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Our best wishes for a joyful festive season and a happy and prosperous year in 2014
TAFEs have slammed the government’s decision to shut them out of a competitive capital grants fund, reneging on $76 million awarded by the previous government.
19 December 2013 | The grants, to TAFEs in the Sunshine Coast, Central Queensland and NSW North Coast, would have supported three of the 12 projects approved by the Education Investment Fund’s advisory board…..[ READ MORE ]…
The changes to policy and funding announced in relation to higher education included in the Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Outlook result in net reduction of just over $200m in funding over the next four years.
19 December 2013 | The largest cut relates to the cessation of the regional priorities round of the Education Investment Fund (EIF). While this will save the government $187.5m over the next three years and relates to monies that have yet to be allocated, it will reduce the capacity of regional universities and TAFE institutes to invest in much needed capital infrastructure….[ READ MORE ]…
Gardner appointed V-C at Monash
Monash University Council has appointed Professor Margaret Gardner AO as the ninth Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, and the first woman to serve in the role.
17 December 2013 | Professor Gardner will commence on 1 September 2014, succeeding Professor Edward Byrne, who will become President and Principal at King’s College London. Professor Gardner is currently Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT University. She previously held a range of senior academic roles, including serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at The University of Queensland. .…[READ MORE ]….
Analysis by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) reveals that, while there has been a substantial decline in the proportion of university deferrals in Victoria since student financial support has been increased, location and socioeconomic status continue to play a role in restricting access to higher education.
17 December 2013 | In the latest ACER Joining the Dots research briefing, Principal Research Fellows Drs Sheldon Rothman and Daniel Edwards use data from Victoria’s annual post-school transitions survey to explore the extent to which deferral rates have changed since 2008, and the influence policy changes to financial support may have had on deferral decisions.…[ READ MORE ]….
Almost half of Australia’s training providers could be misleading customers with ”disturbing” online marketing practices.
17 December 2013 | The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) says some registered organisations are promising iPads on enrolment, advanced diplomas in two weeks and guarantees not to fail. Victoria is home to 46 of the 191 suspect websites.One of the most widespread problems identified is the advertising of fast-tracked certificates and qualifications, such as a forklift licence in just two hours..…[ READ MORE ]….
An analysis of Victorian ATAR results from the past five years shows gaining entry into top undergraduate science degrees is getting harder.
16 December 2013 | ATARs have risen despite an increasing number of places in many courses. The analysis revealed science-related courses have accounted for 15 of the top 20 degrees in which the final cutoff scores have increased most from 2009 to 2013. The biggest increase was for computer science at Monash University, which required 70 in 2009 but demanded almost 85 this year..…[ READ MORE ]….
The Senate’s Education and Employment References Committee will hold a wide-ranging inquiry into TAFE.
16 December 2013 | It will probe issues including funding, affordability, accessibility, and linkages to secondary and higher education. The inquiry is to specifically consider any public information provided to the 2013 House of Representatives inquiry by the Standing Committee on Education and Employment on the role of the technical and further education system and its operation….[ READ MORE ]….
The Commonwealth government is planning to end the historical role of state governments in the establishment and governance of universities.
16 December 2013 | Education minister Christopher Pyne is in talks with the NSW government about the Commonwealth assuming control over the governance of the state’s 10 universities, which would be the first stage of a national takeover…..[ READ MORE ]….
Employment outcomes for graduates have remained steady over the past year with 78.2% employed after training.
16 December 2013 | NCVER’s Student Outcomes 2013, which provides an annual national scorecard on Australia’s training system, shows that 83.4% of graduates undertook their training for employment-related reasons, of which 81.1% were employed after training. Satisfaction with training remains high, with 87% of all graduates satisfied with the overall quality of their training….[ READ MORE ]….
19 December 2013 | Submissions to the review of the demand driven system initiated by education minister Christopher Pyne closed on 16 December 2013. University sector submissions support its retention and an extension to sub-bachelor places to create pathways for less academically prepared students.
“It is not yet adequately understood that a university education is not, and certainly should not be, the perquisite of a privileged few. We must become a more and more educated democracy if we are to raise our spiritual, intellectual, and material living standards… The new charter for the universities, as I believe it to be, should serve to open many doors and to give opportunity and advantage to many students.”
-Sir Robert Menzies, 28 November 1957, quoted in the Swinburne University submission
Federation University – a merger between the University of Ballarat and Monash University’s Gippsland campus – comes into being on 1 January 2013. This “seasonal greeting” recounts the journey to this point. Let’s wish them well.
