non-university higher education

Birmingham releases "synthesis report" on HE reform

The Australian     |     28 October 2015


The Commonwealth government has released a synthesis report of the past seven reviews of higher education over the past 30 years rather than conducting a further  separate review in the wake of its failed higher education reform package.



Education minister Simon Birmingham told the Australian Financial Review’s Higher Education Summit said that the government is under intense time pressures to come up with a new and revitalised higher education reform package after its the package devised by former education minister Christopher Pyne was rejected by the Senate twice, largely due to intense community opposition over the plan to deregulate university fees.

The background paper summarises the findings of each major review of higher education from the 1988 Dawkins White Paper to the 2014 Kemp-Norton Review of the Demand Driven Funding System.

Birmingham said he had decided to reap the wisdom of these previous reviews rather than hold another one as he tries to push reset on the government’s failed higher education reform package.

These reviews show that for almost three decades Australia has been grappling with how to enable more students to access the benefits higher education offers – in terms of employment, earnings, social and cultural opportunities – while ensuring the system remains fair, high quality and affordable for both individuals and taxpayers.

He says he hopes to have a new reform package ready to take to the Senate by mid-next year before the expected date of the next federal election.

Birmingham flagged to the conference that a watered-down version of fee deregulation was still on the agenda, but acknowledged that Labor ran an effective campaign over $100,000 fees.  He also flagged a possible overhaul of the HECS system and expansion of sub-degree places, saying “there is a valid need to stop treating non-degree bachelor and non-university pathways as second class options”.

While he will look closely at extending government subsidies to private colleges because it would encourage diversity, Birmingham said he is very wary after widespread rorting in the vocational sector.

He said quality must be guaranteed and government funding must never be structured in such a way as to attract providers like bees to a honey pot,”adding that he had been “somewhat scarred” by his role in having to “clean up in the poorly regulated vocational education market”.

The synthesis report identifies five overarching themes that had been common to all seven of the previous reviews even though student numbers had more than doubled during that time, now numbering over one million.

Common themes included how to adequately finance teaching and research while maintaining quality, as well as finding the right balance between student and government contributions have been central to all seven reviews.

Each of the reviews has also struggled with how to continue to expand the number of places, especially among under-represented groups, due to the need to produce graduates with the skills needed for new and emerging sectors in the economy. All have also addressed diversity, or the lack of it, between institutions.


Higher Education in Australia A review of reviews from Dawkins to today

ACPET National Monday Update Edition 599, 13 April 2015



In Focus

Private VET sector not broken

Australia has  fantastic private VET colleges delivering high quality support to students and great outcomes.

However, we also have a more negative side that the media is shining the spotlight on.

I must ask myself at times like these, is the VET sector actually broken, or does the private sector play a legitimate role?

Let’s go to the data:

  • Private tertiary education injects $5.8 billion per year to the national economy, employ almost 100,000 people and educate 1.4 million students.
  • 1670 of the 4500 private RTOs received government funding in 2013 and enrolled 28% of students.
  • In a sign quality does exist, private providers are the preferred choice for international students, attracting 109,700 overseas visa students studying onshore in 2013. As we often hear bad news reported out of Victoria, here is a fun fact – private VET providers have achieved an 85 per cent market share of international student enrolments in Victoria. Australian Education International Year to Date Data, (December 2014) reveals that Victorian TAFEs achieved 6,887 international student enrolments in 2014 compared to 37,452 enrolments in private institutions
  • VET completion rates are 35.8 percent, yet 87% of graduates and 84% of module completers satisfied
  • 77% of graduates were employed after undertaking training and 80% of those undertaking training for employment related reasons were employed after training
  • In the broader VET sector (government and full fee for service activities) private VET providers are consistently the most preferred supplier of nationally recognised training with 45 per cent of employers choosing them as their main provider.  By contrast only 17 per cent of employers used TAFE as their main provider of nationally recognised training.

