unable to articulate the plan and was utterly skewered by the TV reporter. It was sort of cruel, really, but if you put yourself forward as a candidate for public office, you ought to be familiar with the platform on which you’re standing.

But you’ve got to give the prize to News Corporation’s Daily Telegraph for its hysterical anti-Labor coverage (one hesitates to call it “reporting”), which makes the Pyongyang Times look balanced. Fairfax Media observed that maybe this has something to do with News Corporation’s commercial interests, with the NBN initiative representing a threat to News Corp’s pay TV outlet Skytel. This was strenuously denied by News Corp and led to an all out assault on Fairfax media, including an editorial in The Australian, the “serious” newspaper in the News Corp stable…..




Tertiary Ed Book

When the political parties will not talk about the substance of higher education and research, we depend on civil society, the media, the public in all its forms, and the institutions of higher education and research themselves, to define and advance the issues.

This book is designed to stimulate and contribute to such a process of discussion.





Fulbright ComFulbright Professional Scholarship In Vocational Education and Training

This Fulbright Scholarship is for employees within the vocational education and training sector or training leaders in business and industry. It is not for university academics that study VET as an academic discipline. Applications close 14 August 2013.



ACPET National Conference

VET and Higher Education: the future is in the private sector

29-30 August | Adelaide

???????????????????????????????ACPET’s national conference is the largest gathering of private and not-for-profit educators and trainers in Australia and provides an opportunity for networking and professional development.

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