In 2013, over 700 items were posted on The Scan (down from about 900 in 2012). The continuing ructions in the VET sector featured heavily in 2013 (Once was TAFE , a leading post in 2012, wasn’t too far off the pace in 2013, either), as did regulatory issues in both the VET and higher education sectors. You would have expected in an election year that politics and policy would rate highly: but it was the paucity of new policy, for either VET or higher education, that was notable BEFORE the election, although Christopher Pyne has had a bit to say since. With both a national commission of audit and a formal review of the higher education demand driven system to report in early 2014, next year’s budget (probably delivered on Tuesday 13 May 2014) should be full of interest.
In this commentary for the ACPET Journal for Private Education, Brendan Sheehan looks to the higher education policy horizon under the newly elected Coalition government.
It has been clear for some time that general budget pressures, and the ballooning cost of higher education, would bring the gaze of policymakers, post-election, to the efficacy of a demand-driven system — whatever the hue of the government.
The post-election gaze is unlikely to stop at the demand-driven system, and will certainly take in the architecture of the entire system, including the place of non-university higher education provision, which has a small but growing role in provision.
Over the six years of the Labor Rudd/Gillard government, there was explosive growth in higher education participation, and funding, fuelled by the phase out of enrolment caps during the period 2010–2012. In announcing its last set of funding cuts in April 2013, the Gillard government claimed that student numbers had increased by 34% or an extra 146,000 students (more recently, it has been reported as 190,000 extra students) and funding had increased by 50% since 2007. That was on an upward trajectory, with enrolments projected to increase by another 100,000 students, and expenditure by another couple of billion dollars, by 2016.
In order to meet the target of 40% of 25-34 year olds having a bachelor degree by 2025, it is estimated that there will need to be at least about another 300,000 students in higher education by 2025 (with some estimates suggesting up to 500,000 additional students).
The requirements of meeting that projected growth is enough to cause any minister to contemplate the need for change.
The Journal for Private Higher Education is a biannual peer-reviewed journal for scholarly articles on the theory and practice of higher education in the context of the private sector. It provides up-to-date perspectives of benefit to educators, scholars, students, practitioners, policy-makers and consultants. The December 2013 issue (volume 2 , issue 2) is now online.
An off centre perspective on the state of the polity
This commentary is by someone we haven’t actually noticed before – Andrew P Street of The Vine, which is a lifestyle blog targetting young people (18 to 35 years old). Street’s forthright lack of “even handedness” is disarmingly fresh – you can have no doubts where he stands in the political spectrum.
Back before the election I wrote a piece explaining the looming Abbott victory was possibly the best thing for the Left in Australia.
Part of my argument was that if Labor had pulled off a skin-of-the-teeth victory they’d have been forced further to the Right, there’d have been even more desperate finagling of independent support and virulent in-fighting as the party imploded, and the only thing that could possibly give the party a short, sharp reminder of its origins as the party of the people would be a kick back to opposition.
Since then, things have been, let’s be honest, ghastly.
David Matthews of The Times Higher Education Supplement reports on the University of Mondragon (Spain), which is fighting to preserve its teaching mission, industry-focused research and mutual governance model.
An educational idyll: on the lush campuses in the Basque mountains, students say they encounter a different ethos. One says: ‘We are like a family. We all work together’
10December 2013 | Mondragon is jointly owned by its academic and administrative staff. To become a fully fledged member, employees have to work there for at least two years, and then pay €12,000 (£10,300), which buys a slice of the university’s capital that can be withdrawn upon retirement.However, it is unlikely that anyone employed by the university expects to earn enough to build a personal art collection or buy membership to an exclusive private members’ club: no one at Mondragon may earn more than three times the salary of the lowest-paid worker.
Jonathon Alley of Stack Magazine sums up the past 12 months of “tunes, ascensions and triumphs”.
17 year old New Zealand singer Lorde was the debut artist of the year – this You Tube clip has been viewed 116 million times, so you might have seen it.
Life & stuff
19 December 2013
It was cool and wettish in Melbourne but November 2013 was a hot month for planet Earth.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that last month set a heat record. It says it was the warmest November on record, across Earth, since record-keeping began in 1880.
It says average global temperature, for water and land surfaces combined, was 56.6 degrees (13.7 Celsius). That’s 0.78 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average.
It was the 37th consecutive November with above-average temperatures. The last below-average November was in 1976.
It was also the 345th straight month with above-average temperatures. That’s almost 29 years.
Here’s a message from Santa, courtesy of Greenpeace.
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