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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 Greens Tertiary Education Policy

Higher education Building a sustainable university sector The Greens say they are committed to boosting funding to the university sector by $8.3 billion over four years so it can provide high quality and affordable higher education and training. To help provide world-class teaching and research opportunities in universities, the Greens will:  Invest $7 billion to reverse the Coalition’s  cuts and fund a 10% increase in base funding per student at public universities; and  Invest $1.306 billion into research to reverse Government cuts to our most successful university research. Supporting university students The Greens propose to oppose higher fees for students by: reducing … [Read more...]

Labor’s Policies on Tertiary Education

Higher Education  Student Funding Guarantee Labor has committed to supporting the demand driven system which has seen an additional 190,000 students enrolled at university since 2009. A Labor government will introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee to provide certainty to universities and remove the need for higher fees. Under a Labor Government, average funding per undergraduate student in 2018 will be more than $11,800, which it says would be $2,500 than under a Coalition government. Funding for the guarantee will be indexed. Restoration of research block grant funding Labor proposes to restore $370m in funding cut from  research grants  by the Abbott-Turnbull governments since … [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...]

A few cuts, no thrills for unis in 2016 Budget

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 and 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. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… 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 … [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...]

9 surprising Australian innovations that changed the world

5 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… This post on Science Alert by Fiona McDonald, celebrating Australian innovation, was sponsored by Universities Australia as part of its Keep it Clever campaign.  The campaign website includes an online petition. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… By now, most Australians know that our university researchers were behind the invention of the bionic ear, but more often than not, the world tends to focus more on our venomous snakes and spiders and overly muscular kangaroos than anything coming out of our labs. But the reality is that Australia puts out 3.9% of the world's research, with only 0.3% of the world's population, … [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...]

Redesigning Australia’s tertiary sector

 29 October 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… If there is the collective will, a window of opportunity has opened for a serious discussion about the future architecture of Australian tertiary education and the funding mechanisms that would encourage genuine diversity to flourish, write Richard James and Leo Goedegebuure. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… After two lost years the sector desperately needs funding reforms. But how can the debate be placed on a new footing? We believe the answer lies in returning to first principles: what kinds of institutions, and what mix of institutions, would best serve Australia? Our thinking is simple: let’s develop a farsighted … [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...]