The Scan # 178 12 April 2016

News Box3

TAFE does heavy lifting – TDA

12 April 2016   |    A TAFE Directors Australia (TDA)-commissioned analysis of official data reveals ‘for skills (1)profit’ private training colleges have gained a massive 75% share of the $3 billion Commonwealth VET FEE-HELP funding, while the public TAFE sector continues to do the “heavy lifting”.  The performance of Australia’s 57 TAFE Institutes emerges strongly, dominating all major state and territory VET-funded ‘fields of education’ and trade apprenticeships. While TAFE delivered 63% of enrolments across the majority of fields of education, Commonwealth allocation of student loans to TAFE fell to just 20% in 2014, and the government’s own emergency legislation to halt private college rorts has worsened this reduction in funding for TAFE students….[ READ MORE ]….

Inquiry into uni admissions

Birmingham7 April 2016   |   The minister for education and training Simon Birmingham has tasked the Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP) to canvass options to improve information about the accessibility and comparability of course entry pathways and to ensure students are ‘uni ready’.  He said students need a clear understanding of what they need to get into their course of choice and what will be expected of them through their further study, while universities need to be held to account – and that appears presently not to be the case. The review will be guided by “10 key principles” ….[ READ MORE ]….

 

The HECS bomb

7 April 2016    |    As the Turnbull government ponders a higher education policy to take to the 2016 HECS debtelection, it’s been given food for thought by a research report revealing explosive growth of 560% in FEE-HELP debt over the next decade – on current policy settings.  Obviously this portends a change to current policy settings. The independent Parliamentary Budget Office report finds that the loans scheme will cost the budget $11.1 billion by 2025-26, up from $1.7 billion currently. This amount covers the scheme’s concessional interest rates and the increasing proportion of loans that will never be repaid.  It projects the total nominal value of student loans program (the cumulative value of the portfolio) will grow from around $60 billion now to $185 billion by 2026. The PBO attributes the uncapping of university places over the period 2010- 2012 and the expansion of loans to vocational students as driving growth in FEE-HELP debt since 2010.  Implementation of the government’s stalled reform package would accelerate the growth of debt…[ READ MORE ]…

Funding cuts still on the table

Budget cuts7 April 2016   |    The government remains committed to a higher education funding reform with university students increasingly likely to pay more for their degrees, Education Minister Simon Birmingham has confirmed.   Birmingham told Sky News on 4 April he wanted to “refine and improve” the original plan by former minister Christopher Pyne,  saying “the growth in higher education spending over the last 20 years has essentially gone at double the rate of growth of the economy, so that is not a sustainable financial trajectory”.  He said the original 20% cut had only ever been “deferred” for 12 months….[ READ MORE ]….

 

Reforms have eroded TAFE system

5 April 2016    |     A report presented to the Council of Australian Governments on 1 April has found thattafe-image critical community and educational elements of TAFE have been eroded.  The review of the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform (NPA) was undertaken by ACIL Allan Consulting last December.   It reveals the extent to which so-called competition and efficiency reforms, which fail to recognise that TAFE is more than “just another provider”, have been pursued at the expense of downgrading TAFE.   It says transformation of the public provider role requires a steady, evolutionary process, otherwise there are strong risks of losing the value invested in the current capacity and capability of public provision. ….[ READ MORE ]…


Snapshots

 

Handwriting makes a comeback, outperforming laptops in memory retention

9 April 2016   |     US studies have found that students who took handwritten notes outperformed those who used a computer or laptop, grasping new ideas more readily and retain­ing information for longer.

The HECS hoax, and its most remarkable feature

9 April 2016    |       If you want to make the FEE-HELP system work, cut the threshold, make it attractive to pay upfront, give a discount and start again.

Deakin’s promise of a university in the bush is in danger of turning to ashes

9 April 2016     |     It is becoming clear that Warrnambool in south-west Victoria, like many other country areas, the brave promise of the past – that educational opportunities should be available to all, and that country students should not be compelled to move to the city – is in danger of turning to ashes.

Higher education fees, how did we get to this?

9 April 2016    |     How much to charge students, when to apply the debt and all manner of detail over how a higher education loans scheme should work has long been fodder for heated political debate.

Incentives matter: witness our dysfunctional higher education system

8 April 2016   |   It’s highly possible generous subsidies have underpinned ­bureaucratic bloat within universities and encouraged too many people into university study, with the unfortunate side-effect of diminishing the quality and reputation of degrees.

Major cuts to education spending loom in May budget following shock student loans blowout

6 April 2016    |      Major cuts to education spending are set to be a centrepiece of the May budget, as a new bombshell report finds the annual cost of the program used by Australians to attend university will blow out by a staggering 560% in a decade.

Budget should give universities more flexibility on student contributions

4 April 2016    |     A greater student contribution makes sense on grounds of equity, good resource allocation and quality of education.

Impact of 20% Cut to Funding per Government Supported Student

5 April 2016    |    While the government might think dumping its policy to fully deregulate fees will take the prospect of $100,000 degrees off the table, analysis shows that a policy based on 20% cut to government funding and increasing the cap on student contributions to compensate for that cut puts $90,000 degrees fairly and squarely on that table.

