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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...]

Labor’s Policies on Tertiary Education

Higher Education  Student Funding Guarantee Labor has committed to supporting the demand driven system which has seen an additional 190,000 students enrolled at university since 2009. A Labor government will introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee to provide certainty to universities and remove the need for higher fees. Under a Labor Government, average funding per undergraduate student in 2018 will be more than $11,800, which it says would be $2,500 than under a Coalition government. Funding for the guarantee will be indexed. Restoration of research block grant funding Labor proposes to restore $370m in funding cut from  research grants  by the Abbott-Turnbull governments since … [Read more...]

Universities Australia – Election 2016 – Statements

Keep it Clever: Policy Statement 2016 Australia is at an economic and productivity crossroads. In an era of sweeping change, other nations are seizing the future with investments in higher education, research, innovation and skills. Australia now faces a stark choice: we either make our own investment—or we fall behind those nations that do. Equipping ourselves for the dramatic economic transformation ahead is an urgent task. Indeed, our future prosperity depends on it. That’s why we need a new contract with the Australian public—supported by political bipartisanship—that grasps the direct link between our national investment in education, research and innovation, and Australia’s economic … [Read more...]

Running, jumping, standing still

The Conversation     |    4 May 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… What now? asks Gavin Moodie (RMIT) in The Conversation. While across-the-board full fee deregulation has now been dumped by the Coalition, fee deregulation of so-called "flagship courses", first mooted in the Review of Base Funding in 2011 (with the significant qualification that such fees be capped at plus 50% above what they would otherwise be), looks a hot prospect for a  re-elected Coalition government  (as does a raising of the cap on other courses by some percentage). That is, of course, still moot: an incoming Labor government would be ostensibly committed to additional public investment in higher … [Read more...]

Collaboration and the case for certainty

University Australia's election agenda 17 March 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… In this extract from his  speech to the recent Universities Australia Conference (which was mainly about research, innovation and collaboration),  Universities Australia's chair Barney Glover sets out in broad terms the university sector’s policy agenda for this election year. He prefaced his comments with the observation that the sector has been subject almost 2 years of policy insecurity and uncertainty which has taken a toll on the ability of universities to plan and allocate resources (it’s actually more like 4 years, taking into account the churn that was going on in the latter days of 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...]

50 Future Fellowships announced

17 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Australian Research Council has announced grants of $38.6 million to support 50 Future Fellows at 17 universities.  The Future Fellowship scheme provides four-year fellowships to outstanding Australian mid-career researchers. The aim of Future Fellowships is to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers in Australia rather than head off overseas to advance their careers.  Details of the approved projects are HERE. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……   Future Fellowships 2015 funding outcomes—Snapshot by State and Organisation Administering Organisation Total number of projects Total … [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...]

Australian university research quality soars

Universities Australia    |    4 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The inaugural State of Australian University Research 2015–16: Volume 1 ERA National Report comprehensively details the quality of Australian university research benchmarked against world standards.  It identifies the excellence in research across a broad range of universities and the outstanding performances in areas of specialisation. Overall the quality of Australian university research continues to improve. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The report confirms Australia's university research performance is amongst the best in the world. In 2015, 89% of the assessed research areas in … [Read more...]

Innovating an “Ideas Boom”

7 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled his much-anticipated Innovation Statement, saying he wanted to drive an "ideas boom".  The statement allocates almost $1.1 billion over the next four years to promote business-based research, development and innovation. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Key measures A key focus of the plan revolves around strengthening ties between the business community, universities and scientific institutions. A $200 million innovation fund will co-invest in businesses that develop technology from the CSIRO and Australian universities. CSIRO will also get an extra $20 million to help … [Read more...]