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TAFE’s role eroded

Victim of "efficiency" and competition measures TDA  News |   5 April 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… A COAG-commissioned review of Australia's landmark, five-year plan for skills has found that critical community and educational elements of TAFE have been eroded. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The review of the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform (NPA) was undertaken by ACIL Allan Consulting last December and presented to the Council of Australian Governments on 1  April. It reveals the extent to which so-called competition and efficiency reforms have been pursued at the expense of downgrading TAFE. The review clearly states that the NPA was intended … [Read more...]

Feds propose VET takeover

Private providers to be put on funding par with TAFE The Age    |    4 February 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Commonwealth government would take over TAFE funding from the states under a radical plan to be presented to the states and territories at the next meeting of the Council of Australian Governments in March. Under the Turnbull government proposal, TAFE fees would be deregulated and TAFEs would receive the same levels of funding as private colleges in a bid to increase competition in the sector. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… States could provide some top-up funding for TAFE, but only enough to ensure "competitive neutrality" with private … [Read more...]

ASQA gets the thumbs up – despite an apparent crisis

16 November 2015      ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… A survey commissioned by the national regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), reveals an apparent “thumbs up” by stakeholders  for its work on deregulation and slashing redtape.  Meanwhile, in the real world, there’s a sense of crisis in the VET sector, as reported by Fairfax Media (below).  And the Senate has established an inquiry into the Higher Education Support Amendment (VET FEE-HELP Reform) Bill 2015 to examine measures proposed to protect students from unscrupulous training colleges. It follows the government’s blocking of Labor amendments to establish a VET Ombudsman and to create a legislated … [Read more...]

NCVER report reveals lack of scrutiny of VET sector

TDA News    |     10 November 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Data released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show the continuing fundamental role of  TAFE, as the public provider network, but also demonstrate a worrying failure in scrutiny by policy makers, according to TAFE Directors Australia. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The NCVER report Total VET students and courses 2014 reveals the huge growth in the VET sector to 3.9 million students – almost three times the number in the higher education sector.  The data also show: TAFE and private providers deliver roughly the same number of training hours nationally (41% by TAFE and 45% … [Read more...]

ACPET National Conference

……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The overarching theme for this year's Australian Council for Private Education and Training's (ACPET) Asia Pacific International Education Forum (APIEF) and National Conference is: Inspiring Ideas; building a better private education and training sector through innovation, diversity and quality. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……  A line-up of speakers and exhibitors from both global and domestic tertiary education markets will facilitate the exploration of ideas, benchmarks and current practices relating to the theme. Confirmed speakers Rachel Botsman                                      Collaborative Economy Global … [Read more...]

More or less regulation?

The Conversation     |    23 March 2015 Seeking coherence in tertiary education ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The federal government’s proposed higher education reforms failed spectacularly in the Senate again last week. Before the government tries a third time to secure support for a policy that has been difficult to sell, Swinburne University vice-chancellor Linda Kristjanson writes that the government  needs to learn from past mistakes in the tertiary education sector and think carefully about how to move forward. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Australians rejected deregulation because it wasn’t fair for all The debate has advanced since the … [Read more...]

TDA Newsletter 2 March 2015

VET FEE-HELP providers under the microscope The federal government has announced that training providers will be subject of targeted audits to prevent the exploitation of VET FEE-HELP. The Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said the regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), would undertake a total of 23 audits of registered training organisations, including providers identified in complaints to the authority. “Any training providers found to be engaged in practices that are contrary to the required national Standards could face regulatory sanctions, including the cancelation or suspension of their registration,” he said. Senator … [Read more...]

ACPET National Monday Update 22 December 2014

In Focus Another year - another reform, A message from the Chair - Edition 585, 22 Dec I would like to comment on where our industry finds itself at the end of another year. This wonderfully diverse sector that we work in continues to perform, making real differences to the lives of Australians and our international guests. Despite this, the year has also produced many challenges. Media scrutiny of apparent unscrupulous operators has been a feature. We all know this is but a minor element of the sectors, not that some commentators have reported that.  A tremendous advantage about an education marketplace, or any market for that matter, is that they produce innovation and … [Read more...]

Dawkins quits as chair of Vocation

 The Australian    |     27 November 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… John Dawkins has resigned as chairman of troubled education group Vocation, saying shareholders want board renewal.  He has been replaced immediately by Doug Halley, who is also currently chairman of ASX-listed Duet Group. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Last month, following a lengthy probe,  Vocation was forced to repay $19.6 m in Victorian  government VET funding over non-compliance issues and it has now emerged one of its subsidiaries  (Aspin) is the subject of  a previously undisclosed investigation by the federal skills regulator (ASQA). Vocation has also been under investigation by … [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...]