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Acquire tumbles towards insolvency

ABC News     |    12 May 2017 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Acquire Learning, which has been teetering on the edge of the abyss for some time, has tumbled into voluntary administration.  The appointed administrator says recent regulatory changes appear to have had a significant impact on Acquire's business model. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Acquire Learning was an education broker and recruitment service that marketed on behalf of certain RTOs who were responsible for accepting and finalising the enrolments, although it did eventually acquire its own two training providers. Acquire’s website and social media accounts have been suspended for months, the … [Read more...]

Institutional differentiation in Australian higher education

15 May 2017 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… There is general consensus in the higher education literature that institutional differentiation is desirable (Meek et al, 1996; van Vught 2007). More diverse systems tend to perform better because they meet diverse student needs, are better equipped to stimulate social mobility through different access points and progression pathways, are better linked to labour markets that increasingly require different types of graduates, and allow for more cost-effective delivery of both education and research through specialisation. Concerns about the capacity of the Australian Unified National System to lead to diversity have been raised since it … [Read more...]

Tertiary education: where to from here?

Melbourne University Newsoom     |    27 February 2017 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The future of Australia’s tertiary education sector is the subject of a new collection of essays by some of the country’s leading education researchers. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……   Produced by the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, Visions for Australian Tertiary Education, presents a progressive and provocative agenda for transforming tertiary education in this country. Twenty-six authors, including 18 from the University of Melbourne, have contributed to the volume’s 12 chapters that discuss, among other things, … [Read more...]

TDA Newsletter 15 May 2017

Federal budget unveils a new model of skills funding The federal budget saw a new model of funding for vocational training, with the announcement of a skills fund that will support state and territory-led projects that meet defined Commonwealth criteria. The $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund effectively replaces the National Partnership Agreement on Skills and aims to create 300,000 new apprenticeships over four years. States and territories will be required to put forward projects, provide matching funding, and achieve agreed milestones. The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews told a post-budget breakfast that the fund "marks an unprecedented … [Read more...]

One size does not fit all unis

The case for a new university type 11 May 2017 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… There's a hint in  Budget announcements on higher education that the Government might be entertaining the notion of "teaching-only universities", reveals Emmaline Bexley (Higher education reform: small changes for now but big ones to come).  And about time, too, that the fiction of the "teaching-research nexus" to which Australia slavishly clings be abandoned.  The case for a different type of university has been argued for years. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… It would be reasonable to assume, as many people do, that the word university derives from the Latin universitas, … [Read more...]

Resourcing Australia’s tertiary education sector

LH Martin Institute Australian Government expenditure on tertiary education has been consistently at 0.8% of GDP since 2000. There has not been a ‘blowout’ in tertiary education spending. If there is a problem, it is simply that the Government needs to bring the Budget back into balance. The contribution that can be made to that objective from the tertiary education sector is at best modest, writes Mark Warburton. While direct expenditure on higher education student places under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) has increased considerably since 2008, this has been substantially offset since 2011 by 13 major savings measures which have reduced spending in other programs of support for … [Read more...]

Federal Budget 2017

The Conversation | 9 May 2017   Students interrupted Simon Birmingham’s speech on planned higher education reforms. Katina Curtis/AAP University fees and cuts Gwilym Croucher, Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne: The government has confirmed the package of changes it announced a week ago with significant cuts. Students in particular will pay more, a lot more. Student contributions will increase by 1.8% each year between 2018 and 2021 for a total 7.5% increase. This means they will pay 46%, instead of 42%, of the cost of their degree on average. So, for a four-year course, this is an increase in total student fees of … [Read more...]

Labor commits to wide-ranging national VET review

First proper review since 1974 16 March 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Labor will launch a comprehensive review of the vocational education and training sector - equivalent to the landmark Gonski Review into school funding and the Bradley Review of higher education -  if it wins office at the next election. The review would be the first such inquiry into the VET sector since the Kangan Report in 1974, which actually coined the term TAFE.  The 2011 Gonski review triggered major changes to school funding (albeit, a major tranche of which is now uncertain) while the 2008 Bradley review into higher education led to the uncapping of undergraduate student places, allowing … [Read more...]

The state of VET in Australia

A fractured system 16 March 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… In a policy paper, VET funding in Australia: Background trends and future directions, Peter Noonan from Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute says the low priority traditionally accorded the vocational sector has been exacerbated in recent years by wild inconsistencies between states on what they funded and for how much, ad hoc federal funding programs, rorting and distortions caused by VET FEE-HELP and the relentless push to reduce costs for both levels of government. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… While there are 200,000 more VET enrolments than there were 10 years ago, enrolments have been trending … [Read more...]

VET funding in Australia

Background trends and future directions Mitchell Institute Policy Paper Executive summary The vocational education and training (VET) system in Australia plays a central role in the development of skills for the Australian workforce and makes a critical contribution to workforce participation, productivity levels, individual’s  life chances and economic and social development. The level of public and private investment in VET is therefore an important public policy issues. Historical overview Since 1974 the Commonwealth and state governments in Australia have jointly funded the development and expansion of Australia’s VET system. They have done so in the following phases. The … [Read more...]