Dawkins queries and queried on possible conflict of interest

Australian Financial Review    |    16 September 2013

john-dawkinsFormer treasurer John Dawkins has queried conflict of interest claims after it emerged he would chair Vocation, a new education company reported to be worth $300 million, due to be listed on the stock exchange later this year.

Dawkins, a treasurer and education minister in the Hawke and Keating governments, chairs the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) and the Australian Qualifications Framework Council.

The Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) has questioned Dawkins’ involvement in the company, with its CEO Claire Field stating:

It is an unusual set of circumstances where the chair of a government council responsible for setting the standards for providers . . . [has] at the same time been apparently involved in behind-the-scenes discussions about chairing the board of a new, very large $300 million provider.

Dawkins says he has raised his possible involvement in the venture with the members of the NSSC so the council is aware of these developments.

I am writing to the new minister … to advise of this possible development and seeking [their] opinion about the compatibility of such a role with my continued involvement with the NSSC. I will abide by any decision the minister makes.

The Scan | #135 | 30 August 2013


Go8 dumps minimum ATAR proposal

Go8 Equity scalesThe elite Group of Eight (Go8) universities have stepped back from a controversial proposal to dump the uncapped, demand driven system, a proposition it has been pushing for the best part of a year. The Group has argued that savings of $750m over 4 years that would flow from the introduction of a minimum ATAR of 60 for university entry could offset higher education cuts of nearly $4b announced since last October, including $2.8b earlier this year.   But Fred Hilmer, Go8 chair and vice-chancellor of UNSW, now says that using an ATAR minimum to “regulate quality” is “too blunt an instrument” because of the impact it would have on the ability of disadvantaged students to access university….[ READ MORE ]….

ACPET lashes “gold plated regulation”Claire Field

Claire Field, chief executive of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) has launched a scathing attack on the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC), the agency responsible for setting training standards, saying armchair experts are wrecking the sector.  Speaking at ACPET’s national conference, she said  that non-practitioners with a “predominantly classroom-based” view of training were setting unreasonable and unworkable standards….[ READ MORE ]….

Libs to introduce apprentice loans scheme

TradesThe Coalition has promised to establish Trade Support Loans from 1 July  next year to provide apprentices with interest free loans of up to $20,000 over four years.  The loans will be capped at a total of $20,000 and will be repaid at the same thresholds as loans for university students.  The policy is slated to cost $85 million to the federal budget four years.  They will be available to apprentices training for a Certificate III or IV qualification that leads to an occupation on the National Skills Needs List, which includes nearly 70 trades….[ READ MORE ]….

Libs announce new Colombo Plan detailsColombo Plan

The Coalition has announced details of its New Colombo Plan to foster closer ties between Australia and the region and develop stronger people-to-people links.  The original Colombo Plan saw some 40,000 students from Asia come to Australia from the 1950s to the mid-1980s.  The New Colombo Plan will be different the original, in adding an outward-bound component to the original one-way street.   Once operative it will provide financial support for up to 300 young Australians studying in the region every year….[ READ MORE ]….



Leesa Wheelahan and Gavin Moodie head to Canada

LeesaLeesa Wheelahan is leaving the University of Melbourne at the end of the year to take up the William G Davis Chair of Community College Leadership at the University of Toronto.  At the University of Toronto,  Leesa will join the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.  OISE was established in 1965 to promote educational research and graduate Gavin Moodiestudies.   In 1996 OISE merged with the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Education which was established in 1906.

Leesa will be accompanied by her partner Gavin Moodie who will maintain adjunct positions with the University of Queensland and his current employer, RMIT.  Gavin will continue his public commentary (most notably his regular comment pieces in The Australian) and his research, which currently is investigating the implications of MOOCs by examining the effects on higher education of an earlier information revolution: Gutenberg’s invention of printing in 1450.


Comment & analysis

The idea of fees and the Australian university

Glyn DavisThis is a transcript of the 2013 Newman Lecture delivered on Wednesday 21 August 2013 at Monash University’s Mannix College.  It’s an interesting account of the development of the Australian university system, drawing from mainly English traditions but also Scottish, European and American.  But  this is not just an historical survey.   In the week in which UNSW v-c  Fred Hilmer stepped back a little from his strident calls for caps on enrolments, Davis makes the case that  “markets ” lead to innovation and diversity. It’s a relatively long and interesting piece in itself  but scroll to the end for the point.  With the election of an Abbott government almost certain, the argument within the university sector moves on from the merits or otherwise of the demand driven system to the merits or otherwise of fee deregulation.

