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The Scan # 149 15 May 2014

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Budget 2013

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Higher education

mortar boardHigher education spending will rise appreciably in 2014-15, from $8.7 billion to $10.9 billion (25%), with the extension of the demand driven system to sub-bachelor places and non-university higher education providers. Modest further growth is forecast out to 2017-18, to $11.8 billion (9%).

The key elements of higher education spending in the 2014-15 Budget, according to Universities Australia.

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  • Extending the demand driven system to sub-bachelor places and non-university higher education providers thereby admitting approximately 80,000 additional students into the system (at a cost of $820 million);
  • Full deregulation of student fees from 1 January 2016
  • Commonwealth’s contribution towards course fees will be reduced by 20 per cent on average (at a saving of $1.9 billion);
  • All higher education programs will be indexed at a lower rate based on CPI (at a saving of $203 million);
  • A scholarship scheme to be funded by higher education providers directing 20 per cent of additional revenue raised by higher fees;
  • Ongoing funding for the Future Fellowships Scheme (at a cost of $140 million);
  • An additional year’s funding for the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (at a cost of $150 million);
  • Changes to the Higher Education Loans Program that would see the removal of the 25 per cent loan fee for undergraduate FEE-HELP, a slight drop in the HELP repayment income threshold to $50,638, and the introduction of an interest rate equivalent to the 10 year government bond rate;
  • The abolition of the Education Investment Fund with assets ($3.5 billion) to be rolled into the new Asset Recycling Fund;
  • Government funding for Research Training Scheme Doctoral Students to be reduced by 10 per cent (at a saving of $174 million); and
  • Efficiency dividend applied to Australian Research Council.

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Skills

The key elements of VET spending in the 2014-15 Budget

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skills (1)The “tools for your trade payments” for apprentices will cease from 1 July 2014. It will be replaced immediately with a Trade Support Loans Program providing $439m over five years to provide apprentices with financial assistance up to $20K over a four year apprenticeship through a student loan repayment scheme. The Government will also establish an Industry Skills Fund to provide $470m over four years to support the training needs of small to medium enterprises that cannot be met by the national training system. Expenditure is budgeted to decline about 13% in 2014-15 over 2013-14 (from $1.67 billion to $1.45 billion) and 8% over the four years to 2017-18 (to $1.55 billion)…..[ MORE ]….

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Science & research

The Australian Academy of Science says the 2014-15 Budget is mixed for science, investing in some areas while pulling funding from others

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research4The Budget provides for a new Medical Research Future Fund, to start with $1.1 billion, which will come from winding up the Health and Hospitals Fund, and growing to $20 billion by 2020. On the other side of the ledger, the Budget cuts at least $420 million over the forward estimates to five vital science agencies — the Australian Research Council (ARC) ($74.9 million), the CSIRO ($111.4 million), the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) ($120 million), Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) ($27.6 million), and Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) ($7.8 million) – as well as the Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) program ($80 million).

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Tertiary education in the 2014-15 Budget

Sector responses.

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Budget drives sweeping changes to higher education

ua logoThe budget puts higher education on a path of radical change … and will fundamentally alter the shape of Australian higher education…In deciding to extend the demand driven system and government funding to non-university providers, UA is pleased that further work will be done to ensure competitive fairness and that the relative government support appropriately takes account of the differing community expectations and public good obligations…..[ MORE ]….

A package to explore for the future

IRU has long advocated continuing with charging caps, set to ensure universities have sufficient revenue to provide good IRU logoquality education. Ensuring the open charges system is introduced well, is a major challenge. The changes move more of the cost of higher education onto students, including research students. We need to ensure that this works and that students gain the education they deserve and need for the additional impost…..[ MORE ]….

Structural reform long overdue

Go8 logo newThe Government has announced a number of important measures to position the Australian higher education sector for the future. These historic reforms reconcile access and quality, and make growth affordable. A more dynamic higher education sector will continue to expand opportunity in a sustainable way. It will be more responsive to students’ needs, offering greater diversity and new opportunities…..[ MORE ]….