So it would not appear to be broken…. Read more


This week in National professional development Edition 599, 13 Apr

This week in professional development, we have a range of webinars from Are you ready for audit? through to Good practice – Elements of a quality assessment system. Check out what’s in store for the week: Independent Validation of Assessment – Obligations and Ideas for RTOs Are you ready… Read more

Foundation Skills for RTOs: free professional development in 2015 Edition 599, 13 Apr

Do I really understand the ACSF and CSfW frameworks? How do I apply them in my role? How do I help others in my RTO to apply them? RTO staff come from a wide range of industry backgrounds with varying levels of foundation skills knowledge. The Foundation Skills Frameworks provide common tools… Read more

ACPET WA at CDAA National Conference Edition 599, 13 Apr

I was pleased to have the opportunity to present at the CDAA National Conference at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth last week – speaking on one of the more provocative topics on the conference agenda: Dubious Courses from Dodgy Providers: facts vs fiction. Careers practitioners from across Aus… Read more

More updates in your state

For News, PD and events by State and Territory visit Your State.

– See more at:

Curriculum and course procurement

31 March 2015

Business/ Hospitality  ————————-  Child care


Curriculum1A dynamic and reputable education and training provider is looking to expand its offerings into higher education courses, initially at AQF Level 5 (Diploma) and AQF level 6 (Associate Degree) in the fields of Business/Hospitality and in Childcare.

The provider is seeking to procure curriculum and courses materials upon which to base its own courses. For further information, email: .

ACPET National Monday Update 23 March 1015


In Focus

The week that was… Edition 596, 23 Mar

The Higher Education reforms did not pass the Senate. Not a surprise, however it was certainly disappointing for the industry and students studying in non-University Higher Education Providers.

Because a new model for higher education funding is so necessary, more effort is required. It is time for us all to work together the find a solution to the current impasse that is creating uncertainty and risking the quality of Australia’s higher education system.

There are actually many areas of common ground. The reforms are too important to let wither on the vine.

The future of our sector and that of current and future students demands that we find a way…. Read more


Last chance – Preparing to lodge a successful application for a VET Training Award Edition 596, 23 Mar

Nominations for the VET Training Awards in your State or Territory have either already oepned or are opening very soon. The vocational education and training (VET) Awards celebrate quality, excellence and innovation in training. They acknowledge and reward both individuals and organisations that ex… Read more

Member webinars – Implementing the ACPET Code of Ethics & Code of Practice for engaging education agents Edition 596, 23 Mar

Last week ACPET launched its revised Code of Ethics and new Code of Practice for Engaging Education Agents and we have developed resources for members to use when conducting a self-assesssment in relation to these. To support members in familiarising themselves with the Codes and in using these res… Read more

This week in National professional development Edition 596, 23 Mar

This week in professional development, we have a range of webinars from RTO financial management through to meeting the standards: getting compliant with LLN. Check out what’s in store for the week: Independent Validation of Assessment – Obligations and Ideas for RTOs An introduction to t… Read more

Foundation Skills for RTOs: free professional development in 2015 Edition 596, 23 Mar

Do I really understand the ACSF and CSfW frameworks? How do I apply them in my role? How do I help others in my RTO to apply them? RTO staff come from a wide range of industry backgrounds with varying levels of foundation skills knowledge. The Foundation Skills Frameworks provide common tools… Read more

Register for AUSTRADE consultations in your city Edition 596, 23 Mar

Austrade invites education and training oprganisations in the international education sector, to develop Australian International Education (AIE) 2025, a long-term market development strategy for the next decade. AIE 2025 aims to maximise the sector’s contribution to Australia’s future… Read more

CISAmbassador Edition 596, 23 Mar

The Council of International Students Australia (CISA) is inviting expressions of interest from international students studying at ELICOS, TAFE/VET or private colleges, to be our CISAmbassadors at your institution. The Ambassador program will see many talented and inspiring international student le… Read more

ACPET member only professional development offer! Edition 596, 23 Mar

Exclusive for ACPET members, for the one-off price of $800 (exc GST), 10 of your staff may access all ACPET webinars from now until the end of June 2015, and also request recordings for those you have missed during the second half of 2014. Please contact Dylan Wolfgramm for further details of this… Read more

ACPET Office for SA & Tasmania on the move. Please change your records! Edition 596, 23 Mar

As from 1 April 2015, the ACPET Office for SA and Tasmania will be moving. Please change your records with the following details: Mailing Address: PO Box 361, MSC Torrens Park, SA 5062 Phone: M 0400 097 332 Email: For enquiries please contact: Dr Joy de Leo ACPET Executive… Read more

More updates in your state

For News, PD and events by State and Territory visit Your State.