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For 20 years, Australian universities have worked simultaneously in two worlds – one public, highly regulated, and deeply Uni cloisterconstrained, the other international and more like a private market. The first is the world of domestic undergraduates, where Canberra sets strict rules about price and entry. The second is the market for international students, where universities can make choices about where to recruit, what to charge, whether to operate within Australia or set up offshore.

Not surprisingly, the world of domestic students remains largely undifferentiated. Australian universities offer a very similar array of programs to domestic students, with no price competition allowed. Only in the global market has real and important difference emerged.

Required to make independent strategic choices, universities differ greatly in their approach. A number prefer large offshore operations, as teaching programs or with an overseas campus that reproduces the ambiance and values of the home institution.

Others run an on-shore strategy, working with feeder schools, international agencies, foundation colleges and other players to build significant international revenue. A few universities have changed their entire curriculum in an effort to orientate themselves toward graduate education for Australian and global students.

Pressures for change necessitate urgent reflection on the role and purpose of a university.  Professor Gaita has expressed eloquently his concerns about the trajectory of Australian institutions.  His call to 10 argument is timely. For though the Australian tradition has endured with little change to date, stately progression along a deep path may halt abruptly under commercial pressures.

Markets end the incentives to uniformity. They require diversity, since not every institution can occupy the same niche. Markets reward innovation and punish the slow-moving. They destroy and build simultaneously.

On current Commonwealth funding rates no Australian public university can survive without a strong international cohort. As a result, innovation is transforming the singular Australia idea of a university. As the market approaches, the familiar road comes to an end.



What really matters in education

There’s been a lot of discussion about how much money is needed in schools, but very little about how those funds should be administered, teacher standards or student outcomes.  In this video, former ABC journalist and Rudd Government Parliamentary Secretary Maxine McKew talks to education analyst Professor John Hattie about the issues that are missing from current discourse.  (Click here to read a transcript of their discussion)


2013_election_logo (2)The Election Page

News, views policies and links on the 2013 Federal election.



Melbourne Masterclasses – Faculty of Arts Winter Series

The Mysteries of Thera: Pompeii of the Bronze Age Aegean  24 August
The Mysteries of Thera: Pompeii of the Bronze Age Aegean 24 August

The University of Melbourne presents the 2013 Faculty of Arts Winter Series of masterclasses designed to expand horizons, enliven the mind and enrich the soul this Melbourne winter. The masterclasses are scheduled over a series of weekends in winter and into spring, featuring the university’s most celebrated teachers and public intellectuals.





Is there something interesting near where you live and/or work? Got an interesting story? Got an event coming up? Tell us about it!


It’s free….no hidden costs… absolutely gratis



ACPET lashes “gold plated regulation”

The Australian    |    30 August 2013

acpet- logoClaire Field, chief executive of the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) has launched a scathing attack on the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC), the agency responsible for setting training standards, saying armchair experts are wrecking the sector.

Speaking at ACPET’s national conference, she said  that non-practitioners with a “predominantly classroom-based” view of training were setting unreasonable and unworkable standards.

“The system has been designed to be driven by ‘experts’ – not those with real experience – and labelling them as experts encourages them to back their own judgement, rather than engage in genuine dialogue with those who know the sector best,” the speech says.

Field’s criticisms centred on the new Australian Vocational Qualifications System proposed in March by the NSSC, headed by Hawke-era education minister John Dawkins.

She attacked a proposal to mandate minimum capital requirements for colleges licensed to issue their own qualifications, while noting that this proposal had now been withdrawn.

“A truly expert set of reforms would not have included such nonsensical ideas in the first place “Rather than waste time fighting to get rid of rubbish ideas, we could instead have been engaged in dialogue about quality and how to improve it.”

The speech questions the operational viability of other suggestions, including a requirement for all licensed colleges to have accountable education officers. It criticises the NSSC for suspending consultations during the election period, saying caretaker conventions do not require this.

Field also mocked the proposal to rebadge colleges from the current nomenclature, “registered training organisations” or RTOs, to “licensed training organisations” or LTOs. Trucks should similarly be renamed “motorised vehicles for haulage” and trees should become “photosynthesising CO2 emission reducing organisms”, she said.

