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Posted in ACPET, AEU, Budget, Government, Grattan Institute, Higher education policy, La Trobe University, LH Martin Institute, Life & stuff, NMIT, Notices, Qualifications, Society, TAFE, The Scan, universities, University budgets, University reform, university staffing, VET, Vocational education & training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • TAFE becoming “residualised”

    Posted at 8:30 am
    Jul 4th

    4 July 2014

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………Leesa

    Analysis by Leesa Wheelahan (University of Toronto and LH Martin Institute) of recent VET statistics shows that TAFE’s share of publicly funded in Australia students is now 55.6%. In Victoria TAFE’s share of publicly funded students has fallen to 37.4%, while in South Australia it has fallen to 52.3%.
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    Private providers now teach the majority of students in Victoria (50.5%), and they teach 44% of publicly funded students in South Australia.

    TAFE’s share of full-year training equivalents or student load continues to fall. While TAFE did 81.2% of the teaching in 2009, by 2013 this had declined to 63.3%. Private providers more than doubled their share of teaching (and hence public funding) from 14.6% to 32.8% over the same period. However, as before, there are huge differences between states. In the marketised states (Victoria and SA), TAFE’s share has fallen precipitously. In 2009, tare in Victoria did 77.6% of the teaching, while they did 45.3% in 2009. TAFE in South Australia did 71.4% of publicly funded teaching in 2009, but only 51.3% in 2013. Private providers experienced massive, exponential growth in both systems over that time.

    Wheelahan concludes that:

    The relentless marketisation of VET is leading to the destruction of TAFE.…. TAFE is fast becoming a residual provider, left with teaching what the private providers don’t want to or can’t teach….It is forcing TAFE to be just like a private provider, with the narrow concerns of a private provider.

    We are losing the notion of TAFE as a public and community owned asset, embedded in and responsive to communities and employers. Once we’ve destroyed this infrastructure, we can’t put it back together.   These changes will force TAFE to abandon VET and VET funded programs as much as possible and move into higher education. It will have to do this to survive. But even here, it will have to compete with private providers who have narrower concerns and smaller costs.

     

    See
    Analysis of publicly funded load & student numbers by state and provider type

     

    Posted in LH Martin Institute, VET, Vocational education & training | Tagged , , , , , ,
  • Higher education outside the universities: a better option?

    Posted at 5:00 pm
    Jul 3rd

    Grattan Institute  |  3 July  2014

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    The likely extension of commonwealth student subsidies to non-university providers portends big changes for the higher education sector.
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    Australia has around 130 higher education providers outside the university system. They are a diverse group, ranging from large multinational companies to small theological colleges to the TAFEs now offering degrees. Together they enrol more than 70,000 students. These numbers could increase significantly in the future as a result of the government accepting a recommendation of the review of the demand driven funding system, to expand eligibility for government-supported tuition subsidies. If this passes the Senate, many of the students currently paying full fees in non-university higher education providers will pay much less than they do now. Public universities will face new price competition as they consider what fees they will charge in a deregulated market.

    In this panel discussion chaired by the Grattan Institute’s Andrew Norton, a member of the review panel, the nature of the non-university higher education sector, the implications for it and its students of receiving Commonwealth tuition subsidies, and the consequences for the broader higher education system are explored. Other panel members are Mary Faraone (Holmesglen Institute), Jeannie Rea (National Tertiary Education Union) and George Brown (Study Group Australasia).

    Higher education outside the universities: a better option? from Grattan Institute on Vimeo.

    Posted in Budget, Coalition policies, Government, Grattan Institute, Holmesglen TAFE, National Tertiary Education Union, The Scan, universities | Tagged , , ,
  • VET needs some powerful friends

    Posted at 11:39 pm
    Jun 23rd

    24 June 2014

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    Delivering the Swinburne University 2014 Chancellor’s Lecture, Business Council of Australia (BCA) chief executive, Jennifer Westacott, said reform of the vocational education and training (VET) system needs to be far-reaching, with greater Commonwealth involvement and closer links to industry.
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    Jennifer WestacottDelivering the Swinburne University 2014 Chancellor’s Lecture, Business Council of Australia (BCA) chief executive, Jennifer Westacott, said reform of the vocational education and training (VET) system needs to be far-reaching, with greater Commonwealth involvement and closer links to industry.

    She said that while higher education is not short of people with opinions, “VET on the other hand, needs more powerful friends”.

    No matter what successive governments have said, future-proofing VET has not been a national priority and this has to change.

    Westacott said TAFEs need to be freer to operate as distinct businesses on a commercial basis, as other government enterprises do.

    She singled out Training Packages for criticism, saying the narrow focus caused industry to perceive skill miss-match, worsened by continued rigidity in the apprenticeship system. She said the worsening of state finances were clearly eroding VET funding, and this needed to be corrected.

    See
    Redefining vocational learning in the global economy
    Posted in Business Council of Australia, TAFE, VET, Vocational education & training | Tagged , , , , ,
  • TDA Newsletter 23 June 2013

    Posted at 7:36 pm
    Jun 23rd

    tda_logo- large

    Unleash the potential of TAFE and make VET a national priority – Business Council CEO delivers 2014 Chancellor’s Lecture at Swinburne University of Technology

    Reform of the vocational education and training (VET) system needs to be far-reaching, with greater Commonwealth involvement and closer links to industry, the Business Council of Australia (BCA) says.

    Delivering the Swinburne University 2014 Chancellor’s Lecture, BCA Chief Executive, Jennifer Westacott, said while higher education is not short of people with opinions, “VET on the other hand, needs more powerful friends”.

    “No matter what successive governments have said, future-proofing VET has not been a national priority and this has to change.”

    Ms Westacott said TAFEs needed to be freer to operate as distinct businesses on a commercial basis, as other government enterprises do.

    The CEO of BCA singled out Training Packages for criticism, saying the narrow focus caused industry to perceive skill miss-match, worsened by continued rigidity in the apprenticeship system. She said the worsening of state finances were clearly eroding VET funding, and this needed to be corrected.

    See Ms Westacott’s address.

    See TDA’s media release.


    WA Review into State Training Providers issues Final Report – recommends clarity on independence for TAFEs

    The West Australian Government has released a Final Report of the ‘Independent Review of the Vocational Education and Training Sector in Western Australia’, headed by Emeritus Professor Margaret Seares.

    The report makes 40 detailed recommendations, including the need for widespread reform focused on improved governance for State Training Providers (STPs), as well as measures to address unnecessary or duplicated reporting and governance requirements.

    Professor Seares praised the quality of STPs, noting their role in regional delivery of skills and qualifications, their role in VET in Schools, and new models of special industry delivery.

    The report details the need for greater clarity for Chairs of STP Boards, especially across industrial relations and the application of state awards, marketing, reporting to the Department and Minister, asset management and tendering.

    Professor Seares noted that STPs have experienced increased difficulty competing in the new entitlement ‘voucher’ open training market with restrictions and costs not applying to private registered training organisations.

    The report notes increased expectations of STPs to manage the demands of international education, and cost issues arising from Commonwealth reform to expand to non-universities higher education qualifications and degrees.

    See the report.


    Labor seeks to amend Budget 2014 apprentice loans scheme

    The Federal Opposition will seek to amend the Government’s planned Trade Support Loan scheme by ‘grandfathering’ existing cash payments for current apprentices, and giving an option of lump sum loan payments, rather than installments.

    The Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, Sharon Bird, said Labor will not oppose the Trade Support Loans Bill 2014, but will move amendments to provide fair transition arrangements for current apprentices, measures to protect privacy, and the option of a lump sum payment to buy expensive items.

    “What the Prime Minister failed to tell apprentices was that he would axe the Tools for Your Trade program, taking $1 billion from the pockets of apprentices,” Ms Bird told the House of Representatives.

    “Apprentices now will have no choice except to sign up for the loan, even school-based apprentices who are under 18 years of age,” she said.


    TDA National Conference – one week left to register before end of financial year

    The 2014 TDA National Conference will be held in Sydney at the Sheraton on the Park from August 31-September 2.

    Earlybird and group registration discounts close on July 7, so why not register before the end of the financial year and save. The Welcome Reception on Sunday evening is only included in earlybird registrations (after July 7, the registration fees increase and the Welcome Reception will be an optional extra at $77 per ticket).

    If you do not know delegate names yet, just register them as Name TBA1, 2 etc. If you would prefer not to pay online by credit card, just select the EFT payment option and after you have completed the online registration you will automatically be emailed a tax invoice with EFT details.

    Excellent accommodation rates have also been negotiated at the Sheraton on the Park, starting from just $270 per night including breakfast for one. Early bookings are recommended.

    To register, or for the full list of speakers, please see the Conference website.


    World Bank AusAID Indonesian Skills Symposium

    Future skills policy in Indonesia was a key theme of a World Bank-AusAID DFAT symposium this month in Surabaya.

    The World Bank Office in Indonesia hosted the symposium with the Ministry of Education and Culture, with keynote speakers, Martin Riordan, CEO of TDA and Deputy Chair, World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics, and Dr Rick Hopper, a former World Bank economist who last year took up an appointment as President of Kennebec Valley Community College in Maine, USA.

    Martin Riordan presented findings from a TDA-Austrade commissioned survey of Indonesia Australia Business Council (IABC) and KADIN (Chamber of Commerce) industry leaders on skills shortages, and ways industry in Indonesia is seeking to support vocational education training.

    Indonesian delegates included senior Ministry for Education and Culture leaders, polytechnic presidents, and several companies including leading tyre manufacturer Multistrada, which presented on setting up its enterprise tyre manufacturing community college, and outlined critical support from the Sydney Institute of TAFE, NSW.

    Several international firms operating in Indonesia have also partnered with Australian TAFEs, to seek solutions to ongoing skill shortages. TDA will host Indonesian polytechnic leaders at its TDA 2014 National Conference in September, before being hosted to TAFEs under a bilateral VELT leadership training program.

    Siwage Dharma Negara, World Bank Indonesia Education office; Martin Riordan, CEO TDA and Deputy Chair WFCP; and Bagyo Y. Moeliodihardjo, consultant to World Bank.

    Pak Mustain, Head of Sidoarjo District Education Office, Surabaya; and Agus Riyanto, lecture, Surabay’s community college Poltek Jember.

    Wayah Wiroto, Director of Multistrada Community College, Maya Komariah, Deputy for College Operation.

    Dr Richard Hopper, Kennebec Valley Community College (Maine US); and Gedsin Suhartono, World Bank Indonesia Education Communications.


    UNESCO-UNEVOC Regional Forum in Sydney announced

    TDA is pleased to confirm that prior to the annual Conference, on Sunday 31 August, TDA and NCVER will be co-hosting a UNESCO-UNEVOC Regional Forum, which will bring together delegates from around the world for a one-day forum centred around TVET research and Return on Investment in TVET.

    The forum will feature presentations by Mr Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC, Mr Rod Camm, Managing Director of NCVER, Mr Martin Riordan, CEO of TAFE Directors Australia and invited representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank.

    TDA strongly encourages your Institute’s participation at this event, particularly senior managers with a focus on international engagement.

    For more information please see the Conference website.


    Challenger Institute strengthens university partnership

    Liz Harris and Professor Selma Alliex

    Challenger Institute of Technology and The University of Notre Dame Australia, both based in Fremantle, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides seamless pathways from vocational education and training into university.

    Challenger Institute CEO Liz Harris said the two organisations were committed to supporting higher education options for both local and international students. Ms Harris signed the MOU with Notre Dame Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Selma Alliex.

    Ms Harris said the MOU strengthened Challenger Institute’s existing articulation arrangements with the tertiary sector, which included pathways to study at Murdoch University and Curtin University.

    Challenger Institute also announced it is offering its world class automotive training in Western Australia to international students for the first time.

    Thirteen students from nine countries have taken up the opportunity, enrolling in the Certificate III in Light Automotive Mechanical Technology course at Challenger Institute’s state-of-the-art Kwinana campus, south of Perth.

    See more.


    Tertiary education management awards

    TAFE professionals encouraged to enter the 3rd annual ATEM/Campus Review Best Practice awards in Tertiary Education Management.

    The prestigious awards recognise the work being done in tertiary education institutions across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. TAFE professionals have had considerable success in the awards to date with the Western Sydney Institute picking up two awards and Otago polytechnic picking up two.

    The NEW closing date for applications is Monday, 30 June at 11.59pm.  Award categories are:

    The LH Martin Institute Award for Excellence in Leadership
    The UniSuper Award for Excellence in Innovation
    The Research Master Award for Excellence in Research Management
    The Higher Education Services Award for Excellence in Financial Management
    The Co-Op Award for Excellence in Student Administration and Customer Service
    The Campus Living Villages Award for Excellence by a New Entrant in Tertiary Education Management
    The UniJobs Award for Excellence in Human Resource Management
    The NTEU Award for Best Practice in Community Engagement
    The Knowledge Partnership Award for Best Practice in Marketing, Communication and Public Relations
    The UniPromo Award for Best Practice in Information Technology Management.

    See here to enter and for more information.


    Update on planned higher education standards

    The Higher Education Standards Panel has released details of stakeholder discussions on the planned new standards framework.

    The communiqué reports on the stakeholder information session held on 14 May in Melbourne, following the release of Call for Comment in April on the proposed Higher Education Standards Framework.

    Approximately 200 participants attended the information session. The closing date for comments is Friday 27 June.

    See the Communiqué.


    Diary Dates

    ‘No Frills’ – 23rd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference
    DATE: 9-11 July 2014
    LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
    DETAILS: Click here.

    Work Smarter Webinar Series
    Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment

    DATE: 10 July-14 August 2014
    LOCATION: Online
    DETAILS: Click here for more information

    Victorian TAFE Association
    2014 State Conference

    DATE: 17-18 July 2014
    LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
    DETAILS: Click here.

    Vision 2020 – TDA National Conference 2014
    TAFE Directors Australia

    DATE: 1-2 September 2014
    LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    Teaching & Learning Conference 2014
    VET Development Centre

    DATE: 4-5 September 2014
    LOCATION: RACV Club Torquay, Melbourne
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    VETnetwork Australia 2014
    Biennial National Conference

    DATE: 17-19 September 2014
    LOCATION: Darwin Convention Centre
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
    DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
    LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    Australian International Education Conference
    Inventing the Future

    DATE: 7-10 October 2014
    LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    Group Training Australia
    2014 National Conference

    DATE: 12-14 November 2014
    LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    Posted in Higher education policy, Higher Education Standards Panel, Swinburne University, TAFE, TAFE Directors Australia, VET, Vocational education & training | Tagged , , , , ,
  • TDA Newsletter 16 June 2014

    Posted at 10:52 am
    Jun 16th

    tda_logo- large

    TDA role on post-Budget consultation: Education Legislation and Financing Working Group
    SA Government breaks with federal Labor to support sub-bachelor higher education reform – Australian Financial Review

    Tertiary education leaders including TDA have been invited by the Department of Education to take part in detailed post-Budget consultations on government plans for deregulation of universities, and higher education funding.

    Martin Riordan, Chief Executive of TDA, was nominated for the Working Group, which met in Melbourne late last week. Senior departmental briefings will follow this week with university, TAFE and private college providers.

    TDA will be consulting with its TAFE higher education provider leaders on key issues arising from the proposed Budget legislation.

    Meanwhile, today’s Australian Financial Review reports that the South Australian Labor government has split from federal Labor, to support the extension of Commonwealth supported place funding to sub-bachelor qualifications. State Higher Education Minister Gail Gago, said the reform would put TAFE SA on an even footing with universities.


    Prime Minister inspects Industry technology college in US visit

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has inspected an industry technology pathways college, with a visit to P-Tech School in Brooklyn. The New York industry technology college delivers higher level pathways education, backed by industry support.

    The IBM-backed Pathways in Technology Early College high school, offers education combined with technical education across grades 9 to 14, with the chance to gain a diploma or associate degree qualification.

    “It is the kind of thing that we want to look at and consider. It is not entirely dissimilar from the Australian Technical College model which the Howard Government introduced in its last couple of years, but it seems there is a more hands on business role here than there was in the ATC model,” the Prime Minister said.

    The colleges have strong links to industry and give students the chance of internships and career pathways.