An ambitious budget for higher educationRUN Logo

Keeping the demand driven system for bachelor places and extending it to sub-bachelor places, will assist in providing pathways and lift participation in higher education in regional Australia for less well prepared students. This will assist in providing pathways and lift participation in higher education in regional Australia for less well prepared students….[ MORE ]….

Students to bear costs of reform

ATN logoAustralia’s future university students, who will form the backbone of a skilled national economy, are the big losers in the Federal Budget. While the Government has confirmed its commitment to ensuring access for all students who qualify to attend an Australian university the cost of that reform will be borne by the very students they hope to attract. The demand driven system is a significant reform measure and its continuation is welcome, however the sting in the tail is the impact upon our future students…..[ MORE ]….

A fair deal for higher education in TAFE

tda_logo- largeAdvocacy by TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) over more than four years has emerged cessful, with Budget 2014 overhauling Federal course funding contributions toward students enrolling in higher education courses at TAFE Institutes and non-university institutions. Student loans for apprenticeship students is the major feature for skills in the Budget. The student loans will replace traditional apprenticeship payments for completions of staged course segments. Student loans will be offered up to $8,000 in Year 1, $6000 in Year 2, $4000 in Year 3, and $2000 in Year 4….[ MORE ]….

Reforms create a level playing fieldPrint

The government’s higher education reforms are a major milestone, and deliver equity and fairness for the growing number of higher education students choosing to undertake their degree or sub- degree program at a non-university institution. The changes the government has announced offer all students funding support from the Commonwealth. They will support genuine student choice and competition amongst all of Australia’s 173 higher education providers…..[ MORE ]….

The road to ruin

nteu-logoNo longer will students gain entry into university based solely on academic merit, but on their capacity and willingness to pay the market price for a degree. Student fees will now skyrocket at some universities, university funding has been cut, the cost of servicing student debt will increase and the viability of some of our universities will be undermined by for-profit private providers…..[ MORE ]….

 

Reforms empower student choice

The higher education sector could use a good dose of student focus and greater innovation in order to drive better OUAlearning outcomes. Any industry that makes price the issue is giving more power to consumers. In other industry sectors, deregulation of fees has led to better outcomes for consumers. In a demand driven system, we encourage students to expect and demand more from their education providers. Work out what you really want. For some, prestige will always count but for many more, flexibility and affordability will be key….[ MORE ]….

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The higher education revolution – redux

9 May 2014 | In a speech to open Monash University’s Diamond Deposition Suite, education minister Christopher christopher-pynePyne has set the scene for extensive changes, to be announced “in-principle” in the forthcoming Federal Budget (13 May), to higher education funding arrangements, as proposed by the Kemp- Norton Review and the Commission of Audit. In particular, he has come out strongly in support of allowing universities to compete on price by deregulating what fees they can charge students and extending the publicly subsidised demand-driven system to non-university higher education providers (NUHEPs). Students at NUHEPs would receive a lesser subsidy than students at universities because they do not need to fund research activities. He also strongly backs another Kemp-Norton recommendation for the federal government to subsidise pathway programs into universities. He indicated that the burden of the cost of tuition also might be shifted, from the government currently providing on average 60% of the costs to something less, with the student contribution rising….[ MORE ]….

 

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Comment & analysis

14 May 2013

Funding: it’s not rocket science

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Ahead of the Budget, Suzanne Cory, president of the Suzanne CoryAcademy of Science, challenged Tony Abbott to be visionary, in the manner of Robert Menzies, and to build his own science legacy for our future, and recognise that an investment in science and research is an investment in the future of Australia. Abbott failed the challenge, at least in this year’s budget. As reported elsewhere, science and research was a net loser, notwithstanding the announcement of the Medical Research Future Fund.

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If I had to name one of the big political heroes of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the first to come to mind would be Sir Robert Menzies.

It’s hard to think of any one politician who had more of an impact on the Liberal Party tradition. But just as influential was Menzies’ impact on science and research in Australia.

Under his leadership, war and depression gave way to a new kind of scientific optimism. He led a massive expansion of Australia’s scientific research capacity, was involved in the creation of the Australian Academy of Science, and funded the building of important infrastructure such as the giant radio telescope at Parkes and the phytotron in Canberra. He also oversaw a tenfold increase in the budget of the newly formed CSIRO in just 15 years.

