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Federal Budget 2017

The Conversation | 9 May 2017   Students interrupted Simon Birmingham’s speech on planned higher education reforms. Katina Curtis/AAP University fees and cuts Gwilym Croucher, Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne: The government has confirmed the package of changes it announced a week ago with significant cuts. Students in particular will pay more, a lot more. Student contributions will increase by 1.8% each year between 2018 and 2021 for a total 7.5% increase. This means they will pay 46%, instead of 42%, of the cost of their degree on average. So, for a four-year course, this is an increase in total student fees of … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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 Scan’s year

Summer edition 2016 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The Scan in 2015 This year’s top ten reads were heavily skewed towards the “VET crisis” and attempts by authorities (rather belatedly in our view) to stamp out the obvious rorting, particularly in VET FEE-HELP funding, which has been truly scandalous. In fact, the number one post this year on The Scan is also the number one post of all time and by quite a bit. If you enter “rorting” in the … [Read more...]

The Scan in 2015

 26 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… On account of other pressing matters in 2015 published editions of The Scan, with a completely refreshed front page heralded to subscribers by an e-newsletter, were down quite a bit – just 21 in 2015 compared to 40 in in 2014. Nevertheless, some 350 items were posted, which is about 8 a week in The Scan’s year, a little down on the 10 items posted a week last year. Traffic to the Scan website remained strong, down about 20% on last year’s figures. The Scan’s now extensive archive of nearly 3000 posts creates “organic” traffic: over one third of all Scan traffic now flows from search engines and referrals. Regular readers will have … [Read more...]