 

Red Box

Election 2016

Click image to go to the Election Page

______________________________________________________

An election can’t come soon enough for Turnbull

8 April 2016 

Malcolm Turnbull has struggled to put together a winning week all year, and now the polls have turned against him. The pressure this puts on an election-year budget is excruciating, writes Barrie Cassidy in The Drum.

……..

More troubling now for the Government, however, is that the issues are starting to work against them.

Take education. The government went flat out this week putting that issue front and centre, an issue that historically favours Labor.

The minister, Simon Birmingham, is articulating the problem effectively enough. He points out that the budget deficit is $36 billion and against that background, the cost of higher education since 2009 has grown by about 59% – while the economy has grown at just 29%.

 

But the solutions will be much harder to sell, and they will have to be sold in a budget that is now critical to the Government’s re-election.

To rein in the ballooning costs of HECS loans, the Government is looking at wiping them out in the vocational training sector; making university entry harder; and clawing back the loans at a faster rate. None of that, however you argue the principle, will be popular.

read-more-button2

 

 

Blank Box

Click image to go to summary

Click image to go to summary

 

Commentary box

How generous is Australia’s FEE-HELP scheme?

fact-check

11 April 2016

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

With debate growing over burgeoning FEE-HELP debt, education minister Simon Birmingham has asserted that Australia runs one of the most generous student loan schemes in the world.  Overall, this is true, with three key features: the relatively high income threshold before repayments kick in; the zero real interest rate; and relatively low repayment rates.  However, while the income threshold is much lower than in England and New Zealand, for example, FEE-HELP repayments are calculated on a debtor’s entire income, while in other countries repayments are based on income above the threshold. And New Zealand charges no interest at all for NZ domiciles.  It’s also the case that, as generous as FEE-HELP may be, a number of OECD countries charge no fees at all, obviating the need for loans.  This Fact Check is by Ittima Cherstidham of the Grattan Institute.

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

Overall, it is true that many features of Australia’s loan schemes for tuition fees make it more generous than most other countries that charge for higher education. But from a student’s perspective, how generous Australia is depends on exactly which aspect of the loan scheme you’re looking at.

This FactCheck will examine how Australia compares to other countries when it comes to:

  • the two key types of student loan schemes on offer here and overseas;
  • how generous Australia’s scheme is compared to countries with similar schemes;
  • how much you have to earn in different countries before loan repayments start;
  • how much different governments internationally subsidise the cost of higher education;
  • the interest rates charged on student loans;
  • and finally whether there are any countries where students don’t need a loan to get a degree.

.

read-more-button2

 

Blank Box

Exponential growth of VET-FEE HELP as sector opened to private colleges

The looting of VET FEE-HELP

7 April 2016

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

A report presented on ABC Radio National provides an insight into the thinking of the providers who have virtually looted VET FEE-HELP: it was all within the rules, apparently, so that made it all right.  As this extract shows, the greater part of the loot flowed to a handful of providers, all of which were relatively recently established, with no track record of provision, let alone quality provision.  In the space of a couple of years, for example, Ivan Brown,  turned a $500 start-up investment into a stake in a listed company worth $180 million (Australian Careers Network), all built on the back of government training subsidiesThe whole report is worth reading – ‘I’m not a cowboy’: Phoenix Institute investor maintains private college did nothing wrong.

………………………………………………………………………………………….……

Outflows under the VET FEE-HELP scheme have grown exponentially in recent years, particularly after Brown 12012 when the Gillard government struck new national partnership agreements with the states and territories that set ambitious targets for growth in vocational qualifications and tied funding to the opening up of the training industry to private competition.

When it was opened up in 2009, the scheme lent out $26 million, which grew to $118 million in 2010, $205 million in 2011, $325 million in 2012 and $699 million in 2013. Over the first five years of the scheme inclusive, coinciding roughly with the term of the former Labor government, the VET FEE-HELP loans totalled $1.4 billion.

Under the Coalition, VET FEE-HELP loans leapt to $1.8 billion in 2014 and a staggering $3 billion in 2015.

 

read-more-button2

 

VET FEE-HELP 2015

 

Blank Box

To subscribe to The Scan….


……. just hit the button below, give us your details and submit. Then when an edition of The Scan is published, you’ll get an email newsletter.  

Subscribe2

Life & stuff box4

12 April 2016

Tiny houses

…………………………………………………

A tour of Fred and Shannon Schultz’s amazing off the grid tiny house on wheels in Victoria, Australia. Fred spent 3 years designing the house in SketchUp and another year building it, mostly by himself and with little experience.  It’s not for everyone, obviously, but it’s one way to address housing affordability, not to mention sustainability. 

…………………………………………………

See
Fred’s Tiny Houses
Noticeboard Box3

 The VET Store

…………………………………………………

The VET Store is a  service by the VET Development Centre which provides access to a range of information to support VET practitioners in the work they do.

VET Development Centre

Click image to find out more!

Radio Double Karma Box

Click to listen

Click to listen

Adult contemporary music

The Fray…London Grammar…Leonard Cohen…Dixie Chicks…Peter Gabriel…Of Monsters and Men…Krishna Das…Cold Play…Snow Patrol….Clck hereAretha Franklin

You do need to sign up to listen but it’s free (for the first 40 hours a month)

.

.

Blank Box

Is there something interesting near where you live and/or work? Got an interesting story? Got an event coming up? Tell us about it!

Contact-me-150x150

Red Box

2602

Advertisements

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: