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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...]

Universities Australia on the university agenda for the incoming government

8 September  2013 Universities Australia congratulates the new Abbott Government and looks forward to working together on a future agenda for cementing higher education as a critical pillar supporting long-term national prosperity and well-being, as identified in the Coalition’s, Real Solutions. “It is impossible to overstate the transformative power of universities in changing lives, pushing the boundaries of knowledge, driving innovation, solving our gravest national problems and for securing Australia’s place as global influencer,” said Professor Sandra Harding, Chair of peak body, Universities Australia. “Whether as a provider of international education; a generator of new … [Read more...]

Labor proposes greater use of compacts

The Australian    |     4 September  2013 A re-elected Labor government will make greater use of direct agreements with universities, or compacts, with Innovation Minister Kim Carr flagging they would be used to allocate greater numbers of capped sub-degree and postgraduate places. Amid sector concerns that greater use of compacts could prove code for greater control, Carr said the aim would be to give universities more autonomy and that there would be no retreat from the demand-driven system of uncapped undergraduate places under which commonwealth-supported places have increased by 190,000 students or 35%. "We are in the middle of one of the great cultural reforms in our nation's … [Read more...]

The Scan 22 August 2013

#134     |     22 August 2013 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Opposition push to lift O/S student numbers An Abbott government would make it easier for foreign students to obtain post-study work rights in Australia as part of a Coalition push to repair the lucrative education export industry.  Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne says the Coalition ”cannot promise to reverse the $2.8 billion of cuts to higher education”.  However he vowed to increase revenue to universities within 100 days of being elected by ”rebuilding” the international education market, which … [Read more...]

Tertiary “integration” a long way off

The Australian    |    21 August 2013 The outgoing head of the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER), Dr Tom Karmel,  has lamented the slow progress on implementing a ‘seamless’ tertiary education sector, as proposed by the Bradley Review. Karmel says the promised integration between higher education and vocational education is “more distant now than ever”, while overstated differences between the sectors are producing dysfunctional outcomes. If you’re a dual-sector institution, for example, you’ve got completely different rules for everything – how you do your buildings, how capital is treated. That can’t be an efficient way of doing things. Greater … [Read more...]

NTEU launches “vote smart” TV campaign

NTEU News    |     12 August 2013 Claiming that university classes have almost doubled in size, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) began its Vote Smart advertising campaign on 12 August. The TV advertisements call for a Green vote in the Senate and will air in Perth, Adelaide, northern Tasmania and regional Queensland – Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns. A variation on the TV ad will promote a vote for independent Andrew Wilkie in the seat of Denison in Hobart.  Billboard advertisements will also be erected in the seat of Melbourne advocating a vote for Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt (who is being challenged by Labor's Cath Bowtell, a former NTEU official). NTEU … [Read more...]

Keep the caps off: Grattan Institute

Grattan Institute     |    7   August 2013 The latest report from Grattan Institute’s Higher Education Program, Keep the caps off! Student access and choice in higher education, urges the Commonwealth Government to reconsider any plan to end its university open access policy. Higher education minister Kim Carr has raised the prospect of limiting public university enrolments.   Some university leaders support such a change. Yet the open access policy, initiated by the current government, has been a major success.  More university applicants are getting into their preferred course, enrolment growth is strong in areas of labour market shortage and the number of students from … [Read more...]

Why the caps should remain off

Grattan Institute     |     7 August 2013 Higher education minister Kim Carr has raised the prospect of limiting public university enrolments through re-imposing some form of cap on enrolments, a move which would be supported by some university leaders, notably in the Group of Eight. In a just published report -  Keep the caps off!  - The Grattan Institute's Andrew Norton argues that this would  undo a major success in higher education.  The open access policy, initiated by the current government, has seen more university applicants  getting into their preferred course, strong enrolment growth  in areas of labour market shortage and the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds … [Read more...]

The Scan Main Edition 1 August 2013

# 131 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Industrial action intensifies Industrial conflict rages across the sector as the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) battles it out with universities over the terms of a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.  An application by Monash University to suspend bans on releasing assessment results was effectively thrown out by the Fair Work Commission but a similar application by Swinburne University succeeded.   Industrial action is intensifying at James Cook University, ANU and RMIT....[READ MORE]..... BCA plan to deregulate … [Read more...]

Don’t rush reform – UA

The Australian    |     24 July 2013 Major policy reform of the demand-driven system cannot be rushed in just 72 hours and needs further consultation to avoid unintended consequences, according to Sandra Harding, chair of Universities Australia. At a recent meeting with vice-chancellors, higher education Minister Kim Carr asked them for advice on possible budget-neutral alternatives to the $900 million university funding cuts announced in the May budget, possibly by reining in growth in student places. While UA hasn't developed an alternative proposal, Harding said it had advised the minister of potential issues arising from any changes to the uncapped system.  She said new places … [Read more...]