– See more at:

Australia's first accredited Buddhist college

 4 March 2015


Australia’s first government accredited Buddhist tertiary education provider, the Nan Tien Institute (NTI), officially opened its doors on Sunday 1 March 2015, at its newly constructed Wollongong Campus.


Nan Tien 2

NTI describes itself as a secular tertiary Institute and says its purpose is to educate students in a context informed by Buddhist wisdom and values. It aims to facilitate cultural understanding and appreciation through the academic study of the arts, education, human welfare, religions and other disciplines.

NTI currently offers six post graduate courses through its Faculty of Humanities and new Faculty of Health. These are Master of Arts (Applied Buddhist Studies and Health and Social Wellbeing); Graduate Diploma (Applied Buddhist Studies and Health and Social Wellbeing); and Graduate Certificate (Applied Buddhist Studies and Health and Social Wellbeing).

The $50million first stage of the campus incorporates teaching and community facilities, a museum and art gallery, library, cafe, gift shop and lecture theatres
The campus caters for 300 students and aims to build to 3000 students when a second stage is completed and will expand to include courses such as a business degree, Masters of Business Leadership and Doctor of Philosophy.

Nan Tien Institute is part of an international university consortium with three sister universities in Taiwan and USA and 16 colleges and memorandums of understanding with Australian and international universities.

Design firm Woods Bagot used the Buddhist symbol of the lotus flower as the starting point for the design of the building.

Nan Tien means "paradise of the south"
Nan Tien means “paradise of the south”

TDA Newsletter 15 December 2014

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TAFE higher education reform push gathers pace

TDA has continued its advocacy to encourage key federal crossbench Senators to support the government’s higher education reforms.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has introduced legislation which will be debated when parliament returns in February.

TDA Acting CEO Malcolm White has met with Senators over recent weeks. He also discussed the position of TAFE higher education students in an ABC radio interview on Life Matters this week.

Also on the program, Professor Peter Noonan from The Mitchell Institute at Victoria University agreed that TAFE higher education students deserved the same Commonwealth funding as those at university.

“I think that the Commonwealth should look at taking over all of the funding for higher level TAFE programs – diplomas and advanced diplomas – whether they are in the VET or higher education system so all of those courses are on an equal footing,” he said.

Listen to the ABC Life Matters program on TAFE and deregulation.

Twenty-six transport and logistics students win scholarships

The TDA National Scholarships Foundation and the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) have helped out a further 26 students at TAFE SWSi (South Western Sydney Institute).

The Chief Executive of TLISC, Robert Adams, presented the students with Mick Young Scholarships at TAFE SWSi’s Wetherill Park College.

TLISC has worked with the TDA National Scholarships Foundation over the past 18 months to award more than 50 scholarships nationally.

TAFE SWSi Associate Institute Director Debra Jolley congratulated the recipients who will now progress into a career in transport and logistics, knowing they have the financial support necessary to complete.

One delighted recipient, Leanne Ford (pictured), is studying Warehouse Operations and ultimately wants to become a warehouse manager.

According to TLISC, 151,000 jobs will be created in the Transport and Logistics sector between 2013 and 2017, on top of the existing workforce of some 797,000 workers across 165,000 businesses.

SWSi students receive Mick Young Scholarships in transport and logistics

See more.

Time to get ready for Unique Student Identifiers

Unique Student Identifiers (USIs) will be required from 1 January, so it is important for TAFE Institutes to get ready for student enrolments and reporting.

Students enrolling or re-enrolling into nationally recognised training, delivered by Australian-registered training organisations, will need to have a USI before they can be issued with their Certificate of Attainment.

