#134 | 22 August 2013
An Abbott government would make it easier for foreign students to obtain post-study work rights in Australia as part of a Coalition push to repair the lucrative education export industry. Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne says the Coalition ”cannot promise to reverse the $2.8 billion of cuts to higher education”. However he vowed to increase revenue to universities within 100 days of being elected by ”rebuilding” the international education market, which he said had shrunk under Labor from $19.8 billion in 2008 to $14.5 billion today (although the decline has been concentrated in the VET sector)….. [ READ MORE ] …..
Australia’s education peak bodies has urged all political parties to get behind measures to restore global competitiveness and innovation to Australia’s international education sector. They warn that Australia is losing ground to international competitors whose governments place a higher value on international education than Australia does. Expensive and inflexible student visas, a complex and stifling regulatory system and a reluctance by governments to aggressively promote Australian education abroad are combining to turn potential students away from Australia and into the “welcoming arms of Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA”….. [ READ MORE ] …..
The academic standard of a school is a critical factor in whether disadvantaged students complete Year 12 and significantly raises their chances of studying at university by as much as five times. A report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research has found that pupils from low socio-economic backgrounds who are weak students and attend a school of low academic quality have a 30% of completing Year 12, and a 10%chance of studying at university. But attending a school of high academic standards gave them an 80 per cent chance of finishing school, and a 50 per cent chance of going to university….. [ READ MORE ] …..
An analysis by the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) has found that a proposal from Australia’s Group of Eight (G08) universities to limit university entry to students with an ATAR of 60 or more would have cut the number of university offers to school-leavers this year by 23% or 13,200 offers. The proposal would halt the surge in undergraduate enrolments, which have grown by 190,000, since Labor came to office in 2007 and save the Commonwealth budget about $750m over 4 years. The Go8 proposes this could be used to offset savings of over $2b imposed earlier this year….. [ READ MORE ] …..
The outgoing head of the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER), Dr Tom Karmel, has lamented the slow progress on implementing a ‘seamless’ tertiary education sector, as proposed by the Bradley Review. Karmel says the promised integration between higher education and vocational education is “more distant now than ever”, while overstated differences between the sectors are producing dysfunctional outcomes. Other commentators agree that progress with the integration agenda is not only a long way off but suggest that higher education would become an even more dominant partner if there were to be “forced marriage” with vocational education….. [ READ MORE ] …..
A meeting of employer organisations, peak provider groups (including TDA and ACPET) and Industry Skills Councils has called on all political parties to respond, as a matter of urgency, to the dramatic drop in apprenticeship commencements. According to the group, employers are losing confidence in the apprenticeship system, not because of a lack of commitment to a long-standing model of training delivered in a work context, but because they cannot rely on consistency in the approach by both Federal and State Governments…… [ READ MORE ] …..
NTEU’s “National Day of Action”
19 August 2013 | The National Tertiary Education Union, together with the National Union of Students (NUS) and the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) held a National Day of Action on Tuesday 20 August to “champion the cause of publicly-funded and properly-funded higher education in the lead-up to the Federal election”. NTEU members at 10 universities are also taking industrial action as enterprise bargaining negotiations break down over key issues, including workloads and job security…. [ READ MORE ] ……
16 August 2013 | With five universities in the world top 100 and 19 in the top 500, Australia has one of the strongest higher education systems internationally in spite of scarce research dollars and small population and economic scale. The University of Melbourne again took the title of Australia’s “best” university at 54th. It was accompanied in the top 100 by the Australian National University (66th), University of Queensland (85th), University of Western Australia (91st) and Sydney (97th)…. [ READ MORE ] …..
In an opinion piece published in the Australian Financial Review, Swinburne University’s head of Corporate and Government Affairs, Andrew Dempster, says that uncapped funding for higher education is fairer and more efficient. He also says it’s consistent with Coalition policy – and Labor , of course, introduced it.
This is not new. Hand-wringing about the sustainability of the so-called demand-driven system has been fashionable for some time.
There is heightened scepticism of the demand-driven system among Australia’s sandstone universities, which have an unfortunate tendency to look down their nose at those institutions that take students with ATAR [Australian Tertiary Admission Rank] scores of 70 and below, as if those that do are “lowering the standards” for everyone else.
This is despite the fact that many establishment universities would not know what a student with an ATAR of 70 looks like, let alone how university teaching might be configured to assist these students to succeed.
It is also conventional wisdom that, because the demand-driven system is a Labor creation, it will inevitably be for the chop under any Coalition government that follows.
While budget pressures are real, it does the Coalition no credit to assume the demand-driven system will be dispatched to history if it forms government this year.
Indeed, there are many reasons why it may survive and even prosper.
News, views policies and links on the 2013 Federal election.
The Australian Financial Review’s incomparable David Rowe captures the general reaction to the Coalition’s paid maternity leave scheme, which has been described as bad policy, inequitable and extravagant.
The University of Melbourne presents the 2013 Faculty of Arts Winter Series of masterclasses designed to expand horizons, enliven the mind and enrich the soul this Melbourne winter. The masterclasses are scheduled over a series of weekends in winter and into spring, featuring the university’s most celebrated teachers and public intellectuals.
ACPET National Conference
29-30 August | Adelaide