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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...]

The Scan 28 June 2016 #181

Apprentice numbers slump 28 June 2016    |     The number of apprentices across Australia has plunged since the Coalition took office, government figures show, with some of the steepest falls occurring in high-unemployment marginal seats still up for grabs at Saturday's election.  Western Sydney has lost 10,642 apprentices and western Melbourne 4782, while the national total fell 28 per cent from 383,562 to 278,583, between December 2013 and December last year, documents obtained under Freedom of Information and NCVER data reveal.  Labor claims the falling take up of apprenticeships is a direct result of the $1 billion stripped from trades support programs since the change of government, … [Read more...]

The Scan #179 5 May 2016

A few cuts, no frills 4 May 2016   |   The government has pushed consideration of proposed university reforms, including a 20% cut in funding, out beyond the election, until 1 January 2018.  While it has ruled out full fee deregulation, it has released an options paper, to guide a consultation process, canvassing a range of alternative fee measures which would still see substantial fee rises.  The 2016 Budget also sees an efficiency dividend of $1.2 billion on legislated dropped but the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program has been cut by $152 million to $553 million over four years.  The Office of Learning and Teaching has been abolished, with the resulting $18 million in … [Read more...]

The Scan # 178 12 April 2016

TAFE does heavy lifting - TDA 12 April 2016   |    A TAFE Directors Australia (TDA)-commissioned analysis of official data reveals ‘for profit’ private training colleges have gained a massive 75% share of the $3 billion Commonwealth VET FEE-HELP funding, while the public TAFE sector continues to do the “heavy lifting”.  The performance of Australia’s 57 TAFE Institutes emerges strongly, dominating all major state and territory VET-funded ‘fields of education’ and trade apprenticeships. While TAFE delivered 63% of enrolments across the majority of fields of education, Commonwealth allocation of student loans to TAFE fell to just 20% in 2014, and the government’s own emergency legislation to … [Read more...]

Pyne agenda lives on

20% cut to funding likely The Australian   |   5 April 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The government remains committed to a higher education funding reform with university students increasingly likely to pay more for their degrees, Education Minister Simon Birmingham has confirmed. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Birmingham told Sky News on 4 April he wanted to “refine and improve” the original plan by former minister Christopher Pyne. “The growth in higher education spending over the last 20 years has essentially gone at double the rate of growth of the economy, so that is not a sustainable financial trajectory,” he said. He said the original 20% cut … [Read more...]

Job axe to fall at UWA

ABC NEWS |     11 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The University of Western Australia (UWA) will lay off 300 staff as part of sweeping cuts aimed at reducing costs. The university will slash 100 academic positions and 200 professional positions early next year.  Fifty new academic positions will be created to enhance the university's "capability and impact in areas of comparative advantage". …………………………………………………………………………………….......……  UWA Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said in a statement that 2015 had been a challenging year for the Australian higher education sector: UWA, like many universities, has a budget challenge. As highlighted during the … [Read more...]

How teaching funds research in Australian universities

28 November 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… A report by the Grattan Institute report finds that universities earn up to $3.2 billion more from students than they spend on teaching, and have powerful incentives to spend the extra money on research. International students, who usually generate more revenue per student than domestic students, contribute a substantial proportion of this surplus. The report’s author, Andrew Norton, says the finding is concerning because, while university research matters to Australia, the evidence that it improves teaching is less clear. He observes that direct spending on teaching, by contrast, is far more likely to ensure that universities … [Read more...]

Keeping it clever

28 November 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… A national productivity windfall generated by university research has delivered economic benefits to Australia worth a third of the growth in average living standards over the past 30 years. These productivity gains have been worth an estimated $10 billion each year over those three decades. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The new modelling and analysis is one of the key findings of the full Deloitte Access Economics latest report, The importance of universities to Australia’s prosperity. The $10 billion productivity boost is in addition to the $25 billion that universities contribute to the Australian economy … [Read more...]

LH Martin Newsletter 23 October 2015

Responses by Some Australian Universities to Demand-Driven Policy Reforms by Prof. Emeritus Frank Larkins Frank Larkins' latest analysis on Australian higher education looks at the responses to the demand-driven reforms of 2009. 2016 postgraduate courses - applications open and online info sessions available Master of Tertiary Education Management A two-year, part time course designed for middle to senior level educators, administrators and scholars seeking to extend their knowledge and skills in tertiary sector leadership and management. Read more about the course. Read also about the recent papers by our graduates which were published in … [Read more...]

Universities warned to brace for funding cut

The Australian     |     1 July 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Universities have been warned their funding will be cut by 20% almost immediately, an average of $32 million a university, if the government can get its higher education reform package through the Senate by the end of the year. The legislation,  rejected by the Senate in March, was due to be reintroduced during the budget sittings of Parliament  but has been left to "lie fallow" as education  minister Christopher Pyne presumably cultivates the Senate crossbenchers.  Most informed commentary is that the legislation has little prospects of passing in its present form.   So will the government amend the bill? … [Read more...]