So far, more than 170,000 USIs have been created. The USI Registry System is ready for students to create their USIs and for training organisations to create USIs on behalf of their students (with their students’ permission).

Anyone needing help should go to the Department of Industry’s USI Help Centre. It is a useful resource for getting ready for the USI and includes a User Guide for training organisations.

The Department has also advised that you may call 13 38 73 or email:

TDA seeks input into 457 visa reform

TDA has written to the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash, seeking to provide input following the recent review of the 457 Visa Programme.

In particular, TDA is concerned about the impact on training and education flowing from one of the report’s key recommendations.

The report recommends that the current training benchmarks be replaced by an annual training fund contribution, based on each 457 visa holder sponsored, with the contributions scaled according to the size of the business.

See Robust New Foundations, the review of the 457 visa programme.

TDA National Conference, 10-11 September 2015 – Save the Date

The 2015 TDA National Conference will be held in Hobart on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 September at The Hotel Grand Chancellor.

Pre-conference workshops will be held on Wednesday 9 September.

The Welcome Reception will also be on Wednesday at Hobart’s world-acclaimed MONA (Museum of Old and New Art).

The Conference Dinner will be on Thursday 10 September.
Exhibition and sponsorship opportunities are now available.

Visit for more information.

Australian Training Awards direct entry now open

The direct entry categories of the 2015 Australian Training Awards are now open.

Applicants may have the opportunity to reach the national stage in Hobart next November and gain Australia-wide recognition.  The direct entry categories include:

For individuals:

For businesses:

For registered training organisations:

Applications close on Friday 29 May 2015.

For more information, visit, phone 13 28 46 or email

A Merry Xmas wish from everyone at TDA

This will be the final TDA newsletter for 2014. The first edition for 2015 will be on Monday January 12.

TDA extends its best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all its readers.

Diary Dates

Victoria University
Financial Sustainability in VET

DATE: 25-26 February 2015
LOCATION: Victoria University City Convention Centre, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Workplace Practitioners’ Network
Foundation Skills at Work

DATE: 18-20 March 2015
LOCATION: Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

18th Annual Conference

DATE: 8-10 April 2015
LOCATION: The Rendezvous Grand, Melbourne
DETAILS: More information.

National Congress & Expo

DATE: 2 & 3 June 2015
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Western Sydney Careers Expo
DATE: 18-21 June 2015
LOCATION: Showground, Sydney Olympic Park
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

‘No Frills’ conference

DATE: 6-8 July 2015
LOCATION: University of Western Sydney
DETAILS: More information.

VET Development Centre
Teaching and Learning Conference

DATE: 3-4 September 2015
LOCATION: RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
DETAILS: More information.

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 that domestic student fees will be lower than international student fees.

The defeat of the Reforms was a major blow for our sector and particularly for low SES and regional students across Australia.
Extending government supported places to non-university higher education providers and removing the 25 percent administration fee for HELP assistance would have created a more level playing field for all higher education students. Blocking these reforms means students at private colleges will continue to pay full fees and face higher debt levels to access loan assistance compared to their public university contemporaries…. Read more


FTA adds 77 more private Australian providers on China ‘white list’ Edition 583, 8 Dec

The PIE News Article posted on Dec 3, 2014 by Katie Duncan Following extensive negotiations, a bilateral trade agreement between China and Australia will extend the number of Australia’s private HE institutions featured on the Chinese government’s JSJ (Jiaoyu Shewai Jianguan Xinxi Wa… Read more

AFU: Education Exhibition Sri Lanka 12-13 Feb 2015 Edition 583, 8 Dec

Austrade initiative to highlight the quality and expertise of the Australian education and training sector to prospective students, parents, local institutions, government, and corporations. This event is designed to promote your institution and the outcomes of Australian education to the Sri Lankan… Read more

More updates in your state

TDA Newsletter 24 November 2014

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Australian Training Awards feature TAFE leaders, teachers and students

The Australian Training Awards 2014 in Adelaide on Friday featured leaders, teachers and students, with a record eight major categories being awarded to TAFE.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane with award winners

Melinda Lethbridge, a Certificate III student in engineering at Swinburne University of Technology, won Apprentice of the Year. The runner-up was Mark Hardy, a Certificate III student in electrotechnology from TAFE NSW – North Coast Institute.

