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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...]

Tertiary education: where to from here?

Melbourne University Newsoom     |    27 February 2017 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The future of Australia’s tertiary education sector is the subject of a new collection of essays by some of the country’s leading education researchers. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……   Produced by the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, Visions for Australian Tertiary Education, presents a progressive and provocative agenda for transforming tertiary education in this country. Twenty-six authors, including 18 from the University of Melbourne, have contributed to the volume’s 12 chapters that discuss, among other things, … [Read more...]

Resourcing Australia’s tertiary education sector

LH Martin Institute Australian Government expenditure on tertiary education has been consistently at 0.8% of GDP since 2000. There has not been a ‘blowout’ in tertiary education spending. If there is a problem, it is simply that the Government needs to bring the Budget back into balance. The contribution that can be made to that objective from the tertiary education sector is at best modest, writes Mark Warburton. While direct expenditure on higher education student places under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) has increased considerably since 2008, this has been substantially offset since 2011 by 13 major savings measures which have reduced spending in other programs of support for … [Read more...]

The Scan # 177 17 March 2016

News ______________________________________________________ Fed takeover of VET unlikely 14 March 2016   |   The newly-minted Commonwealth minister for skills, Scott Ryan,  has poured cold water on a proposed Commonwealth takeover of vocational education and training set out in a draft of a paper to go to the next meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).  Under the proposal, TAFE fees would be deregulated and TAFEs would receive the same funding.  While education Simon Birmingham has strongly advocated a Commonwealth takeover,  Ryan says there are strong arguments to maintain the current system. Ryan said redesigning the troubled VET FEE-HELP scheme - which has blown … [Read more...]

The need for a comprehensive national review of VET

16 March 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Following is an extract from a submission by the LH Martin Institute to the House of Representatives Inquiry into TAFE (May 2013) which argues the need for a comprehensive national inquiry into VET. ..........…………………………………………………………………………………….......……   ...policy-makers, in particular, but also industry, the VET provider sector and analysts need to be mindful of the sometimes enervating effect of constant changes to and attempts to remake the VET system.  A restless, seemingly ceaseless search for perfection seems to characterise the official mindset about the VET sector.  At any one time, it is almost certainly likely to be … [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...]

The Scan #175 11 December 2015

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ News __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ VET FEE-HELP skewering system   11 December 2015      |       Explosive growth in the VET FEE-HELP scheme has masked massive direct public disinvestment in vocational education and training. While a report by NCVER shows a notional growth of 1.7% in 2014 over 2013 (plus $141.0 million, from $8512.4 million to $8653.4 million), it’s all in VET-FEE Help payments: actual direct expenditure by governments, … [Read more...]

Anatomy of a scandal

How did the Australian VET system get here? LH Martin Institute    |     8 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Jim Davidson, a former senior official of both the Victorian and Commonwealth governments and now a Senior Honorary Fellow of the LH Martin Institute, dissects the  crisis now enveloping the VET sector.  As he asks: How  could this have happened?  Good question. He says future policy responses by government need to deal with the root causes of the current growth in VET FEE-HELP and not further exacerbate the issues caused by the current policy settings.  And he proposes that an immediate measure should be  a moratorium on VET FEE-HELP loans for online course … [Read more...]

Redesigning Australia’s tertiary sector

 29 October 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… If there is the collective will, a window of opportunity has opened for a serious discussion about the future architecture of Australian tertiary education and the funding mechanisms that would encourage genuine diversity to flourish, write Richard James and Leo Goedegebuure. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… After two lost years the sector desperately needs funding reforms. But how can the debate be placed on a new footing? We believe the answer lies in returning to first principles: what kinds of institutions, and what mix of institutions, would best serve Australia? Our thinking is simple: let’s develop a farsighted … [Read more...]

LH Martin Newsletter 23 October 2015

Responses by Some Australian Universities to Demand-Driven Policy Reforms by Prof. Emeritus Frank Larkins Frank Larkins' latest analysis on Australian higher education looks at the responses to the demand-driven reforms of 2009. 2016 postgraduate courses - applications open and online info sessions available Master of Tertiary Education Management A two-year, part time course designed for middle to senior level educators, administrators and scholars seeking to extend their knowledge and skills in tertiary sector leadership and management. Read more about the course. Read also about the recent papers by our graduates which were published in … [Read more...]