    See the Prime Minister’s transcript.

    See an article in the Sydney Morning Herald.


    Employers the key to apprentice completions

    The influence of the employer is arguably the most important factor in the high dropout rates among apprentices, according to new research from the National centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

    Employers with the highest completion rates are generally larger, experienced employers with well-organised systems for managing and recruiting apprentices. Employers with lower completion rates tend to be smaller and have less experience, the report says.

    These employer-related factors are the most commonly cited for not completing an apprenticeship. They include experiencing interpersonal difficulties with employers or colleagues, being made redundant, not liking the work and changing career.

    By contrast, issues with the off-the-job training are the least frequently cited reasons for not completing an apprenticeship.

    Apprentices generally leave their apprenticeship contract early, with 60% of those who leave doing so within the first year.

    See the NCVER report, Understanding the non-completion of apprentices’.


    Meet the speakers at the TAFE Directors Australia 2014 National Conference

    ‘Vision 2020’, the TDA National Conference in Sydney, 1-2 September at the Sheraton on the Park will feature an extraordinary  line up of speakers:

    The Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, NSW Minister for Education

    Mr Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre for Technical and Vocational Education

    Dr Charles A Goldman, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation, USA

    Fintan Donohue, CEO, Gazelle, United Kingdom

    Professor Valerie Braithwaite, Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University

    Morris Miselowski, Business Futurist

    Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC)

    Dr Lawrence Chan, Deputy Executive Director, Vocational Training Council, Hong Kong

    David Meates, CEO, Canterbury and West Coast District Health Boards, New Zealand

    Professor  Peter van Onselen, Australian academic, author and political journalist

    Ellen Fanning, Conference MC and award winning journalist

    The TDA Conference is a ‘must attend’ for all vocational education and training chief executives and their senior managers, as well as many federal and state government officials and others involved in vocational education and training.

    Click here to register or find out more.


    WorldSkills Australia competitors announced

    WorldSkills Australia has announced the names of the competitors from across Australia who will take part in the National Competition to be held in Perth in September.

    The three-day event will showcase the skills of 500 of Australia’s best trainees, apprentices and students competing in 50 skill and trade areas from traditional trades such as plumbing carpentry and bricklaying to more contemporary areas such as fashion technology and web design.

    The 2014 competitors cover every region of Australia and every trade including VET in Schools.

    See the list of 2014 competitors.

    See more on WorldSkills Australia.


    EU 2014 TVET Congress delivers focus on higher level skilled qualifications, new links with industry

    An EU TVET Congress has focused on higher level skilled qualifications, and new links with industry to drive economic recovery from the European economic downturn.

    Australia’s role in industry-led training and the role of TAFE in driving higher level technical and tertiary qualifications was highlighted, with TDA chairing presentations to several technology polytechnic universities, and presentations by Holmesglen Institute, and TAFE Queensland on its launch as a new statutory authority.

    The TVET Congress was hosted by THNIKA, a dedicated industry innovation agency operated by the Basque Country provincial government in northern Spain, over three days earlier this month, with 42 countries represented.

    See more on THINKA.

    Presentations delivered at the TVET Congress are available on the following Conference link.

    Martin Riordan, CEO TDA, Mary Faraone, CEO Holmesglen Institute, Christina Hong, Head of Academic, TAFE Queensland.

    Manfred Polzin, The Netherlands MBO RAAD, Jose Luis Fernandez Maure, Basque Country TKNIKA industry agency, Martin Doel, CEO, Association of Colleges UK


    Why work harder when you can work smarter?

    What if there were shortcuts and more effective ways of using technology in our everyday work roles that could save hours every week?

    The Work Smarter program is an opportunity to pool the collective technological expertise of the facilitator and participants to sharpen each other’s daily practice.

    By taking the time to learn new technology tips and tricks, problem solve and share knowledge about current work processes and systems (including mobile and office technologies), workplace roles can be refined, and you can feel more confident in your ability to effectively manage technology-based tasks.

    The free program consists of six free interactive online webinar sessions, held during July and August.

    Participants will be able to download weekly factsheets and contribute their knowledge to a community of practice by connecting in online spaces and through social media.