Chisholm Institute in Victoria was awarded the Large Training Provider of the Year, ahead of finalists TasTAFE and TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute.

Berwyn Clayton, founder of the Centre Undertaking Research in Vocational Education at Victoria University, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other major awards to TAFE included:

  • Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year – Joshua Lodge, Certificate IV student in Laboratory Techniques, TAFE NSW – Hunter Institute
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year – Sally Moylan, Certificate III in Horticulture, Canberra Institute of Technology
  • VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year – Steven Atkins, TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute
  • International Training Provider of the Year – Central Institute of Technology, Western Australia

See details of all the winners at the Australian Training Awards.

Dr Ruth Schubert, LH Martin Institute, University of Melbourne and Malcolm White incoming Acting CEO, TDA Martin Riordan, TDA CEO and Berwyn Clayton, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award Kym Peake, Deputy Secretary Victorian Higher Education and Skills Group, and Maria Peters, CEO, Chisholm Institute
TDA’s Pam Caven and Peter Holden withMel Koumides, Director, Academia International Jason Coutts, Department of Industry, and Peta Furnell, Head VET Reform Taskforce.

National survey of TAFE higher education students – ‘work ready’ training, smaller classes, great teachers, hands-on learning

A national survey of TAFE higher education students has found that their priority is to gain quality, ‘work-ready’ qualifications in settings other than universities.

Students highlighted the highly specialist nature of TAFE’s sub-bachelor and Bachelor degrees, the quality of the courses, teachers with industry experience, and the ‘applied’ approach to learning that results in jobs.

Commissioned by TDA, and administered by InsyncSurveys, the national survey was open to over 5,000 TAFE higher education students during October 2014.

See the TDA media release.

Federal committee urges stronger support for TAFE

A House of Representatives committee has today released today its report into the TAFE system.

The Standing Committee on Education and Employment report, ‘TAFE: an Australian asset’, identifies key issues facing the TAFE system.

Committee Chair, Ewen Jones said TAFE is an Australian asset and one which we should be proud of and do our best to protect.

It is urging a “value statement” through COAG to address issues including the price of training, quality, and regional and industry needs.

Other recommendations include:

  • Measures to address the variable quality of VET training, including through greater “prescription and precision” in training packages;
  • Further action to address loopholes allowing “high-risk and unscrupulous practices to endanger the experience of students and the reputation of training”;
  • The government to ensure, via COAG, that VET funding takes into account TAFE capital requirements and the positions of the disadvantaged;

See the House of Representatives report.

TAFE joins COPHE and Navitas higher education students to meet Senators – campaign for Commonwealth support

A group of higher education students from private higher education providers and TAFE met with Senators at Parliament House last week to call for Commonwealth funding to support students studying in non-university settings.

The meeting, jointly organised by the Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE) and TDA, highlighted how specialist non-university higher education providers are meeting the needs of an increasing diverse range of students.

The students met with a number of Senators and were welcomed by Education Minister, Christopher Pyne and Victorian Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie.

The group included two TAFE students, Asha Davidson, studying a Bachelor of Forensic Science (Crime Scene Examination) at Canberra Institute of Technology, and Rylin Richardson, doing an Associate Degree of Civil Engineering at Southbank Institute of Technology, Brisbane.

Back row, left to right: Navin Sundara, Angus Mauger, Dean Warwick, Minister Pyne, Senator McKenzie, Hugh Cox, Asha Davidson and Rylin Richardson.

Front row, left to right: Teale Blessington, Georgiane Deal and Kathryn Phillips

Australia and India sign transport and logistics partnership

Australia and India will work more closely in developing skills in the transport and logistics sector under a new industry partnership.

The Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) and the Logistics Skills Council (LSC) of India signed a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) to extend industry engagement and skills development.

