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The Scan 13 February 2015

Edition # 166 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Higher ed reforms referred back to Committee 12 February 2015 | Labor, the Greens and four independent senators (Senators Xenophon, Lambie, Muir, Rhiannon and Lazarus) have joined forces to establish another inquiry into higher education reform, to report by 17 March. The committee will consider alternatives to deregulation, likely future demand for places and implications on student loans, research infrastructure and regional provision. The inquiry will also look to investigate “the appropriateness and accuracy of government … [Read more...]

The Scan | Edition # 164 | 31 October 2014

Labor's calculator of doom 31 October 2014    |       As part of its growing campaign against the Abbott government’s deregulation of university fees, Labor has launched its own “calculator of doom” which shows that in a “best case” scenario in which universities simply raise fees to cover proposed funding cuts, female nurses and teachers could face cost increases of about 60% once interest repayments are included. Under the best case scenario, a female nurse would end up repaying $32,245 for her three-year degree over nine years, up 66% from $19,410 under current arrangements. If prices rose to international student levels she would eventually repay $56,643 over almost 15 years. A male … [Read more...]

The Scan | Edition #161 | 29 August 2014

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Pyne introduces reform bill   28 August 2014   |    The government introduced its higher education reform legislation into Parliament – the Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014.  As anticipated, the legislation closely mirrors the announcement on budget night. There is to be fee deregulation with a requirement that 20% of net additional revenue from fee increases be set aside for equity scholarships. Students’ loans through the HELP scheme will be indexed at the 10-year bond rate … [Read more...]

Higher education: a “public good” or “pernicious welfare” ?

20 June 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… In this op-ed piece originally published in The Australian, Ben Etherington (Univeristy of Western Sydney) takes issue with John Roskam's proposition that "taxpayer-subsidised higher education is one of the more pernicious forms of welfare".  Among other things, Roskam queried the relevance of studying the “emergence of poetry in various Caribbean Creoles”,  Etherington's current project. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… “In an era of busy government and constant change, it’s insufficiently recognised how often masterly inactivity can be the best contribution that government can make to a particular sector. A period … [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...]

Science funding actually slashed

Fairfax Media | 29    May 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Science and research have been big losers in the budget, veiled somewhat by the proposed creation of the medical research fund of $20 billion, the purpose of which has been queried by a number of commentators.  As a result of Commonwealth government’s budget cuts, CSIRO is closing several research sites and scaling back research in a number of areas, particularly related to climate change and the environment. Meanwhile, a Coalition backbencher - a scientist, no less - has queried the "coherence" of Coalition science policy. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… An annual direction statement, written by … [Read more...]

Vann’s stand

CSU     |    28 May 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… In this  forensic analysis, Charles Sturt University vice-chancellor Andrew Vann demolishes what he describes as the "pretexts" of the recent budget with respect to higher education.  Vann rejects the idea that deregulation is required to create diversity: “Charles Sturt University is nothing like the University of Sydney, nor does it wish to be anything like it.” Neither does he think that fee deregulation will enable Australian universities to climb up the global university rankings: for an Australian university to make it into the Top 20, for example, “I have previously suggested we might be able to pull this off by … [Read more...]

Less students in publicly funded training in 2013: preliminary data

NCVER     |     29 May 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The total number of students enrolled in publicly funded training for 2013 decreased 3.4% to 1.88 million students from 1.94 million in 2012. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The Australian vocational education and training statistics: Students and courses 2013 – preliminary data, published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), provide a snapshot of training activity taken from an annual collection of student enrolments. Rod Camm,  NCVER managing director, says that NCVER’s preliminary analysis suggests the decrease in overall student numbers may be partly the result of the … [Read more...]

The Scan #150 23 May 2014

___________________________________________________________________________________________ Making a stab at fees poses grave risks: UA 22 May 2013     |    With Prime Minister Tony Abbott acknowledging that he can’t guarantee that university fees might not double, University Australia chair Sandra Harding says that there are “grave risks” in a precipitate move to fee deregulation, set to take place in 2016. As the new fee regime will apply to all enrolments after 14 May 2014, students enrolling after that date will not know the fees that will apply from 1 January 2016 until such time as universities announce their fees. In order to provide some degree of certainty and inform student … [Read more...]

The Scan # 149 15 May 2014

___________________________________________________________________________________________ ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Higher education Higher education spending will rise appreciably in 2014-15, from $8.7 billion to $10.9 billion (25%), with the extension of the demand driven system to sub-bachelor places and non-university higher education providers. Modest further growth is forecast out to 2017-18, to $11.8 billion (9%). The key elements of higher education spending in the 2014-15 Budget, according to Universities Australia. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Extending the demand driven system to sub-bachelor places and non-university … [Read more...]