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The election outcome

4 July 2016 There's really not much to say, is there?  TDA summed it up from a tertiary education perspective: Political instability prevails, with the election outcome too close to call and the VET sector in a state of uncertainty after eight weeks of campaigning. …. For the tertiary education sector, the uncertainty is compounded by a curious lack of policy commitment from the Coalition, which did not release any training or skills policy or new initiatives during the campaign. In higher education, it's a similar situation with the coalition policy subject to the views of an expert panel flowing from a discussion paper. For international education, there will be more … [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...]

Apprentice numbers slump

Fairfax Media     |    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 … [Read more...]

Can we really afford to not invest more in education?

28 June 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Australian newspaper has been running a none too sophisticated campaign against the boost in education spending of $37 billion over the next decade promised by Labor. It’s a mish mash of half-truths and contortions of logic, as is often the case when The Australian goes politically feral. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Labor has drawn on an OECD report, Universal Basic Skills, to supports its argument that increased spending on education not only contributes to equity and social inclusion but is an investment in future improvements in productivity (and, indeed, Malcolm Turnbull’s Ideas Boom).  It's a proposition with … [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...]

Student loan caps must be part of total redesign of vocational funding system

28 June 2016   ………………………………………………………………………………………………………  Labor proposes to  introduce a cap of $8,000 on student loans for vocational education and training (VET) courses.  A course loan cap is a sensible option, but it must form part of a total redesign of the VET FEE-HELP student loan scheme in the first instance, and of the whole VET funding system in the longer term, writes Peter Noonan in The Conversation. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Currently, there are no loan caps for courses where providers set their own fees and don’t receive a course subsidy through the states. The Labor proposal is to set a maximum loan cap of $8,000 per course funded under VET … [Read more...]

Private schools “arms race”

Fairfax Media    |  26 June 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Private schools are outspending Victorian public schools by four to one, splurging on rowing tanks, pilates studios, sky decks and imaginariums. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Some top private schools have spent up to $70 million on capital projects over the past few years as part of a facilities "arms race" to lure students. The state's biggest spender, Carey Baptist Grammar School, shelled out about $11.4 million in 2014 on a new "learning and innovation" centre at its Kew campus. The $23 million building features an "audiovisual Imaginarium" with 3D technology and a "United Nations Room" with … [Read more...]

The Greens Tertiary Education Policy

Higher education Building a sustainable university sector The Greens say they are committed to boosting funding to the university sector by $8.3 billion over four years so it can provide high quality and affordable higher education and training. To help provide world-class teaching and research opportunities in universities, the Greens will:  Invest $7 billion to reverse the Coalition’s  cuts and fund a 10% increase in base funding per student at public universities; and  Invest $1.306 billion into research to reverse Government cuts to our most successful university research. Supporting university students The Greens propose to oppose higher fees for students by: reducing … [Read more...]

Liberal Party Tertiary Education Policy

Higher Education Reform The Coalition has pushed consideration of proposed university reforms, including a 20% cut in funding, out beyond the election, until 1 January 2018, but 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. That's it. Redesigning VET FEE-HELP The Coalition has proposed a set of tougher measures to fix the VET FEE-HELP blow-out in a discussion paper released on 29 April.   The present minister for vocational education and skills senator Scott Ryan said the paper will pave the way for a full redesign of the scheme. PaTH Announced in the 2016 Budget, to come into … [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...]