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The election outcome

4 July 2016 There's really not much to say, is there?  TDA summed it up from a tertiary education perspective: Political instability prevails, with the election outcome too close to call and the VET sector in a state of uncertainty after eight weeks of campaigning. …. For the tertiary education sector, the uncertainty is compounded by a curious lack of policy commitment from the Coalition, which did not release any training or skills policy or new initiatives during the campaign. In higher education, it's a similar situation with the coalition policy subject to the views of an expert panel flowing from a discussion paper. For international education, there will be more … [Read more...]

Election 2016: Higher education and VET issues

News items,  statements, analysis and commentary   The election outcome There's really not much to say, is there?  TDA summed it up from a tertiary education perspective, saying the uncertainty of the vote itself  is compounded by a curious lack of policy commitment from the Coalition, which did not release any skills policy or higher education  policy during the campaign.....[ READ MORE ].... Labor Of its "100 positive policies",  about 20% (19 to be precise) are in tertiary education.  In higher education, Labor has committed to maintaining the demand driven system, backed up by a Student Funding Guarantee to provide "certainty to universities and remove the … [Read more...]

The year to date

11 March 2016 There’s a lot to catch up with but, as they say, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (which is, according to the estimable Wiktionary, an epigram by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in the January 1849 issue of his journal Les Guêpes (“The Wasps”), meaning “the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing.”)  VET FEE-HELP   As previously reported, changes to the VET FEE-HELP (VFH)  scheme legislated late last year provides some better protection of students from the carpetbaggers who have looted the scheme and dudded the students.  The government proposes to spend this year look at ways to rort-proof it from the likes of Phoenix.  But as so many people have asked: how … [Read more...]

The Scan’s top ten reads – October 2014

31 October 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… In October The Scan published 47 posts, considerably less than usual, and only published 2 editions, rather than the 4-5 in a usual month.  Early in October, we suffered what seemed to be a catastrophic ICT event , which turned out merely to be a bit of a disaster but limited activity (nothing to do with viruses and worms!).  As noted last month  Scan readers seem to be drawn to a whiff of controversy and the runaway controversy in October was the regulatory travails of the ASX-listed training provider Vocation (and which seem to have some way to run yet). University fee deregulation featured highly, with advocates and opponents … [Read more...]

V-Cs urge modified reform package

The Australian    |    26 August 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Vice-chancellors have converged on Canberra to lobby education minister Christopher Pyne to push ahead with plans to deregulate tuition fees but with amendments to the whole reform package, including a rethink of proposals to impose sharply higher interest rates on student loans. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The vice-chancellors have also reacted strongly to the suggestion that the government might grab savings from university research budgets if it does not get its reforms through the Senate. Glyn Davis, head of Melbourne University, described as “chilling” Pyne’s refusal to rule out cuts to … [Read more...]

The year in cartoons

30 December 2013 So much insightful, funny and cutting commentary comes from Australia's great cartoonists. Many people miss out. Inspired by Barrie Cassidy's Insiders Talking Pictures, this Facebook page - Political Cartoons Australia  - has a selection of the year's best cartoons.  Our personal favourite by Fairfax's John Spooner accompanied the post The tide goes out, on the crumbling of the Gillard Government. … [Read more...]

The Scan | #137 | 12 September 2013

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Australian unis rate highly but slipping The 2014 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings show that while the majority of Australian universities have slipped on the ladder of the world's leading institutions, seven still in rank in the world top 100  and twenty universities - half of the entire system - make the top 400.The top universities in Australia were: ANU at 27 (down 3 places from last year), Melbourne, (31, up 5 places) Sydney (38, up 1 place), University of Queensland (43, up 3), University of NSW (52, steady) Monash … [Read more...]

ALP proposes bypassing states on TAFE funding

2 September  2013 The ALP has made jobs and training the focus of its policy statement for the 2013 election. Apprentices would get a boost to the Tools for Your Trade cash payment, from $5,500 to $6,000, as against the Coalition’s commitment to a $20,000 HECS-style loan scheme. The Coalition says that its loans scheme will be on top of the current grants scheme but that would seem unlikely – we’ll just have to wait for the Coalition’s costings statement. Kevin Rudd has also pledged to change the law to ensure that any major projects, including mines, ports and roads worth more than $300 million, must adopt Australian Industry Participation Plans. He said this measure is … [Read more...]

The Scan | #135 | 30 August 2013

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Go8 dumps minimum ATAR proposal The elite Group of Eight (Go8) universities have stepped back from a controversial proposal to dump the uncapped, demand driven system, a proposition it has been pushing for the best part of a year. The Group has argued that savings of $750m over 4 years that would flow from the introduction of a minimum ATAR of 60 for university entry could offset higher education cuts of nearly $4b announced since last October, including $2.8b earlier this year.   But Fred Hilmer, Go8 chair and vice-chancellor of UNSW, now … [Read more...]

Campaign notes: week 3

The debate we had to have….Rudd is a prolix nasty pasty….Bromide Tony….The elephant in the room….Coalition leads some more Perhaps the dullest election campaign in living memory (2010 was at least “enlivened” by the ant-Gillard leaks) got a bit of a zip with the “town hall forum” featuring Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott and 105 “undecided” voters.  They were able to throw questions at each other and field questions from the audience, much in the style of the ABC’s Q&A (older people may recall that Q&A owes much to the 1970s program Monday Conference). In terms of presentation, most commentators gave the points decisively to Rudd, although the audience scored it about even – 37 to … [Read more...]