The CEO of TLISC Robert Adams said the agreement would open the way for greater collaboration between the two countries in addressing critical skills and workforce challenges in the sector.

A history of NSW TAFE reform – Parliamentary Research Service

A research paper by the NSW Parliamentary Research Service has documented the major changes to NSW TAFE, including the latest Smart and Skilled reforms.

The paper, TAFE organisation and funding in NSW: past and present, saysSubstantial questions remain about the outcome of the new arrangements”.

“In the second half of the twentieth century, post-school non-university education was delivered by the public sector. By the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, delivery has increasingly become the province of commercial providers.”

See TAFE organisation and funding in NSW: past and present.

TDA selects representative on aged care committee

TAFE Queensland Gold Coast (TQGC) senior executive, Deb Blow, has been selected by TDA as its representative on the Department of Social Services’ Aged Care Workforce Advisory Group.

Deb is Director of TQGC’s Faculty for Community Services, Health and Nursing, and has some 25 years’ experience in the health and community sector.

TDA was delighted with the response from members to fill the single position.

Deb has worked in rural and remote, Indigenous communities, aged care, theatre, surgical and intensive care nursing.

She has wide experience working with government, including as a board member of Gold Coast Medicare Local, a member of the Primary Care Partnership Council and the Queensland Clinical Education and Training Council.

Training package consultations open

The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CSHISC) has opened public consultation on draft components for HLT Health and CHC Community Services Training Packages.

This will be the final chance to view and provide comment on components for Direct Client Care, Community Services, Community Development and Cross Sector Units. Consultation is open until 12 December.

Following the review these components will be submitted for final endorsement to the Industry and Skills Council Advisory Committee in June 2015.
See CSHISC’s consultation website.

Diary Dates

NSW Adult Literacy and Numeracy Council
2014 Conference

DATE: 12 December
LOCATION: Aerial Function Centre, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Victoria University
Financial Sustainability in VET

DATE: 25-26 February 2015
LOCATION: Victoria University City Convention Centre, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Workplace Practitioners’ Network
Foundation Skills at Work

DATE: 18-20 March 2015
LOCATION: Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

National Congress & Expo

DATE: 2 & 3 June 2015
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Western Sydney Careers Expo
DATE: 18-21 June 2015
LOCATION: Showground, Sydney Olympic Park
DETAILS: Click here for more information.



TDA Newsletter 17 November 2014

tda_logo- largeTAFE and private college higher education students meet Senate crossbenchers at Parliament House

TAFE higher education students will join with students from partner colleges from the Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE), and be hosted in Parliament House, Canberra today.

The special public-private higher education student event will introduce students to Senate crossbenchers, being forced to consider Education Minister Pyne’s legislation on the deregulation of higher education, and extension of Commonwealth funding for TAFE and private college students.

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Education and Employment, Senator Bridget McKenzie, will host the student event, and Senators have been invited to attend and meet the TAFE and private college students.

See the joint TDA/COPHE media statement.

Apprentice commencements edge higher

Apprentice commencements turned up slightly during the September quarter, according to early trend estimates from the National Centre for Vocational Research (NCVER).

Trade commencements increased from 20,900 in the June quarter 2014 to 21,500 in the September quarter 2014, following three consecutive quarters of decline from the September quarter 2013.

Non-trade commencements increased from 27,400 in the June quarter 2014 to 28,800 in the September quarter 2014. This follows a period of decline in the preceding four quarters.

“It is reassuring to see some growth in apprentice and trainee numbers following a downward trend over the past year or so,” said Sue Fergusson, General Manager Statistics, NCVER.

Apprentices flock to loans program

A total of 9,500 apprentices have taken up loans over the past three months under the federal government’s new Trade Support Loans program.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the number was further proof that the government’s VET reform was making an impact.

The Trade Support Loans program commenced in August and replaced the Tools for Your Trade program.

It provides a loan of up to $20,000 over the course of an apprenticeship, which is discounted by 20 per cent on completion and is repayable when an apprentice starts earning above $50,000.

