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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...]

Resourcing Australia’s tertiary education sector

LH Martin Institute Australian Government expenditure on tertiary education has been consistently at 0.8% of GDP since 2000. There has not been a ‘blowout’ in tertiary education spending. If there is a problem, it is simply that the Government needs to bring the Budget back into balance. The contribution that can be made to that objective from the tertiary education sector is at best modest, writes Mark Warburton. While direct expenditure on higher education student places under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) has increased considerably since 2008, this has been substantially offset since 2011 by 13 major savings measures which have reduced spending in other programs of support for … [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 # 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...]

TAFE does the heavy lifting

Report shows  mismatch between federal VET student loan funding and skill priorities TDA NEWS    |    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 research was undertaken for TDA by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). TDA sought the NCVER analysis to assess courses, funding, educational outcomes, market share, completions and … [Read more...]

ACPET supports national review

Within limits ACPET      |      21 March 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ACPET CEO Rod Camm looks at the issues raised in the Mitchell Institute paper, VET funding in Australia: Background trends and future directions, particularly the deterioration in public funding of VET. He also gives guarded support for Labor’s proposal for a comprehensive national review of VET. But he says such a review “review is simply not justified on the basis of quality concerns” pointing out that VET FEE-HELP enrolments, the locus of the current scandals, accounted for only 6% of total enrolments in 2014. This rather ignores that enrolments would have been somewhat higher in 2015. It also … [Read more...]

Election 2016: Higher education and VET issues

News items,  statements, analysis and commentary   The election outcome There's really not much to say, is there?  TDA summed it up from a tertiary education perspective, saying the uncertainty of the vote itself  is compounded by a curious lack of policy commitment from the Coalition, which did not release any skills policy or higher education  policy during the campaign.....[ READ MORE ].... Labor Of its "100 positive policies",  about 20% (19 to be precise) are in tertiary education.  In higher education, Labor has committed to maintaining the demand driven system, backed up by a Student Funding Guarantee to provide "certainty to universities and remove the … [Read more...]

The Scan # 177 17 March 2016

News ______________________________________________________ Fed takeover of VET unlikely 14 March 2016   |   The newly-minted Commonwealth minister for skills, Scott Ryan,  has poured cold water on a proposed Commonwealth takeover of vocational education and training set out in a draft of a paper to go to the next meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).  Under the proposal, TAFE fees would be deregulated and TAFEs would receive the same funding.  While education Simon Birmingham has strongly advocated a Commonwealth takeover,  Ryan says there are strong arguments to maintain the current system. Ryan said redesigning the troubled VET FEE-HELP scheme - which has blown … [Read more...]

The need for a comprehensive national review of VET

16 March 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Following is an extract from a submission by the LH Martin Institute to the House of Representatives Inquiry into TAFE (May 2013) which argues the need for a comprehensive national inquiry into VET. ..........…………………………………………………………………………………….......……   ...policy-makers, in particular, but also industry, the VET provider sector and analysts need to be mindful of the sometimes enervating effect of constant changes to and attempts to remake the VET system.  A restless, seemingly ceaseless search for perfection seems to characterise the official mindset about the VET sector.  At any one time, it is almost certainly likely to be … [Read more...]

Labor commits to wide-ranging national VET review

First proper review since 1974 16 March 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Labor will launch a comprehensive review of the vocational education and training sector - equivalent to the landmark Gonski Review into school funding and the Bradley Review of higher education -  if it wins office at the next election. The review would be the first such inquiry into the VET sector since the Kangan Report in 1974, which actually coined the term TAFE.  The 2011 Gonski review triggered major changes to school funding (albeit, a major tranche of which is now uncertain) while the 2008 Bradley review into higher education led to the uncapping of undergraduate student places, allowing … [Read more...]