Federal budget hits international education
While there were few changes to training and skills in last week’s federal budget (see article below), there were a number of significant impacts on international education revealed in the detailed portfolio statements, including:
- The Regional Links and Increasing the Profile of Australia’s International Education Sector (IPAIES) programmes will cease from 2015−16 with remaining multi−year IPAIES contracts continuing to 2018−19.
- The Professional Service Development Programme and the Assessment Subsidy for Overseas Trained Professionals will cease from 2015−16.
- All visitors applying for a visa offshore will pay additional costs for their application charges, with the government raising $437.1 million over four years.
- Scholarships for mobility go from 6,205 per year to 3,100 per year, but with an increase in New Colombo Plan scholarships which are currently only accessible to university students.
- The Asian Business Engagement Plan will cease with no further application rounds.
- The Emerging Markets Development Grant allocations over the forward estimates remain static, indicating a reduction in available funds
International education is Australia’s third largest export and a significant employer. TDA believes the budget changes now place greater focus on the need to finalise the recently released Draft National Strategy for International Education.
The training and skills portfolio was largely untouched in the in federal budget, although there were a number of changes that will have an impact, including:
- $14.5 million in funding in 2015‑16 to expand the Adult Migrant English Programme for one year to include refugees who hold temporary substantive visas, including Temporary Protection Visas, Safe Haven Enterprise Visas and Temporary (Humanitarian Concern) Visas.
- $18.2 million in funding over four years from 2015‑16 to implement an enhanced compliance regime for VET FEE‑HELP.
- An extension of the Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) repayment framework to debtors residing overseas, estimated to recover $26.0 million over four years.
- The Education and Training portfolio will have funding reduced by $131 million over four years through savings and changes to programs. This will include the redesign of the Industry Workforce Training programme, the Promotion of Excellence in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education programme, the Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowships programme, and the National Workforce Development Fund. A competitive tender for the further development and support of the My Skills website will also be conducted.
- There will be savings of $1.6 million over five years from 2014‑15 by replacing seven vocational education and training governance bodies with the Australian Industry and Skills Council.
See the portfolio media releases.
See Shadow Minister Sharon Bird’s media release.
Tertiary students will have the chance to take their studies abroad with the latest round of the federal government’s Endeavour Mobility Grants, which are now open.
The grants support undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational education and training (VET) students to have an international study experience that contributes to their Australian qualifications.
Education and Training Minister Chris Pyne said the grants give students the chance to strengthen their global knowledge and experience by immersing themselves in the academic and social cultures of other regions.
“Whether it’s through short-term study, practicums, clinical placements, internships, or volunteer projects, we are committed to giving our students the chance to excel by building on their knowledge overseas,” the Minister said.
Around $8.3 million is available to support at least 2,500 grants, including short-term grants, semester grants and language support grants.
The Victorian state government has announced the first of its fast-tracked TAFE Rescue Fund projects, with the launch of a new student advice centre at Federation Training, Gippsland.
Known as The Bubble, it will provide services at all Federation Training campus libraries, including study support, career and course advice, referral to other services and learning resources such as computers.
The centre was funded with a $2.5 million grant that was part of $20 million allocated earlier this year.
The state’s independent VET Funding Review is advising the government on a new funding model for the TAFE and training system.
The Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) is seeking input on the priority resource needs of training organisations delivering to the sector.
TLISC will soon be launching a range of training products and services which it says will give organisations a low-cost alternative to developing their own support materials, while helping to addresses RTO compliance requirements
“TLISC sees a real opportunity to harness its expertise, deep industry and VET knowledge and experience in designing, facilitating and delivering training to provide training resources that will deliver quality training outcomes as well as save you time and money in the design of your programs,” it says in a note to stakeholders.
Prior to our launch, TLISC is seeking views on the range of new products via a 5-10 minute survey.
For further information, contact Paul Walsh, General Manager, Training Packages (03) 9604 7208 or Paul.Walsh@tlisc.org.au
TAFE Institutes embracing sustainability practices will have the chance to enter the 2015 Green Gown Awards Australasia.
The awards, run by Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS), are offered in 11 categories for institutions and individuals, with two new categories this year – Built Environment and The Leadership Award.
“The Green Gown Awards provide an excellent opportunity for educational institutions to show business, industry and the community just how seriously and innovatively they are addressing sustainability across all elements of core business,” said ACTS President Leanne Denby.
The Australasian winners will go up against the UK winners and French speaking Europe and Canada to win the coveted International title in three categories.
Applications close Wednesday 29 July.