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The Scan

6 March 2014

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Unis tumble in rankings

THE Logo6 March 2014    |    Australia’s leading universities have tumbled in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.  The University of Melbourne did best in at 43, down from 39 last year. The Australian National University and University of Sydney both dropped out of the top 50. While the University of Queensland and University of NSW clung on to positions in the top 100, both were in a diminished position from last year….[ MORE ]….

Swisse hits back

6 March 2014    |    The vitamin and supplement company Swisse Wellness has issued a strongly worded Swissedefence of its deal with La Trobe University to fund research into its products.   Critics argue the deal presents the university with a conflict of interest that will damage the institution’s reputation…..[ MORE ]….

Anger over “secret” student visa review

6 March 2014    |    The federal government has angered the $15 billion-a-year international education industry by secretly carrying out a review that endorsed current student visa rules while ignoring education providers who wanted to see some measures relaxed.  The review found that the “genuine temporary entrant requirement” is effective and there are no are “no systemic problems in how GTE requirement decisions are being made.  But TAFE Directors Australia has pointed to a number of examples of decisions which aren’t good enough” and which has resulted in students who would otherwise study in Australia being turned away…..[ MORE ]….

Vic dual sector unis ditch TAFE label

5 March 2014   |    It appears all four Victorian four dual-sector universities have quietly dumped their TAFEFED UNI LOGO INSET (2) status and the burden of state government reporting that went with it. New legislation will see state government-owned TAFE assets and infrastructure transferred to the dual-sector universities. It also frees them to negotiate wage deals with TAFE teachers without the state government having to approve the agreements…..[MORE ]….

NMIT “sound”

NMIT2 (2)4 March 2014   |   Victorian TAFE North Melbourne Institute of Technology has confirmed it suffered a “significant” loss last year but says it remains in a “sound” financial position, with $280 million in assets and no debt…..[ MORE ]….

VCA takes over police stables

27 February 2014   |    After many years of negotiation, the Victorian College of the Arts is to take over the Police stables2Victoria Police Force horse stables, located at the rear of the college on Melbourne’s Southbank. The stables will be transformed into artists’ studios and exhibition space. The police has long resisted giving up the space, ostensibly on the basis of a police regulation that its mounted branch has to be located within “fast galloping distance” of Government House, the residence of the Governor….[ MORE ]….

UWS’ Academy

26 February 2014   |    The  University of Western Sydney has created The Academy, an interdisciplinary, community-engaged program which it describes as the first of its kind across the higher education sector.  While undertaking their advanced academic studies, students in The Academy also participate in programs focused on civic engagement and citizenship – professional and personal development opportunities, volunteering projects, and mentoring and leadership programs….[ MORE ]….

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People

fred hilmerHilmer to retire

6 March 2014    |    The often combative Fred Hilmer has announced via a video address to staff that he will retire retire as vice-chancellor of the University of NSW at the end of the year.  He told staff that the university is in a strong positionto push hard on new initiatives”….[MORE ]….

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For sale3

Landmark Education Facility on Massive Site
40 Melba Avenue, Lilydale, Vic 3140

Swinburne University has put its now closed Lilydale campus on the market. Expressions of interest are being sought for the property on the basis of its current zoning of Public Use – Education

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Comment & analysis

HECS sell off must be invested wisely

Vicki-Thomson-photoSecuritisation is likely to become Australia’s education-financial buzz word of 2014 – namely the debt securitisation of the student loan portfolio (HECS), writes Vicki Thomson of the Australian Technology Network. If that’s a direction the government takes, the proceeds – nominally $26 billion but in reality significantly lessnothing could be worse than to see it squandered.

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quote marksWhile realistically the sector can’t expect the benefit of the entire proceeds of any such sell off, it should demand that a fair percentage be used to support the world-class education and research identified by the Coalition as an economic pillar in the lead-up to last year’s federal election.

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Peter’s parrot?

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Having announced he will be retiring from politics at year’s end, Victorian skills and higher education minister Peter Hall remains upbeat about the legacy he will leave.

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Peter-Hall-6288497People have asked me this week, since I announced I won’t be standing at the next election, how I feel about walking away from Victoria’s training system.

My answer is that I am confident the reforms we have made have set a strong foundation for sustainable delivery of quality training for Victorians now and into the future. We inherited a system that was under-funded, mismanaged and in dire need of reform. We are fixing the system, not by cutting funding to the sector, as some claim, but by boosting funding to record levels and changing the way it’s allocated.

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VET reform workshops

calendarTo complement initial workshops held in Canberra in February, the VET Reform Taskforce will be hosting workshops in each of the other capital cities throughout March 2014. The purpose of the workshops is to discuss the current VET system and listen to ideas for potential future reform. Numbers are limited so reservations are essential.

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Life & stuff

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