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ACPET National Monday Update # 602 4 May 2015

In Focus The week that was  In higher education the argument is overwhelming that we need to continue to argue for the removal of the inequities that apply to our students. The 25% additional loading alone is outrageous, and coupled with full fees with no government assistance defies common sense. I will be contacting key figures in the industry over the coming weeks to help shape a way forward. In VET we have heard more news about the ACCC investigation and potential charges. I support the move and it is imperative that all students are properly informed about their provider, the course and any debt levels incurred before they sign on. The fact that these basic consumer … [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...]

Who should go to university?

16 April 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Conor King of the Innovative Research Universities group fears that in the absence of university fee deregulation, the demand driven-system will be dumped. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Who should go to university, only the select or all who want to? It is the question that ran through the 2015 Universities Australia Conference in March. It is lurking behind the contentious funding and fees debate that has wracked higher education for the past year. It is the issue that determines how well higher education supports Australia’s future. Gary Banks, former Productivity Commissioner, best illustrated the … [Read more...]

The social costs of high university charges

15 April 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… This is an extract from Bruce Chapman's submission to a Senate Committee inquiry into higher education fee deregulation (February 2015) in which he proposes a "progressive tax" on university funding as a means of constraining fees.  He suggest sthe question of what the “right” price to charge students for public sector university teaching services  "is not an argument that can be made easily with reference to economic theory or compelling evidence related to allocative efficiency. It is instead basically an ethical issue." ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… It needs to be asked: Does it matter that … [Read more...]

Victorian tertiary offers 2015

 20 January 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Over 69,000 applicants have received an offer, through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC), for a place at a Victorian university, some private higher education colleges and for some courses at TAFE institutes. .University offers totalled about 57,000 out of about 68,000 applications, meaning a “success rate” of 84%, compared to 85% in 2014 but way ahead of the 75% rate in 2009, the year that places began to be uncapped. The average Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) for entry declined slightly, from 69.3 in 2014 to 68.1 in 2015. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The data need to be interpreted with a … [Read more...]

Newcastle quits IRU

The Australian     |      22 December 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Newcastle University has quit the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) group saying it would rather advocate for its own particular interests in light of proposed government funding cuts and fee deregulation. Along with other university groupings and Universities Australia, the IRU has been a vocal advocate for proposed fee deregulation. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Caroline McMillen, Newcastle’s vice-chancellor, said the university’s research intensiveness in a low socioeconmic region put pressures on her institution that were not necessarily mirrored by the IRU’s other member … [Read more...]

Higher education changes a ‘fraud on the electorate’

The Conversation     |     2 December  2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Stephen Parker, vice-chancellor of the University of Canberra, has been a loud, lone dissenting voice among the vice-chancellors  over the government’s higher education deregulation package, strenuously opposing from the start, describing it as "a potentially calamitous package" for students and the country.  He’s been particularly critical of the qualified support offered by Universities Australia, which he depicts as “an organisation with necrotizing fasciitis – the condition where the body eats its own flesh”.  And he says the peak organisation is doomed, having lost its “moral compass” and that he … [Read more...]

Higher education ads slammed

Fairfax Media      |    9  December 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Abbott government has launched a taxpayer-funded advertising campaign to address concerns about its proposed higher education changes, key aspects of which enjoy little support in the wider community. The youth-focussed campaign, based on the theme "Your future is Australia's future", is aimed at countering claims about skyrocketing degree costs under a deregulated fee system. Labor has run its own campaign - the difference being its ads were paid political advertising, not a taxpayer funded exercise. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Prime time television advertisements launched on … [Read more...]

ACPET National Monday Update 8 December 2014

In Focus The fast pace of Tertiary education continues to unfold Edition 583, 8 Dec We have seen the defeat of the higher education reforms in the senate and the subsequent reintroduction of the Higher Education Research and Reform Bill 2014. The new Bill contains a number of changes from the initial version: indexing of student debt will remain based on CPI rather than the 10 year bond rate, a pause on indexation for primary carers of a child under 5, a structural adjustment package to assist universities (particularly regional)  transition to a more competitive market, a new scholarship fund for universities with high rates of low SES students, and a guarantee … [Read more...]

University funding system in England is “not sustainable”

 University World News      |    6  December 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The funding system for higher education in England is not sustainable and a better funding model must be developed, according to a critical report by the Higher Education Commission. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The UK coalition government’s decision to allow fees to triple in 2012-13, and the system of student loans and grants developed alongside the hike, was supposed to lead to a more marketised system of higher education, raising standards while pushing prices down, resulting in better qualified graduates for less money. The report concludes: This has not … [Read more...]