13 May 2014 | 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)….[ READ MORE ]….
13 May 2014 | Treasurer Joe Hockey has bought down a budget that hits middle Australia with swingeing cuts and price hikes, while lauding smaller government and pushing increased responsibilities onto the states. Middle income families face tightened family benefits, a $7 co-payment when they visit the doctor, a price hike for pharmaceuticals and higher petrol costs…..[ READ MORE ]….
15 May 2014 | The 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….[ READ MORE ]….
28 May 2014 | Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) suffered financial losses of more than $30 million in 2013, prompting the auditor-general to express doubt that it can survive. The Education Department has provided a $16 million loan to support the TAFE’s ”short-term solvency” and NMIT also launched initiatives to stabilise its cash flows. NMIT has blamed state government funding cuts and declining student enrolments for the loss…[ READ MORE ]….
22 May 2014 | With Prime Minister Tony Abbott acknowledging that he can’t guarantee that university fees might not double, University Australia chair Sandra Harding says that there are “grave risks” in a precipitate move to fee deregulation, set to take place in 2016. As the new fee regime will apply to all enrolments after 14 May 2014, students enrolling after that date will not know the fees that will apply from 1 January 2016 until such time as universities announce their fees. In order to provide some degree of certainty and inform student choice, some universities, outside the Group of Eight, at least, may be forced to make an early “stab” at price settings. But as Harding points out, a stab is not the marketplace working efficiently….[ READ MORE ]….
24 May 2014 | Bendigo TAFE will receive $64 million from the state government to support its merger with Melbourne-based Kangan Institute. The government expects a further $35 million to be invested by the private sector and the merged institute. The government says the funding will lead to 55 additional courses being offered in Bendigo, with a focus on health, engineering and management…..[ READ MORE ]….
24 May 2014 | The National Commission of Audit’s recommendations for vocational education and training – proposing that responsibility for VET revert to the states – represent a missed opportunity for overdue reform says Peter Noonan, professor of tertiary education policy at Victoria University. He says the commonwealth’s interests in VET are stronger than ever before, not weaker, and the commission’s recommendations for VET should be set aside……[ READ MORE ]….
21 May 2014 | A budget line item to halve the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s (TEQSA) funding has been described as “counter¬intuitive” by Hilary Winchester, deputy vice-chancellor at CQ University and a former higher education auditor. The 2014-15 budget papers show regulation and quality assurance cuts from $20.4 million in 2013 to $10.3m in 2017…..[ READ MORE ]….
27 May 2014 | Swinburne vice-chancellor Linda Kristjanson has expressed concern about five aspects of the recent Budget. In particular, she has joined a number of other vice-chancellors in voicing her opposition to fee deregulation and higher interest charges on HECS loans, which she says will lead to a “higher education system characterised by the haves and the have nots.”….[ READ MORE ]….
16 April 2014 | The Victorian minister for higher education and skills, Nick Wakeling, has announced the formation of Federation Training Institute, which will be a new TAFE Institute in Gippsland, out of the merger of Advance TAFE and GippsTAFE, the two existing TAFEs in the region. It is envisaged that Federation Training would be integrated into Federation University Australia from 1 January 2016…..[ READ MORE ]….