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Institutional differentiation in Australian higher education

15 May 2017 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… There is general consensus in the higher education literature that institutional differentiation is desirable (Meek et al, 1996; van Vught 2007). More diverse systems tend to perform better because they meet diverse student needs, are better equipped to stimulate social mobility through different access points and progression pathways, are better linked to labour markets that increasingly require different types of graduates, and allow for more cost-effective delivery of both education and research through specialisation. Concerns about the capacity of the Australian Unified National System to lead to diversity have been raised since it … [Read more...]

Inquiry into higher ed admissions processes

Need to ensure students "uni ready" 7 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: Some students are confused about university … [Read more...]

The Scan #176 16 December 2015

News __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Rebalancing Victorian VET 16 December 2015     |     The Victorian government has released the Final Report of The VET Funding Review (Mackenzie Report).  It’s a weighty document, both literally and figuratively, running to 173 pages and 109 recommendations. Skills minister Steve Herbert says the government accepts the “general thrust” of the report and its recommendations.  It will take the next year to work through design and implementation issues and to consult with stakeholders ahead of the introduction of a new funding model in 2017.  Certain … [Read more...]

MYEFO budget measures

ACPET    |     22 December 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), released on 15 December, updates the economic and fiscal outlook from the budget in May.  Following is a summary prepared by ACPET of savings and expenditure measures relevant to the education, employment and training sectors. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The Support for Adult Apprentices payment has been wound up, with loans being offered through the Trade Support Loans scheme as a replacement measure, the new Australian Apprenticeships Support Services will have reduced funding, down $30million over 4 year as a result of “streamlining” … [Read more...]

TDA Newsletter | 15 September 2014

First tranche of VET reform – TDA welcomes new apprentice support services TDA welcomed the federal government’s announcement that apprentices and their employers will receive greater support, with an emphasis on apprentice quality and completion. In a media statement, CEO Martin Riordan said that apprentice completion rates need to be improved, and TAFE Directors had been advocating greater attention – and involvement of major providers like TAFE – to enable apprentice recruitment and quality training, both on-the job and off-the-job. TDA supported Industry Minister Macfarlane’s decision to scrap the Australian Apprenticeships Centres and replace them with the new $200 million a year … [Read more...]

The Scan’s top ten reads – July 2014

1 August 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… In July, The Scan published 56 posts, somewhat down on the longterm average of about 20 a week. An issue that continues to resonate with Scan readers is the impact of "skills reform" on the future of the TAFE system, with three posts on that issue making the top ten reads list in July.  Posts dealing with the issue of university fee deregulation have also been attracting significant interest. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......… TAFE becoming “residualised” 4 July 2014     |       Analysis by Leesa Wheelahan (University of Toronto and LH Martin Institute) of recent VET statistics shows that TAFE’s share of publicly funded … [Read more...]

TDA Newsletter 23 June 2013

Unleash the potential of TAFE and make VET a national priority – Business Council CEO delivers 2014 Chancellor’s Lecture at Swinburne University of Technology Reform of the vocational education and training (VET) system needs to be far-reaching, with greater Commonwealth involvement and closer links to industry, the Business Council of Australia (BCA) says. Delivering the Swinburne University 2014 Chancellor’s Lecture, BCA Chief Executive, Jennifer Westacott, said while higher education is not short of people with opinions, “VET on the other hand, needs more powerful friends”. “No matter what successive governments have said, future-proofing VET has not been a national priority and this … [Read more...]

The Scan | #154 | 13 June 2014

TEQSA "gardening leave" confirmed 13 June 2014    |    It has been confirmed at Senate Estimates that chief higher education regulator Carol Nicoll has taken indefinite leave and her future is tied to legislation that would restructure the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.  A Bill introduced in late February by education minister Christopher Pyne would spill the positions of TEQSA’s five commissioners, splitting the roles of chief commissioner and chief executive both of which are currently vested in the person of Dr Nicoll. It would also strip away the agency’s broader role in quality assessment.....[ MORE ]…. VET susidy cuts in Queensland 13 June 2014    |    The … [Read more...]

Review of Higher Education Standards Framework

The Higher Education Standards Panel has invited comment on proposed revisions to the Higher Education Standards Framework, which govern the approval processes for becoming and remaining a higher education provider. The Panel’s third Call for Comment includes background information on the Panel’s approach and consultation process, as well as instructions for the submission of comments. The closing date for comments is Friday 27 June 2014. … [Read more...]

The Scan | #153 | 6 June 2014

UA calls for a rethink of reforms 6 June 2014   |     Universities Australia has called for a “pause” to enable a rethink on the design of the proposed changes to the student loan program and the 20% cut in the Government contribution to student fees. Applying what UA describes as “reasonably conservative assumptions”, its modelling of the impact of the proposed shows that student debt levels are likely to at least double. Under a “medium fee increase” scenario, with a 4% interest rate, an engineering graduate working full-time faces a HELP debt of between $98,952 and $113,169 and would repay it over a period of 20 – 25 years. This is compared with $46,701 to $49,284 debt and 14 to 18 … [Read more...]