TDA supports Minister Macfarlane’s skills delegation to India

TDA Chair, Stephen Conway, led a TAFE mission to India last week to support Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane’s largest-ever skills delegation to the sub-continent, to encourage greater collaboration between the two countries.

Over 100 representatives from across the Australian industry and training sector made up the delegation which attended the third India Australia Skills Conference – Skills for Better Business in Mumbai.

“Australia wants to further enhance our global partnerships on skills and training and this delegation has the experience and expertise to help achieve this goal,” Minister Macfarlane said.

On behalf of TDA, Mr Conway signed formal agreements (MoUs) with three key institutions, highlighting TDA’s commitment and support for India’s skills development agenda. These signing ceremonies were witnessed by Minister Macfarlane and Mr Bandaru Dattatreya, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, India.

MoUs were signed with The National Skills Development Corporation, the principal agency charged with creating a solid VET infrastructure and supporting public- private partnerships; The Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd., a major infrastructure company with a strong commitment to skills training; and Amity university, a prominent Indian private university consortia.

The VET landscape in India is changing dramatically. The new Modi Government has raised the profile of skills training by appointing a new Minister for Skills. The two day conference in Mumbai highlighted challenges, but also celebrated initiatives already underway, including the work of some TAFE members.

Stephen Conway with Mr R.C.M. Reddy, MD for IL@FS Skills signing the MoU in Mumbai

TDA/AVETRA 2015 Innovation Scholarship now open

TDA and AVETRA are pleased to announce the second round of the joint ‘Innovation Scholarship’.

The Scholarship, which commenced in 2014, aims to enhance innovation and applied research capability in TAFE. It provides $6,000 for an individual or group of practitioners to research innovative ways to work with industry or community to meet skill needs.

The Scholarship supports TDA’s strategic objective to position TAFE in a competitive training market, and AVETRA’s strong commitment to the development of research in VET nationally.

Closing date for applications is the 27 February, 2015. Applications which contain co-sponsorship contributions by industry are strongly encouraged.

For more information, and the scholarship guidelines and application form, visit TDA and AVETRAwebsites or call Melinda Waters on 02 9217 4951.

China Free Trade Agreement opens wider opportunities for services

Today’s expected signing of the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement includes reported provisions for wider access for education services in China.

It is being speculated that the experiences of tertiary education providers with multiple regulations that restrict educational collaborations may be eased.

TDA was commissioned last year to complete a detailed offshore partnership survey of TAFEs. This found that for Australian TAFEs, some 91 education agreements were active, and new forms of services were in demand.

TDA will circulate detailed briefings to members on the China FTA Agreement, following the signing.

National consultations on skilled migration and temporary activity visa programs

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will be holding consultation meetings around Australia on the deregulation of the skilled migration and temporary activity visa programs.

The purpose of this phase of consultations is to provide stakeholders with a proposed visa framework, which has been shaped after the department held a number of initial forums introducing the review and responses from the discussion paper, Reviewing the Skilled Migration and 400 Series Visa Programmes

TDA strongly encourages your representation at these forums.

If you are able to attend, please RSVP to by COB TODAY.

Consultations will be held on the following dates:


Capital City Dates Location Times
Sydney Mon 1 December Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Level 5 Patyegarang Conference Rooms

Elizabeth Street, Sydney City


10.00 – 11.30am


2.30 – 4.00pm

Sydney Tues 2 December Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Level 5 Patyegarang Conference Rooms

Elizabeth Street, Sydney City


10.00 – 11.30am


2.30 – 4.00pm

Brisbane Wed 3 December Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Level 3 No. 3 Training Room


10.00 – 11.30am


2.30 – 4.00pm


Canberra Thurs 4 December Department of Immigration and Border Protection

5 Chan Street, Orange Building, Belconnen

Level 2 Entry Foyer

Rooms 203.15 and 203.16


9.30 – 11.00am


Canberra Fri 5 December Department of Immigration and Border Protection

5 Chan Street, Orange Building, Belconnen

Level 2 Entry Foyer

Rooms 203.15 and 203.16


9.30 – 11.00am


2.30 – 4.00pm

Melbourne Mon 8 December Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Casselden Place, Level 25, No.1 Conference Room, Melbourne City


