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Universities Australia – Election 2016 – Statements

Keep it Clever: Policy Statement 2016 Australia is at an economic and productivity crossroads. In an era of sweeping change, other nations are seizing the future with investments in higher education, research, innovation and skills. Australia now faces a stark choice: we either make our own investment—or we fall behind those nations that do. Equipping ourselves for the dramatic economic transformation ahead is an urgent task. Indeed, our future prosperity depends on it. That’s why we need a new contract with the Australian public—supported by political bipartisanship—that grasps the direct link between our national investment in education, research and innovation, and Australia’s economic … [Read more...]

The Scan #167 16 April 2015

Student debt growing rapidly as compliance declines 16 April 2015   |    With student debt ballooning, reform of the FEE-HELP system (HECS) is now a pressing budget issue with the nation’s second biggest financial asset, after the Future Fund, being eroded as one in five debtors renege on their loans. That figure is expected to rise to 25% by 2017. The government will have more than $70 billion in unpaid university student loans on its books in another two years, double the figure owed in 2013-14. According to researchers Richard Highfield and Neil Warren, the loans system is being compromised by successive governments’ commitment to increasing participation in tertiary education while not … [Read more...]

The Scan Edition # 165 7 November 2014

Acquire in ASQA spotlight 7 November 2014     |       The marketing practices of Acquire Learning, chaired by former AFL chief Andrew Demetriou, are being investigated by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) following complaints about cold calling and inappropriately ¬enrolling jobseekers who had ¬applied for positions advertised on the Seek employment website. Acquire itself is not a registered training organisation, but works as a broker allocating students to individual providers. Acquire has been the subject of complaints whereby jobseekers applying for positions are pressured into undertaking private tertiary study, in some cases becoming burdened by debts of up to $8000....[ … [Read more...]

Senate impasse creating all round uncertainty

Group of 8      |     6 November 2014 Too many "known unknowns" (2) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Group of 8 consideration of the negative impact of the legislative impasse in the Senate on the government's higher education package comes on the back of Melbourne University stating that it is unable to frame a budget for next year or beyond because there are to many "known unknowns.   Neither can you say that its prognostications about the likely impact on other areas of university funding, such as research, are unreasonable: the government  seems set to effect at least its savings, one way or another.  Elsewhere, the Grattan Institute's Andrew Norton suggests a freeze on … [Read more...]

Swinburne presents options to keep higher ed fees in check

Swinburne Media Centre    |     6 November 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… As the cross bench senators weigh up the government's higher education reform package, including university fee deregulation and student loan interest rates, they might well consider a comparison table released by Swinburne University of Technology  to assist in the evaluation of four policy options that have been canvassed to moderate against excessive student fee increases from 2016. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Experts have predicted that the price of degrees will increase significantly from 2016.  The proposed flat fee of $16,000 per year announced by the University of … [Read more...]

Swinburne options comparison table

See Swinburne presents options to keep higher ed fees in check   Double click on the table to enlarge Click to enlarge … [Read more...]

The Scan | Edition # 164 | 31 October 2014

Labor's calculator of doom 31 October 2014    |       As part of its growing campaign against the Abbott government’s deregulation of university fees, Labor has launched its own “calculator of doom” which shows that in a “best case” scenario in which universities simply raise fees to cover proposed funding cuts, female nurses and teachers could face cost increases of about 60% once interest repayments are included. Under the best case scenario, a female nurse would end up repaying $32,245 for her three-year degree over nine years, up 66% from $19,410 under current arrangements. If prices rose to international student levels she would eventually repay $56,643 over almost 15 years. A male … [Read more...]

The Scan’s top ten reads – October 2014

31 October 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… In October The Scan published 47 posts, considerably less than usual, and only published 2 editions, rather than the 4-5 in a usual month.  Early in October, we suffered what seemed to be a catastrophic ICT event , which turned out merely to be a bit of a disaster but limited activity (nothing to do with viruses and worms!).  As noted last month  Scan readers seem to be drawn to a whiff of controversy and the runaway controversy in October was the regulatory travails of the ASX-listed training provider Vocation (and which seem to have some way to run yet). University fee deregulation featured highly, with advocates and opponents … [Read more...]

Senate inquiry into uni fee deregulation

31 October 2014 "Pass higher education bill with amendments" ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Senate inquiry into the government’s proposed suite of changes to higher education has now reported. The committee came up with five recommendations, some of which were foreshadowed by Education Minister Christopher Pyne and by media reports but which Pyne has since discounted.  Gwilym Croucher summarises the report and the issues that confront the crossbenchers who will decide the outcome. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… What does the report say? The committee, chaired by Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie, recommends that the bill be passed, but in … [Read more...]

Labor’s calculator of doom

The Australian      |      31 October 2014 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………  As part of its growing campaign against the Abbott government’s deregulation of university fees, Labor has launched its own “calculator of doom” which shows that in a “best case” scenario in which universities simply raise fees to cover proposed funding cuts, female nurses and teachers could face cost increases of about 60% once interest repayments are included. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Under the best case scenario, a female nurse would end up repaying $32,245 for her three-year degree over nine years, up 66% from $19,410 under current arrangements. If prices rose to international … [Read more...]