TDA Newsletter 20 July 2015

TDA Logo snipped

HECS architects urge change to repayments and extension to VET

Two of the key architects of the original HECS have produced a new report that argues for significant reform to the income contingent loan scheme that would extend it to more VET students while making it affordable.

The report, ‘Feasibility and design of a tertiary education entitlement in Australia: Modelling and costing a universal income contingent loan’, has been prepared by Dr Tim Higgins and Professor Bruce Chapman for the Mitchell Institute.

They argue that extending income contingent loans to more VET students is required to ensure equity among tertiary students.

But they say this would require adjustment to the current system otherwise it would not be financially sustainable or equitable.

“For our exercises it is important to note that when compared to university graduates, Certificate III and IV completers have low incomes and, for women, low employment outcomes,” the report says.

They argue that unless government funding for tertiary education is increased, there is a persuasive case for reducing the income repayment threshold, reducing the repayment rate and imposing a uniform loan surcharge across all tertiary students.


Victoria’s VET review proposes funding shake-up

Victoria’s review of the VET sector has examined ways of preserving government funding for high quality providers, protecting students from rorts, and easing the regulatory burden on low risk providers.

The VET Funding Review is headed by former TDA chair Bruce Mackenzie. Its latest Issues Paper examines ways of better linking training to the needs of industry and supporting the role of TAFE.

“Many felt that the administrative, audit and compliance requirements on providers were both overly burdensome and of limited value, being too focussed on inputs and paper-based checks, rather than concern for the quality of training provided,” the review says.

“TAFEs are at different stages of a transition and structural reform process, and some TAFEs considered that a degree of consolidation would be either necessary or desirable in the medium term to ensure the viability of the TAFE sector.”

It notes “repeated and erratic funding changes” by government, largely in response to poor provider behaviour.

“However, a number of stakeholders likened government’s response to the ‘whack-a-mole’ game, where the latest example of undesirable behaviour is ‘whacked’ by the government, only for other undesirable behaviour to pop up elsewhere.”

See the VET Funding Review.

Minister Birmingham flags growth in China partnerships

The Minister for Skills and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, has actively promoted the expansion of Australian China partnerships in delivering vocational education and training.

Last week the minister led a delegation of Australian VET representatives to China, which included TDA Deputy Chair Dianne Murray.

The minister announced a number of initiatives including cooperation between ASQA and CEAIE in ensuring the quality of joint provision as well as greater opportunities for cooperation through the Australia China Free Trade Agreement.

The minister also singled out Box Hill Institute of TAFE’s partnership with the Shanghai Pharmaceutical School as a “brilliant example of Australian international vocational education”.

TAFE institutes across Australia have led the development of joint programs in China with almost 50,000 students currently studying Australian qualifications through these partnerships.

See more.

Minister sees Sydney TAFE’s Korea polytechnic project    

Minister Birmingham visiting Korea Polytechnic

The Minister for Skills and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham was welcomed last Friday by Sydney TAFE Institute Director David Riordan as he visited Korea Polytechnic (KOPO).

Sydney TAFE has negotiated with KOPO to deliver competency based training for over 1,000 of its current teachers over the next three years.

KOPO is the only comprehensive technical vocational education and training college in Korea, with 46 years of history.  It has been backed by the Korean government’s financial support since the vocational training law was enacted in 1967.

It moved to competency based training two years ago and is now looking to upskill 1,500 staff over the next three years.

The minister met the first group of trainees as they commenced their training program, which includes further training and assessment in Sydney. Minister Birmingham also hosted an industry forum and reception in Seoul.

Victoria releases international student growth strategy

The Victorian government has proposed new avenues to grow the state’s international education sector.

It has released a discussion paper on international education as part of its $200 million Future Industries Fund.

It says the VET sector accounts for 25% of international students in Victoria, with major markets being India and China.

“The nature of global demand for training and the recent resurgence of key competitors like the United Kingdom and Germany means that Victoria’s VET offering must become increasingly nimble and targeted,” it says.

“In many instances this may mean delivering customised training products and skills sets which, while not leading to a qualification, draw on VET providers’ experience in delivering Australian training package qualifications.”

See the international education discussion paper.

Findings of three-year vocations project to be outlined at Sydney, Melbourne seminars

Is there a new way of thinking about vocational pathways from school and VET into the labour market?

Are narrow qualifications with limited employment outcomes still relevant?

Two LH Martin Institute seminars (Sydney, Thursday 23 July and Melbourne, Wednesday 29 July) are the outcome of the three-year Vocations project, which proposes a fundamental change in the way post-compulsory education is structured as a pathway to work.

Experts at the Sydney seminar include Pam Christie (TAFE NSW), Peta Furnell (VET Reform Taskforce) and Andrew Dettmer (Australian Manufacturing Workers Union).

Melbourne will feature Rod Camm (ACPET), Pat Forward (Australian Education Union) and Craig Robertson (Victorian Department of Education and Training).

Each seminar will hear presentations from Professor John Buchanan (University of Sydney) and Jodieann Dawe (NCVER), while Professor Leo Goedegebuure (LH Martin Institute) will be facilitator.

Register for the seminars.

See the report.

Diary Dates

2015 ACODE Learning Technologies Leadership Institute
DATE: 17-21 August 2015
LOCATION: Mantra at Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
DETAILS: More information

TAFE Managers Association 2015
DATE: 21 August 2015
LOCATION: Luna Park, Sydney
DETAILS: More information coming soon.

National Skills Week
DATE: 24-30 August 2015
DETAILS: More information.

VET Development Centre
Teaching and Learning Conference

DATE: 3-4 September 2015
LOCATION: RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
DETAILS: More information.

TDA National Conference
DATE: 9-11 September 2015
LOCATION: Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart
DETAILS: More information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 17-18 September 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.

Australian International Education Conference 2015
International education: global, responsible, sustainable

DATE: 6 – 9 October 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.

2015 Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
DATE: 11 – 14 October 2015
LOCATION: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, NSW.
DETAILS: More information.

2015 AUSTAFE National Conference
Bringing TAFE and VET to the Nation’s Capital

DATE: 28 – 30 October 2015
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Contact National President


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