2.30 – 4.00pm
Melbourne Tues 9 December Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Casselden Place, Level 25, No.1 Conference Room, Melbourne City


9.30 – 11.00


2.30 – 4.00pm

Adelaide Wed 10 December Department of Immigration and Border Protection

70 Franklin Street, Adelaide

L5.20 Training Room 1


10.00 – 11.30am


Perth Thurs 11 December Department of Immigration and Border Protection

836 Wellington Street, West Perth

Level 6 Training Room 1

10.00 – 11.30am

Diary Dates

Government Skills Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 17-18 November 2014
LOCATION: Adelaide Oval
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 B/HERT Awards
Business Higher Education Round Table

DATE: 20 November 2014
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Training Awards
DATE: 21 November 2014
LOCATION: Adelaide convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Victoria University
Financial Sustainability in VET

DATE: 25-26 February 2015
LOCATION: Victoria University City Convention Centre, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

National Congress & Expo

DATE: 2 & 3 June 2015
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.


ACPET National Monday Update Edition No. 580 17 November 2014


In Focus

Another week beckons for the tertiary education sector Edition 580, 17 Nov

The higher education reforms before the Senate remain a key focus for ACPET and its members. The Australian Financial Review Higher Education Reform saw plenty of commentary and it was pleasing to see significant support for the package of reforms, including enabling access for private higher education providers. There was recognition that by ensuring private providers get access to the Commonwealth Grant Scheme, even at reduced rates [compared with] universities, students will receive significant benefits through access to quality courses at substantially lower prices….Read more


Adrian Piccoli responds Edition 580, 17 Nov

NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has responded to ACPET’s letter raising the membership’s general concerns of the Smart and Skilled reform contracting stage. To view his position, please click here. The response is not what we’d hoped for, and we believe falls short of adequa… Read more

2014-15 Annual VET Investment PlanEdition 580, 17 Nov

The 2014-15 Annual VET Investment Plan details the QLD Government’s planned $615 million investment in vocational education and training (VET) over the coming year. The plan is a key element of the governments’ VET reform action plan, Great skills. Real opportunities. It implements a new VE… Read more

ElNet Masterclass offer for ACPET membersEdition 580, 17 Nov

The eLearning Network of Australia (ElNet) will be running a session Modernising learning – a masterclass in how to future proofing your learning strategy in Melbourne (Wednesday 19 November, 2014) and Sydney (Monday 24 November, 2014). ElNet would like to offer ACPET members ElNet members ra… Read more

Last chance! The Cloud and More – Understanding its potential Edition 580, 17 Nov

There is a lot of hyper about ‘the Cloud’, but what is it and why would you consider using it? This webinar will look at the different types of ‘Cloud’ functions’ available and how different organisations and individuals are using it to improve their business processes… Read more

Managing compliance with the ESOS and TPS framework: taking the worry outEdition 580, 17 Nov

Have you checked the ASQA website recently? If you haven’t then you may not be aware that in the last 12 months more than 100 providers have had their registration cancelled or suspended or haven’t had their registration renewed. Many of these were CRICOS providers. Don’t make the… Read more

Do you have 9b compliance for your RTO premises? Edition 580, 17 Nov

Do you know if your site is fully compliant? Did you know that these regulations differ from state to state? One of the key problems facing RTOs is securing 9B compliant space. In Australia, education and training facilities are required to operate from premises that meet more strict classific… Read more

ACT Government – Funded Training InitiativesEdition 580, 17 Nov

ACT Government | Education and Training Directorate Funded Training Initiatives Want to know more about what is available in the ACT? The Australian Government and state/territory governments provide funding for vocational education and training (VET) in Australia. It is underpinned by: hi… Read more

Reminder – ACT Standards Compliance Guide is available Edition 580, 17 Nov

Education and Training Directorate ACT Standards Compliance Guide for Skilled Capital Published This guide provides direction to registered training organisations (RTOs) on how to interpret, implement and comply with the ACT Standards for Delivery of Training (ACT Standards), when delivering tra… Read more

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