ACPET National Monday Update 15 July 2013


In Focus

ASQA – two years on

For members yet to undergo an audit by ASQA it can be difficult to know how well, or how poorly, the regulator is performing. A key variable for providers wishing to judge the performance of the new national regulator is comparing it with the performance of the former State regulators. As we all know, the performance of the State regulators differed greatly – that means that not every RTO starts with the same set of expectations.
While it is undoubtedly true that there are still areas of ASQA’s performance where improvement is needed, particularly in relation to how it communicates with providers and handles their enquiries – the facts show ASQA’s performance over the past two years is a lot better than the stories might lead you to believe…. Read more


ACPET calls for the government to ‘Scrap the Cap’ on self-education expenses

ACPET is a member of the Scrap the Cap industry alliance that is calling for the Federal Government to urgently reverse the ill conceived tax on self-education expenses due to be introduced from 1 July 2014. ACPET is concerned that the Government’s decision to cap education tax deductions res… Read more

Be Quick! – ACPET National Conference (Adelaide 29-30 August) – Early bird registrations close Monday 15 July

Register now and take advantage of the Early bird registrations which end today – Monday 15 July! The ACPET National Conference is being held in Adelaide this year on 29-30 August at the Adelaide Convention Centre. ACPET’s national conference is the largest gathering of private and not-for-pro… Read more

Asia Pacific International Education Forum 2013

Asia Pacific International Education Forum 2013 -28 August 2013 – Registrations are now open. ACPET is pleased to announce that this year we will be hosting the Asia Pacific International Education Forum (APEIF) on the day immediately preceding the ACPET National Conference.   The theme of th… Read more


New staff? Prepare them with ACPET’s Introduction Webinars in July

ACPET is pleased to announce the extension of its successful Introduction to VET webinar in 2013 to include: an Introduction to International Education an Introduction to Higher Education, and an Introduction to Blended Learning. These webinars have been designed around the more common basic… Read more

New webinar session in July: Transition Management and Teach Out – a Step by Step Procedure for Good Practice

Keeping up to date with changes to units, qualifications and accredited courses on scope of registration is a constant compliance issue for your RTO. If you think this is becoming more regular, you are right. Gone are five year reviews of each training package. Industry Skills Councils are now doin… Read more

Total VET Activity Reporting – Amended Standards for RTOs

Following on from its November 2012 decision to mandate reporting of VET activity for all RTOs, the Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment on 7 June 2013 endorsed the standards and policy to underpin the implementation of the new reporting requirements from 1 January 2014. Fro… Read more

The ACPET Journal for Private Higher Education- Call for papers for upcoming December 2013 edition

ACPET is calling for submissions for its next edition of The ACPET Journal for Private Higher Education scheduled to be published in early December 2013. The submission deadline is Monday 9 September 2013. Submissions are also accepted on an ongoing basis. All papers will be refereed using a double… Read more

Applications now open for the Migrant Communities Employment Fund Edition

The Australian Government has committed $6.6m over two years for a Migrant Communities Employment Fund to support innovative projects to help unemployed and underemployed migrant and refugee job seekers prepare for and gain sustainable employment to progress their careers. The Fund encourages effect… Read more

An update on the review of the standards for the regulation of VET

This week ACPET will join other key stakeholders in discussions with the NSSC on the Review of the Standards for VET Regulation, as part of our membership of the External Reference Group which supports the NSSC’s work. In addition to the External Reference Group, the NSSC is also convening a &#… Read more

More updates in your state

The Scan Early Edition 18 June 2013 – #124


Not happy

Universities launch regional ad campaign against cuts

Universities Australia has launched a print advertising campaign in over 80 regional and local areas around the country,  aimed at informing residents of the potential consequences to local economies of the Government’s $2.8 billion in cuts to university funding and student support measures.  The regional and local advertising blitz forms part of Universities Australia’s $5 million Smartest Investment Campaign which has been running nationally on TV, radio, print and online since the end of February…..[READ MORE]…..

Australian researchers call for non-partisan backing

research2Australian research bodies have come together to urge non-partisan support for science and all forms of research, demanding that all parties make a commitment to the fundamental value of research in the physical, biological and social sciences, through to engineering and humanities.  The research alliance has a broad base, including researchers across business and industry, universities and medical research institutes. The call comes from peak bodies from across the research spectrum, in science, education, social sciences and humanities and from our eminent scientists and engineers, including Australia’s most recent Nobel Laureate, Brian Schmidt…..[READ MORE]….

