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The Scan 28 June 2016 #181

Apprentice numbers slump 28 June 2016    |     The number of apprentices across Australia has plunged since the Coalition took office, government figures show, with some of the steepest falls occurring in high-unemployment marginal seats still up for grabs at Saturday's election.  Western Sydney has lost 10,642 apprentices and western Melbourne 4782, while the national total fell 28 per cent from 383,562 to 278,583, between December 2013 and December last year, documents obtained under Freedom of Information and NCVER data reveal.  Labor claims the falling take up of apprenticeships is a direct result of the $1 billion stripped from trades support programs since the change of government, … [Read more...]

Higher education gets short shrift in the election campaign

28 June 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Stephen Parker, the soon to retire vice-chancellor of the University of Canberra, was an implacable opponent of the  Coalition's university deregulation package.  But from being a red hot issue during most of the last term of Parliament, higher education has hardly figured in the election campaign.  The Coalition has slipped the electorate a mogadon and seemingly gotten away with it.  The mogadon will wear of after the election, should the Coalition returned. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Higher education policy during the Abbott government was highly controversial and probably a component of Tony Abbott’s … [Read more...]

Great 8 propose caps on enrolments

Fairfax Media    |  15 June 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The elite Group of Eight universities have proposed that the Commonwealth government reintroduce limits on how many students each university can enrol, a suggestion slammed by other vice-chancellors as "cancerous" and "selfish". …………………………………………………………………………………….......……   The Group has released a paper calling for a "moderation" of the demand-driven system that allows universities to enrol as many students as they want. Group of Eight chair Michael Spence said the uncapping of university places in from 2009-21012 had blown out the budget by billions of dollars while leaving important university … [Read more...]

UA welcomes greater support for women in STEM- Election Statement

26 June 2016      |     Universities Australia welcomes the Coalition’s commitment to lift science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) literacy and encourage more women into these national future-proofing disciplines. The Coalition today announced $31.2 million for internships and post-school career advice to help support more women and girls to choose STEM careers. Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said helping women to find their path in a STEM career was vital to realising the potential of Australian students. “Quality career advice and internships will expose young people, particularly women, to the wonders of science and the possibilities that STEM … [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...]

The Scan #179 5 May 2016

A few cuts, no frills 4 May 2016   |   The government has pushed consideration of proposed university reforms, including a 20% cut in funding, out beyond the election, until 1 January 2018.  While it has ruled out full fee deregulation, it has released an options paper, to guide a consultation process, canvassing a range of alternative fee measures which would still see substantial fee rises.  The 2016 Budget also sees an efficiency dividend of $1.2 billion on legislated dropped but the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program has been cut by $152 million to $553 million over four years.  The Office of Learning and Teaching has been abolished, with the resulting $18 million in … [Read more...]

International education strategy launched

4 May 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… With international education worth $19.6 billion to the Australian economy in 2015, the government has provided $12 million in the Budget to fund the National Strategy for International Education 2025 released on 30 April. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The strategy actually has 3 parts: The National Strategy for International Education 2025 itself, which reflects a “whole-of-sector” approach and sets out a 10-year plan for further developing Australia’s position as a global leader in education and training. The national strategy is based around three pillars: “strengthening the fundamentals” (including improvements to … [Read more...]

A few cuts, no thrills for unis in 2016 Budget

4 May 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The government has pushed consideration of proposed university reforms, including a 20% cut in funding, out beyond the election, until 1 January 2018 and it has ruled out full fee deregulation.  It has released an options paper, to guide a consultation process, canvassing a range of alternative fee measures. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The 2016 Budget also sees an efficiency dividend of $1.2 billion on legislated dropped but the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program has been cut by $152 million to $553 million over four years.  The Office of Learning and Teaching has been abolished, with the resulting $18 … [Read more...]

Pyne agenda lives on

20% cut to funding likely The Australian   |   5 April 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The government remains committed to a higher education funding reform with university students increasingly likely to pay more for their degrees, Education Minister Simon Birmingham has confirmed. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Birmingham told Sky News on 4 April he wanted to “refine and improve” the original plan by former minister Christopher Pyne. “The growth in higher education spending over the last 20 years has essentially gone at double the rate of growth of the economy, so that is not a sustainable financial trajectory,” he said. He said the original 20% cut … [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...]