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Universities warned to brace for funding cut

The Australian     |     1 July 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Universities have been warned their funding will be cut by 20% almost immediately, an average of $32 million a university, if the government can get its higher education reform package through the Senate by the end of the year. The legislation,  rejected by the Senate in March, was due to be reintroduced during the budget sittings of Parliament  but has been left to "lie fallow" as education  minister Christopher Pyne presumably cultivates the Senate crossbenchers.  Most informed commentary is that the legislation has little prospects of passing in its present form.   So will the government amend the bill? … [Read more...]

Deregulating university fees “not essential” – new UA chair

Fairfax Media     |   31 May 2015 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………  Deregulating university fees is not essential for Australia to have a sustainable and high quality university sector, according to the new chairman of peak body Universities Australia, Barney Glover. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Glover, who is the University of Western Sydney vice-chancellor, said the university funding debate must focus on the "compelling case" for increased government investment – not just requiring students to pay more for a degree. In an interview with Fairfax Media marking his arrival at Universities Australia, he also queried the effectiveness of Labor's proposal … [Read more...]

The Scan in May 2015

31 May  2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… In May The Scan posted 60 items and published 3 editions (#168, #169 and #170) .  Regulatory issues in the VET sector continue to attract most reader attention, led by the troubles of  ASX-listed private training provider Vocation.  There's more than one way to skin a cat and it seems that action under consumer protection laws may prove an increasingly  useful way to deal with dodgy providers.  The Victorian consumer protection authority successfully prosecuted one notoriously dodgy provider and the national agency has up to 10 providers in its sights for unethical conduct.  May is, of course, budget month. Universities Australia's … [Read more...]

Australia dumbs down?

29 May 2015 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………   Australia is betting on plumbers and coffee-shop owners over scientists and researchers to drive the nation’s next wave of economic growth, writes Michael Heath in BloombergBusiness. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The country that brought you refrigerators, black-box flight recorders, bionic ears and Wi-Fi will cut its research budget by 7 percent over the next 12 months, and another 10% in the following three years. At the same time it’s offering tax cuts and write-offs in this year’s budget for small firms to buy equipment like espresso machines and lawnmowers as the centerpiece of a plan to build a “stronger and … [Read more...]

ACPET National Monday Update Edition 605, 25 May

In Focus Emerging Issues Edition 605, 25 May This week’s edition was to be about the 2015-16 Commonwealth Budget. I will still touch on it but another issue has emerged. Surprise would be an understatement in reading the release of the South Australian Government’s subsidised training list (Workready).  The list reveals the cessation of a contestable market for training in South Australia, effectively removing student choice in that State. I read about it as there was no consultation, no warning and no attempt to work with the sector. The decision overturns 20 years of progress achieved through National Competition Policy in this country and is a breach of South … [Read more...]

Grattan Newsletter 19 May 2015

  Budget Policy This year’s Budget might be good politics but the long-term costs of a timid budget are insidious and they fall heavily on middle-income earners, young people and people who are not even born, write Grattan Institute CEO John Daley and Grattan Fellow Danielle Wood in The Australian. The Budget is likely to keep more people happy than the 2014 Budget, but it not only does nothing to address Australia’s long-term budgetary challenges, it is built on denial that we have a problem at all, write John Daley and Danielle Wood in The Conversation. Three days after the Budget, Commonwealth Treasury Secretary John Fraser made his only public statement on the Budget and … [Read more...]

High Wired

The Australian      |    21 May 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Scan always checks The Australian's  offbeat but always insightful High Wired for its take on higher education issues.  The edition of 21 May is a particularly informative one. Here are snippets. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Cutting to the chase Amid all the welcoming noises about education minister Christopher Pyne’s review of the research training sector, HW was relieved to see the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations finding a different narrative. They made the (obvious) point that the review comes as the government is cutting the research training scheme by 10 per cent — … [Read more...]

ACPET comment on 2015 Budget

ACPET Monday Update | 18 May 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… There was very little mention of post school education and training. There were however a number of announcements that impact on private providers of education and training. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… These include: Visa Applications costs to increase by either the level of the CPI, 5% or 10%. Reduced taxation and incentives for small business. Obviously this is a positive outcome for our smaller providers. Higher Education reforms. The various releases from the Government have reinforced the Government position that it will continue to make significant investment to strengthen … [Read more...]

TDA comment on 2015 Budget

TDA Newsletter    |   18 May 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The training and skills portfolio was largely untouched in the in federal budget, although there were a number of changes that will have an impact. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… These include: $14.5 million in funding in 2015 16 to expand the Adult Migrant English Program for one year to include refugees who hold temporary substantive visas, including Temporary Protection Visas, Safe Haven Enterprise Visas and Temporary (Humanitarian Concern) Visas. $18.2 million in funding over four years from 2015 16 to implement an enhanced compliance regime for VET FEE- HELP. An extension of the … [Read more...]

Budget hits international education

TDA Newsletter    |   18 May 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… While there were few changes to training and skills in the 2015 Budget, there were a number of significant impacts on international education revealed in the detailed portfolio statements. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… These include: The Regional Links and Increasing the Profile of Australia's International Education Sector (IPAIES) programs will cease from 2015−16 with remaining multi−year IPAIES contracts continuing to 2018−19. The Professional Service Development Program and the Assessment Subsidy for Overseas Trained Professionals will cease from 2015−16. All visitors applying for a … [Read more...]