    These sessions are open to staff of the Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment, as well as managers, project teams, administrators and trainers from training organisations.

    All webinars are scheduled for a 10.00am beginning, with session dates and topics below:

    Click here for more information.


    Diary Dates

    ‘No Frills’ – 23rd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference
    DATE: 9-11 July 2014
    LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
    DETAILS: Click here.

    Work Smarter Webinar Series
    Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment

    DATE: 10 July-14 August 2014
    LOCATION: Online
    DETAILS: Click here for more information

    Victorian TAFE Association
    2014 State Conference

    DATE: 17-18 July 2014
    LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
    DETAILS: Click here.

    Vision 2020 – TDA National Conference 2014
    TAFE Directors Australia

    DATE: 1-2 September 2014
    LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    Teaching & Learning Conference 2014
    VET Development Centre

    DATE: 4-5 September 2014
    LOCATION: RACV Club Torquay, Melbourne
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    VETnetwork Australia 2014
    Biennial National Conference

    DATE: 17-19 September 2014
    LOCATION: Darwin Convention Centre
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
    DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
    LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    Australian International Education Conference
    Inventing the Future

    DATE: 7-10 October 2014
    LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    Group Training Australia
    2014 National Conference

    DATE: 12-14 November 2014
    LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
    DETAILS: Click here for more information.

    Posted in ASQA, Budget, Coalition policies, Conferences, Government, Higher education policy, Holmesglen TAFE, International, NCVER, Notices, TAFE, TAFE Directors Australia, TEQSA, VET, Vocational education & training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
  • The Scan # 149 15 May 2014

    Posted at 7:07 am
    May 15th

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________

    Budget 2013

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    Higher education

    mortar boardHigher education spending will rise appreciably in 2014-15, from $8.7 billion to $10.9 billion (25%), with the extension of the demand driven system to sub-bachelor places and non-university higher education providers. Modest further growth is forecast out to 2017-18, to $11.8 billion (9%).

    The key elements of higher education spending in the 2014-15 Budget, according to Universities Australia.

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    Skills

    The key elements of VET spending in the 2014-15 Budget

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    skills (1)The “tools for your trade payments” for apprentices will cease from 1 July 2014. It will be replaced immediately with a Trade Support Loans Program providing $439m over five years to provide apprentices with financial assistance up to $20K over a four year apprenticeship through a student loan repayment scheme. The Government will also establish an Industry Skills Fund to provide $470m over four years to support the training needs of small to medium enterprises that cannot be met by the national training system. Expenditure is budgeted to decline about 13% in 2014-15 over 2013-14 (from $1.67 billion to $1.45 billion) and 8% over the four years to 2017-18 (to $1.55 billion)…..[ MORE ]….

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    Science & research

    The Australian Academy of Science says the 2014-15 Budget is mixed for science, investing in some areas while pulling funding from others

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    research4The Budget provides for a new Medical Research Future Fund, to start with $1.1 billion, which will come from winding up the Health and Hospitals Fund, and growing to $20 billion by 2020. On the other side of the ledger, the Budget cuts at least $420 million over the forward estimates to five vital science agencies — the Australian Research Council (ARC) ($74.9 million), the CSIRO ($111.4 million), the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) ($120 million), Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) ($27.6 million), and Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) ($7.8 million) – as well as the Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) program ($80 million).

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    Tertiary education in the 2014-15 Budget

    Sector responses.

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    Budget drives sweeping changes to higher education

    ua logoThe 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 IRU logoquality education. Ensuring the open charges system is introduced well, is a major challenge. The changes move more of the cost of higher education onto students, including research students. We need to ensure that this works and that students gain the education they deserve and need for the additional impost…..[ MORE ]….

    Structural reform long overdue

    Go8 logo newThe Government has announced a number of important measures to position the Australian higher education sector for the future. These historic reforms reconcile access and quality, and make growth affordable. A more dynamic higher education sector will continue to expand opportunity in a sustainable way. It will be more responsive to students’ needs, offering greater diversity and new opportunities…..[ MORE ]….