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MenziesIn 1958, Menzies predicted: ”If there’s one thing that shines out in the history of this century it is the enormous capacity of science to expand its boundaries. By the end of this century … the boundaries of knowledge will have been pushed back to places as yet unseen and unimagined.”

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Bobby said it better….

Tbobby_kennedys_unfinished_mission-293x307he future is not a gift: it is an achievement. Every generation helps make its own future. This is the essential challenge of the present…
– Bobby Kennedy – Seattle World’s Fair, 7 August 1962

 

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Prosperity is not a gift. It needs to be earned.The government will consider newly released recommendations from the Commission of Audit, which has suggested stringent cuts across the board. AAP/Lukas Coch

Joe Hockey- Australian Budget , 13 May 2014

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Higher Education Policy Seminars 2014

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Has Australia the imagination and will to create and maintain international pre-eminence in higher education? Key issues must be tackled across the next few years if an excellent higher education system is to be designed and built. The series commences Wednesday 28 May.

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Why would you chop CSIRO?

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Budget night will be a bad one for at least a couple of national icons. The ABC is bracing itself for a deep cuts and so too, apparently, is CSIRO.

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Now one can understand (though not necessarily agree) with the Coalition government’s antipathy to the ABC, populated as it is by pinko greenie journalists and producers and with an audience of the same ilk.

CSIROBut what’s the Coalition’s problem with CSIRO? It has made incalculable contributions to national security and prosperity, since its modest beginnings as the first step towards a “national laboratory” nearly a hundred years ago . Think of some of these contributions: from the invention of everyday household products such as Aeroguard and Softly detergent to the plastic banknotes in your purse or wallet, to the reduction of the blowfly problem in Australia through the introduction of the dung beetle, the building of Australia’s first (and just the world’s fourth) programmable digital computer through to the invention of th WiFi technology by which you are probably viewing this post.

There’s been a lot of noise and light around the razor job being prepared for the ABC, with the Friends of the ABC and the the Get Up! organisation swinging into action. There’s growing concern developing about CSIRO but there should be a lot more noise about the impending damage to Australia’s national laboratory.

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Print

The ACPET 2014 Higher Education Symposium will provide a comprehensive analysis of the issues related to policy, regulation, academic governance and learning and teaching practice.

Marriot Hotel, Circular Quay Sydney on 22 may 2014

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Comment & analysis

14 May 2014

Tafe: getting the job done

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Writing in The Age recently (Getting the job done, The Age, March 31), Claire Field (chief executive officer for the Australian Council for Private Education and Training) observed that reform always throws up winners and losers, and the training sector is no different. According to Field, the winners in the case of market-oriented VET reforms “are industry Meredith Peaceand individual students – and taxpayers who invest billions of dollars in training and skills development. The losers are those with self-interest, and who refuse to reform at the expense of the community.” The Australian Education Union’s Meredith Peace acknowledges that it’s hard to disagree with Field on the proposition that reform always throws up winners and losers. Unfortunately, says Peace, one of the big losers under Victoria’s new training market is the quality of vocational education and training.

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Market systems have serious flaws when it comes to delivering fairly the quality education that successful modern economies and individuals require. For decades TAFE institutes have adapted to local needs and an ever-changing economy, building an enviable reputation for quality along the way. They are at the heart of our communities.

How can they continue to do this? While TAFEs and other providers invest in staff and facilities to improve their courses or serve emerging sectors, some private providers are cutting costs and aggressively marketing courses to win a greater market share.

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Life & stuff

Looking on the bright side

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14 May 2014 | Last week it seemed that New Matilda, which has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004, was about to fold. but it has found a white knight in the person journalist and former Tracker magazine editor, Chris Graham. New Matilda’s regular cartoonist is Fiona Katauskas.

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Budget Bright Side

 

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No Frills‘No Frills’ is a well-known annual national conference, hosted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, where researchers and practitioners in the vocational education and training (VET) sector come together to present, discuss and share information about key issues confronting the sector. The conference also provides professional development opportunities for new and existing researchers.

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