Advertisements

University ‘reforms’ are a looming disaster

The Canberra Times     |     23 July 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The prospect of university fee deregulation, as proposed in the Budget, has divided the university sector.  The Group of Eight is strongly in favour, with ANU vice-chancellor and Go8 chair Ian Young saying that, in an environment of declining public funding, without fee deregulation, the university sector is unsustainable.  The Australian Technology Network universities "reluctantly"  agrees and the peak body, Universities Australia is not opposed. But number of individual vice -chancellors have been strongly critical of the proposal, with  University of Canberra vice-chancellor Stephen Parker … [Read more...]

The Scan | #153 | 6 June 2014

UA calls for a rethink of reforms 6 June 2014   |     Universities Australia has called for a “pause” to enable a rethink on the design of the proposed changes to the student loan program and the 20% cut in the Government contribution to student fees. Applying what UA describes as “reasonably conservative assumptions”, its modelling of the impact of the proposed shows that student debt levels are likely to at least double. Under a “medium fee increase” scenario, with a 4% interest rate, an engineering graduate working full-time faces a HELP debt of between $98,952 and $113,169 and would repay it over a period of 20 – 25 years. This is compared with $46,701 to $49,284 debt and 14 to 18 … [Read more...]

The case FOR Americanised universities

UNSW News | 5 June 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… In the pitched battle over Christopher Pyne’s proposed reforms to higher education, the term “Americanisation” is freely bandied about – and the connotations are invariably negative. But the facts about American higher education belie common Australian worries about affordability and quality, according to Geoffrey Garrett. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Headline tuition rates at the top American universities are much higher than is conceivable in Australia. But US universities give big scholarships to lots of students, significantly reducing the effective cost of degrees. And these scholarships are … [Read more...]

Quelle surprise (2): Go8 takes a contrary view on fee deregulation

The Australian    |    5 June 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Australia’s elite universities have broken ranks with the higher education peak body, saying bungled reforms under Labor make Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s unpopular changes "necessary" and "inevitable". ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Mike Gallagher, executive director of the Group of Eight universities, says the Abbott government had no “realistic policy alternatives” to its proposed budget reforms, which will see funding rates cut, student fees deregulated, a real interest applied to student loans and universities exposed to private sector competition.  Although he stopped short of … [Read more...]

Notes on the news

30 May 2014 A wink's as good as a nod (etc) ………………………………………………………………………………………………………  After nearly three weeks, the controversy around the Budget has barely abated. Opinion polls tell us it’s the most unpopular Budget ever, perceived as unfair and littered with broken promises. That’s one thing about opinion polls: politicians can no longer resort to the sanctuary of the Silent Majority; however well informed, the Majority, these days, is loud and clamorous. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......……  It’s a tricky situation for a first term government delivering its first budget, not helped by the fact that senior ministers, from the prime minister down, are apparently not … [Read more...]

Would you buy a used car from this man?

In public relations, spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing an interpretation of an event or campaign to persuade public opinion in favor or against a certain organization or public figure. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, "spin" often implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics. Politicians are often accused by their opponents of claiming to be honest and seek the truth while using spin tactics to manipulate public opinion. Usually, spin is grounded in some reality. But the spin of the government on its budget is, in many respects, deceitful and dishonest, and it's been shambolic. As Kaye Lee … [Read more...]

TEQSA cuts “nuts”

The Australian    |   21 May 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… A budget line item to halve the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s (TEQSA) funding has been described as “counter¬intuitive” by Hilary Winchester, deputy vice-chancellor at CQ University and a former higher education auditor. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Winchester said: It does look nuts to me. We will see … new operators rushing to get registered and offer higher education programs in what they see as a low cost market. The 2014-15 budget papers show regulation and quality assurance cuts from $20.4 million in 2013 to $10.3m in 2017. According to the budget statement : Reduced … [Read more...]

Govt blinking over budget measures

ABC News    |   24 May 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Commonwealth government has conceded it will need to compromise on some of its more controversial budget measures to get them through a hostile Senate. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Education minister Christopher Pyne has told told Fairfax Media that he accepts his plan to deregulate universities is unlikely to pass in full.  He said he is "realistic enough" to see that the proposal will require amendments. Pyne has highlighted potential changes to the interest rate and salary threshold at which students would be required to pay back their university loans. Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the … [Read more...]

TDA Newsletter 19 May 2014

Notice of TDA Annual General Meeting The Annual General Meeting of TAFE Directors Australia will be held in Brisbane on Friday, 23 May 2014, commencing at 10.00am. The location is TAFE Queensland, Southbank Institute Campus, Boardroom (Level 7, Room C 7112 – C Block) 66 Ernest St, South Brisbane. Please RSVP to Janny Tjen, Administration Manager, TDA, (02) 9217 3180, or email:           memberservices@tda.edu.au Teleconference dial-in is available. Please RSVP for details. AGENDA Opening and Welcome Apologies Confirmation of the Minutes of the TDA AGM held on 24 May 2013 Chair’s Report Annual Report and Statement to Members Statement of TDA’s Accounts for 2013 and … [Read more...]

Tertiary education in the 2014-15 Budget – sector responses

Budget drives sweeping changes to higher education The budget puts higher education on a path of radical change … and will fundamentally alter the shape of Australian higher education...In deciding to extend the demand driven system and government funding to non-university providers, UA is pleased that further work will be done to ensure competitive fairness and that the relative government support appropriately takes account of the differing community expectations and public good obligations.....[ MORE ].... A package to explore for the future IRU has long advocated continuing with charging caps, set to ensure universities have sufficient revenue to provide good quality education. … [Read more...]