    An ambitious budget for higher educationRUN Logo

    Keeping the demand driven system for bachelor places and extending it to sub-bachelor places, will assist in providing pathways and lift participation in higher education in regional Australia for less well prepared students. This will assist in providing pathways and lift participation in higher education in regional Australia for less well prepared students….[ MORE ]….

    Students to bear costs of reform

    ATN logoAustralia’s future university students, who will form the backbone of a skilled national economy, are the big losers in the Federal Budget. While the Government has confirmed its commitment to ensuring access for all students who qualify to attend an Australian university the cost of that reform will be borne by the very students they hope to attract. The demand driven system is a significant reform measure and its continuation is welcome, however the sting in the tail is the impact upon our future students…..[ MORE ]….

    A fair deal for higher education in TAFE

    tda_logo- largeAdvocacy by TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) over more than four years has emerged cessful, with Budget 2014 overhauling Federal course funding contributions toward students enrolling in higher education courses at TAFE Institutes and non-university institutions. Student loans for apprenticeship students is the major feature for skills in the Budget. The student loans will replace traditional apprenticeship payments for completions of staged course segments. Student loans will be offered up to $8,000 in Year 1, $6000 in Year 2, $4000 in Year 3, and $2000 in Year 4….[ MORE ]….

    Reforms create a level playing fieldPrint

    The government’s higher education reforms are a major milestone, and deliver equity and fairness for the growing number of higher education students choosing to undertake their degree or sub- degree program at a non-university institution. The changes the government has announced offer all students funding support from the Commonwealth. They will support genuine student choice and competition amongst all of Australia’s 173 higher education providers…..[ MORE ]….

    The road to ruin

    nteu-logoNo longer will students gain entry into university based solely on academic merit, but on their capacity and willingness to pay the market price for a degree. Student fees will now skyrocket at some universities, university funding has been cut, the cost of servicing student debt will increase and the viability of some of our universities will be undermined by for-profit private providers…..[ MORE ]….

     

    Reforms empower student choice

    The higher education sector could use a good dose of student focus and greater innovation in order to drive better OUAlearning outcomes. Any industry that makes price the issue is giving more power to consumers. In other industry sectors, deregulation of fees has led to better outcomes for consumers. In a demand driven system, we encourage students to expect and demand more from their education providers. Work out what you really want. For some, prestige will always count but for many more, flexibility and affordability will be key….[ MORE ]….

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    The higher education revolution – redux

    9 May 2014 | In a speech to open Monash University’s Diamond Deposition Suite, education minister Christopher christopher-pynePyne has set the scene for extensive changes, to be announced “in-principle” in the forthcoming Federal Budget (13 May), to higher education funding arrangements, as proposed by the Kemp- Norton Review and the Commission of Audit. In particular, he has come out strongly in support of allowing universities to compete on price by deregulating what fees they can charge students and extending the publicly subsidised demand-driven system to non-university higher education providers (NUHEPs). Students at NUHEPs would receive a lesser subsidy than students at universities because they do not need to fund research activities. He also strongly backs another Kemp-Norton recommendation for the federal government to subsidise pathway programs into universities. He indicated that the burden of the cost of tuition also might be shifted, from the government currently providing on average 60% of the costs to something less, with the student contribution rising….[ MORE ]….

     

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    Comment & analysis

    14 May 2013

    Funding: it’s not rocket science

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    Ahead of the Budget, Suzanne Cory, president of the Suzanne CoryAcademy of Science, challenged Tony Abbott to be visionary, in the manner of Robert Menzies, and to build his own science legacy for our future, and recognise that an investment in science and research is an investment in the future of Australia. Abbott failed the challenge, at least in this year’s budget. As reported elsewhere, science and research was a net loser, notwithstanding the announcement of the Medical Research Future Fund.

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    If I had to name one of the big political heroes of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the first to come to mind would be Sir Robert Menzies.

    It’s hard to think of any one politician who had more of an impact on the Liberal Party tradition. But just as influential was Menzies’ impact on science and research in Australia.

    Under his leadership, war and depression gave way to a new kind of scientific optimism. He led a massive expansion of Australia’s scientific research capacity, was involved in the creation of the Australian Academy of Science, and funded the building of important infrastructure such as the giant radio telescope at Parkes and the phytotron in Canberra. He also oversaw a tenfold increase in the budget of the newly formed CSIRO in just 15 years.

