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Not quite what you said yesterday, digger

PolitiFact  fact checks  Christopher Pyne on so-called "student unionism" and his review of the demand driven system and rates his post election comments a "half flip" on his pre-election commitments.  There are some things that are just never settled in the education wars. Compulsory student unionism is one of them. It was abolished in 2006 by John Howard’s Coalition government, and then returned "by the back door" (in the words of Christopher Pyne) when Labor introduced as the Student Services and Amenities Fee in 2011. Now the Coalition is planning to abolish that. As a quick digression, it’s worth noting that the SSAF isn’t compulsory student unionism at all. It’s a fee ($273 in … [Read more...]

The Scan | #139 | 27 September 2013

 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Pyne sends mixed message 27 September   2013   |   In his first interview as education minister, Christopher Pyne says his priorities are to “repair” international education, reduce red tape and review the demand-driven system.  Pyne said that international education issues would be tackled “sooner rather than later”, given the economic impact of a 20% to 25% decline in Australia’s biggest non-mining export industry. he nominated reducing universities’ regulatory load as the other high priority, guided by the recommendations of the recent … [Read more...]

The cone of silence descends

27 September 2013 The difference between being in government and opposition, Tony Blair once famously said, is that in government a minister wakes up and thinks, "what will I do today". In opposition, the spokesperson wakes up and thinks, "what will I say today?" New education minister Christopher Pyne possibly began to appreciate this difference when his public musings about "quantity" versus "quality" (i.e. the pros and cons of the demand driven system),  sparked the most public attention of the nascent government's term (except for deciding not automatically announcing new boat arrivals).  People think that what he says may reflect what he's going to do. It certainly inspired … [Read more...]

edXpress issue #011 September 2013

Holding the new government to account With the Federal election now over, the NTEU, along with others in the higher education sector, is watching and assessing the first actions of the new Abbott Coalition Government. NTEU National ...Read More Thousands protest over the future of higher education On 20 August thousands of university staff and students across Australia took part in the National Day of Action aimed at pushing higher education further up the political agenda for the federal ...Read More Masterly inactivity or ‘unmasterly activity’ on academic freedom? The NTEU has condemned Tony Abbott’s proposed Commission of Audit which will “re-prioritise” about $900 million in annual … [Read more...]

Pyne hoses down caps debate

ABC News    |   25 September 2013 Education minister Christopher Pyne is trying to hose down concerns he is planning to renege on a promise not to restore limits on university places, but says he has ordered a review because he says evidence suggests "quality is suffering to achieve quantity". Labor abolished the cap on university places in 2007 to boost access to higher education, especially for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. But Pyne says the change has led to an "exponential" growth in student numbers and consequent concerns about quality in the sector. You must be living in a bubble ... if you think that there is not an issue in universities about whether there are … [Read more...]

Pyne confirms plans to overhaul higher education

ABC News    |      25 September 2013 Education Minister Christopher Pyne is planning an overhaul of the higher education system, including the reintroduction of caps on university places and the removal of compulsory student service fees. Mr Pyne has confirmed he is considering reintroducing caps on university places due to concerns that the current demand-driven system is undermining quality, despite assurances in July that the Coalition had no such plans. Labor abolished the cap on places in 2007 to give more people access to higher education and to get more people from disadvantaged backgrounds into university. In an interview with the ABC's 7.30 in July, Mr Pyne said the … [Read more...]

The Australian Higher Education Supplement 25 September 2013

This is The Australian‘s own summary of lead items in its online edition. As this is a subscription service, you or your organisation will need to have a subscription to The Australian to view the full article. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Pyne vows to fix uni system John Ross THE Coalition has nominated international education as its highest priority for the sector. Visa test for study-abroad plan Bernard Lane WELL over a half-million Australians head off on holiday to Bali every year. It's quality not quantity for Pyne … [Read more...]

Pyne to review uni targets and caps

The Australian   |     25 September 2013 The target of 40% of 25 to 34-year-olds to have a university degree by 2025 may be abandoned, with new education minister Christopher Pyne declaring he is "obsessed" with quality rather than targets. The targets also require 20% of university students to be from the most disadvantaged quarter of the population by 2020. Pyne also said he would revisit the demand-driven higher education system established by the  former Labor government. My aspiration is to get as many people doing university education as want to do it and can do it effectively to maintain quality. I'm not going to get caught up with Labor's targets and goals or five-year … [Read more...]

TDA Weekly Newsletter 23 September 2013

In this edition Tertiary education split in new administrative arrangements Victorian training reforms detailed by Victorian Minister Peter Hall Training and job opportunities in Adelaide Young Australians over qualified and underemployed Gender imbalance and discrimination rife in ICT sector Connecting with Asia breakfast seminar Time to reform apprenticeships - Holmesglen Transport and logistics E-scan seeking input TDA study mission to Germany and UK Best practice in using scores from standardised  English proficiency tests Diary Dates Tertiary education split in new administrative arrangements Technical and vocational education … [Read more...]

The Scan | #138 | 20 September 2013

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Education and training separated There was speculation after the announcement of Tony Abbott's ministry early in the week as to who would be handling VET matters within the education portfolio. The VET side of the tertiary sector has actually landed in the lap of former and once more industry minister Ian McFarlane, along with science and research. It's a curious decision to separate the tertiary sector in that way, although not without precedent: VET was located in the business portfolio in Victoria in 2006 but reunited with  education by … [Read more...]