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Federal Budget 2017

The Conversation | 9 May 2017   Students interrupted Simon Birmingham’s speech on planned higher education reforms. Katina Curtis/AAP University fees and cuts Gwilym Croucher, Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne: The government has confirmed the package of changes it announced a week ago with significant cuts. Students in particular will pay more, a lot more. Student contributions will increase by 1.8% each year between 2018 and 2021 for a total 7.5% increase. This means they will pay 46%, instead of 42%, of the cost of their degree on average. So, for a four-year course, this is an increase in total student fees of … [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...]

Student loan caps must be part of total redesign of vocational funding system

28 June 2016   ………………………………………………………………………………………………………  Labor proposes to  introduce a cap of $8,000 on student loans for vocational education and training (VET) courses.  A course loan cap is a sensible option, but it must form part of a total redesign of the VET FEE-HELP student loan scheme in the first instance, and of the whole VET funding system in the longer term, writes Peter Noonan in The Conversation. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Currently, there are no loan caps for courses where providers set their own fees and don’t receive a course subsidy through the states. The Labor proposal is to set a maximum loan cap of $8,000 per course funded under VET … [Read more...]

ACPET – Election 2016 – Statements

Private education and training is the preferred choice of more than 50 per cent of students across Australia. It is highly innovative and responsive to the needs of industry. More than 2.2 million students choose to complete study or training with private providers in Australia. The Student Choice Counts campaign is mobilising the community of students, employees and supporters of the private education and training sector against any policy change to limit student choice and undermine the viability of an important and competitive industry. The risks: Liberal and National parties and the ALP have announced major reviews and consultations into training and higher education. ACPET … [Read more...]

TDA: Election 2016 – Statements

……………………………………………………………………………………………………… TAFE Directors Australia (TDA - the body representing Australia's public TAFE institutes) has issued a series of policy position papers that have been developed to steer the direction of policy affecting TAFE and the VET sector.  Policy Paper 1 – TAFE: a national asset for Australia’s economic and social prosperity Policy Paper 2 - Quality is the hallmark of a well-regulated VET system Policy Paper 3 – Rural and remote vocational education and training relies on TAFE Policy Paper 4 – Ending discrimination in Australia’s tertiary education system Policy Paper 5 – Why a national industry policy & innovation and STEM … [Read more...]

TDA Policy Position Papers

……………………………………………………………………………………………………… TAFE Directors Australia (TDA - the body representing Australia's public TAFE institutes) has issued a series of policy position papers that have been developed to steer the direction of policy affecting TAFE and the VET sector.  Policy Paper 1 – TAFE: a national asset for Australia’s economic and social prosperity Policy Paper 2 - Quality is the hallmark of a well-regulated VET system Policy Paper 3 – Rural and remote vocational education and training relies on TAFE Policy Paper 4 – Ending discrimination in Australia’s tertiary education system Policy Paper 5 – Why a national industry policy & innovation and STEM … [Read more...]

Election Watch 2016 launched

Election Watch is a guide to the 2016 Australian federal election run out of the University of Melbourne’s School of Government which aims to: provide independent political analysis and debate; explore the current state of Australian electoral politics; provide a resource that delves into policies and issues; present a suite of public events to include the community in election analysis. Election Watch will publish articles of news and analysis; publish a ‘library’ of primary policy documents; and compile a resource of campaign advertisements. 2615       … [Read more...]

TDA and ACPET oppose Labor’s VET FEE-HELP cap

TDA cautions against capping loans for TAFE students TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) has welcomed the federal opposition’s plan to find savings from the poorly administered VET FEE-HELP loan scheme, with the overwhelming amount of funds flowing to private colleges. A number of unscrupulous private colleges have taken advantage of the system, with some colleges referred to police and ASIC, after thousands of students did not complete courses and were left with large debts or qualifications of dubious quality. However, TDA had not been consulted on Labor’s additional idea to cap VET FEE-HELP student loans at $8,000 per year. TDA expressed concern at the inflexibility this entails for … [Read more...]

What’s the objection to VET FEE-HELP cap?

……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The ALP's proposal to cap VET FEE-HELP loans at $8,000 has been criticised as "arbitrary" and "too low". People ought to read the policy before criticising it: it actually allows for an exemption when a higher fee can be justified. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… So what's wrong with that? Providers ought to be allowed to charge unjustifiably high fees and sling the cost off to the taxpayer? Here's a couple of facts and figures to ponder. Course tuition fees have increased from an average of $4,060 in 2009 to $14,018 in 2015 and average loans per student have more than doubled from $4,861 in 2009 to $10,739 in 2015. Most of this … [Read more...]

Labor proposes VET FEE-HELP cap

6 May 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Labor has proposed an $8000 annual cap on the VET FEE-HELP loan scheme, which has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to colleges which have targeted vulnerable people, had abysmal completion rates and left thousands of students with huge debts, many of which won’t be repaid. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Higher education spokesman Kim Carr said the cap would provide protection for students and reduce the call on the budget, as taxpayers are bankrolling unscrupulous private colleges under current ­arrangements. He said: The average cost to providers is less than $4000, so there is still plenty of room for people to … [Read more...]