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    MenziesIn 1958, Menzies predicted: ”If there’s one thing that shines out in the history of this century it is the enormous capacity of science to expand its boundaries. By the end of this century … the boundaries of knowledge will have been pushed back to places as yet unseen and unimagined.”

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    Bobby said it better….

    Tbobby_kennedys_unfinished_mission-293x307he future is not a gift: it is an achievement. Every generation helps make its own future. This is the essential challenge of the present…
    – Bobby Kennedy – Seattle World’s Fair, 7 August 1962

     

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    Prosperity is not a gift. It needs to be earned.The government will consider newly released recommendations from the Commission of Audit, which has suggested stringent cuts across the board. AAP/Lukas Coch

    Joe Hockey- Australian Budget , 13 May 2014

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    Higher Education Policy Seminars 2014

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    Has Australia the imagination and will to create and maintain international pre-eminence in higher education? Key issues must be tackled across the next few years if an excellent higher education system is to be designed and built. The series commences Wednesday 28 May.

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    Why would you chop CSIRO?

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    Budget night will be a bad one for at least a couple of national icons. The ABC is bracing itself for a deep cuts and so too, apparently, is CSIRO.

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    Now one can understand (though not necessarily agree) with the Coalition government’s antipathy to the ABC, populated as it is by pinko greenie journalists and producers and with an audience of the same ilk.

    CSIROBut what’s the Coalition’s problem with CSIRO? It has made incalculable contributions to national security and prosperity, since its modest beginnings as the first step towards a “national laboratory” nearly a hundred years ago . Think of some of these contributions: from the invention of everyday household products such as Aeroguard and Softly detergent to the plastic banknotes in your purse or wallet, to the reduction of the blowfly problem in Australia through the introduction of the dung beetle, the building of Australia’s first (and just the world’s fourth) programmable digital computer through to the invention of th WiFi technology by which you are probably viewing this post.

    There’s been a lot of noise and light around the razor job being prepared for the ABC, with the Friends of the ABC and the the Get Up! organisation swinging into action. There’s growing concern developing about CSIRO but there should be a lot more noise about the impending damage to Australia’s national laboratory.

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    Print

    The ACPET 2014 Higher Education Symposium will provide a comprehensive analysis of the issues related to policy, regulation, academic governance and learning and teaching practice.

    Marriot Hotel, Circular Quay Sydney on 22 may 2014

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    Comment & analysis

    14 May 2014

    Tafe: getting the job done

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    Writing in The Age recently (Getting the job done, The Age, March 31), Claire Field (chief executive officer for the Australian Council for Private Education and Training) observed that reform always throws up winners and losers, and the training sector is no different. According to Field, the winners in the case of market-oriented VET reforms “are industry Meredith Peaceand individual students – and taxpayers who invest billions of dollars in training and skills development. The losers are those with self-interest, and who refuse to reform at the expense of the community.” The Australian Education Union’s Meredith Peace acknowledges that it’s hard to disagree with Field on the proposition that reform always throws up winners and losers. Unfortunately, says Peace, one of the big losers under Victoria’s new training market is the quality of vocational education and training.

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    Market systems have serious flaws when it comes to delivering fairly the quality education that successful modern economies and individuals require. For decades TAFE institutes have adapted to local needs and an ever-changing economy, building an enviable reputation for quality along the way. They are at the heart of our communities.

    How can they continue to do this? While TAFEs and other providers invest in staff and facilities to improve their courses or serve emerging sectors, some private providers are cutting costs and aggressively marketing courses to win a greater market share.

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    Life & stuff

    Looking on the bright side

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    14 May 2014 | Last week it seemed that New Matilda, which has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004, was about to fold. but it has found a white knight in the person journalist and former Tracker magazine editor, Chris Graham. New Matilda’s regular cartoonist is Fiona Katauskas.

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    Budget Bright Side

     

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    No Frills‘No Frills’ is a well-known annual national conference, hosted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, where researchers and practitioners in the vocational education and training (VET) sector come together to present, discuss and share information about key issues confronting the sector. The conference also provides professional development opportunities for new and existing researchers.

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