Deakin launches “testbed” MOOCinternet-http

In a move aimed at buttressing its position as a leader in online education, Deakin University  launched its first massive open online course (MOOC) on 17 June and plans to  use it as a test-bed for redeveloping its full learning environment.  Unlike the MOOC offerings from most universities, Deakin’s free online course will be a taster designed to promote fee-paying courses and will offer students a pathway to earning academic credit (for a fee)……[READ MORE]….

ASQA’s one in ten strike rate

regulatory-jigsaw1A Senate estimates committee has been told that the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), the national vocational training regulator, has deregistered or refused to re-register 127 providers since it commenced operations almost two years ago.  This comprises about 8% of the 1600 Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) audited so far. Another 1000 RTOs are currently being assessed or have been “earmarked for audit”, chief commissioner Chris Robinson told the Senate Economics Legislation Committee….[READ MORE]….

Swinburne non-union agreement withdrawnswinburne

An attempt by Swinburne University to certify a non-union agreement with a small group of newly appointed staff at its subsidiary Swinburne College, which offers courses in Foundation Studies, Pathways, and English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students, has failed.   The move was challenged by the National Tertiary Education Union, which described it as an attempt to slash working conditions, and Swinburne College ultimately withdrew the application.  Swinburne College was ordered by Fair Work Commission Deputy President Smith to pay $33,655 in legal costs of the NTEU…..[READ MORE]….

Carlton uni town connects to city

Uni Melb logoA sprawling former hospital site in inner city Melbourne has been sold by the state government to Melbourne University for $37 million and is to be transformed into a ”living laboratory” for sustainability research as part of the university’s new precinct called Carlton Connect.  Lord mayor Robert Doyle said a new ”university town” is emerging from RMIT in the CBD to Melbourne University in Carlton and Parkville –  “like a Boston … like a Harvard cluster” –  which would have a transformative effect on the city…..[READ MORE]….


Sydney sets research priorities

Uni Sydney logo14 June 2013    |     Following an extensive independent review, Sydney University is set to focus its health and medical research on four priority health and medical priority areasobesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental health and neuroscience and infectious diseases…….[READ MORE]….

VET shift to licensing

14 June 2013    |    Registered Training Organisations face tougher regulation after tertiary education ministers approved a shift from registration to licensing. NSSC Under the change, the right to issue qualifications – now an automatic entitlement for registered colleges – will require a licence. ……[READ MORE]….

Impact of cuts “not analysed”

Budget 201314 June 2013    |      The impact of the $2.3 billion cut from the university sector to fund schools funding reform appear not have been properly analysed, it has emerged at a Senate estimates committee hearing. ….[READ MORE]….

Professor re-instatedJudith Bessant

14 June 2013    |       RMIT University has reinstated a professor, in line with a Federal Court order, after deciding not to appeal a judgement upholding claims she had been unfairly dismissed. Judith Bessant, professor of sociology and youth studies, had been dismissed after raising various complaints against her supervisor, including bullying allegations. She was reinstated on 7 June……[READ MORE]….

Bans extended to Monash

NTEU logo14 June 2013    |       Monash University staff will push ahead with plans to withhold students’ results, prompting university management to withdraw from negotiations over pay and conditions. The National Tertiary Education Union has notified Monash management that it would implement a series of bans, including processing results, overtime and participation in events such as open days…..[READ MORE]….

Council proposes to “anchor” Lilydale

14 June 2013    |       Yarra Ranges Council will attempt to buy part of the Swinburne University Lilydale campus in a bold attempt to maintain the site as an Swineburne2education centre. The council plans to build its new $14 million offices on the site, a strategic move it claims is the only way post-secondary education will remain in Lilydale. ….[READ MORE]….

RMIT sets up in Barcelona

RMIT14 June 2013    |      RMIT University is expanding its presence to Europe by establishing a site in Barcelona, Spain, to build its European education, research and student mobility activities. ……[READ MORE]….


Comment & analysis

Time to replace stop-start funding

research4Following federal elections some policy promises bear fruit, others vanish or, worse still, get in the way, writes Merlin Crossley (UNSW).

During the 2010 election campaign, tertiary sector policies were strangely absent. In 2007, with its education revolution, Labor had a lot to offer.

In the research policy arena, the big non-starter was hubs and spokes, a vision of research collaboration and engagement that we don’t hear much about these days. Hubs and spokes had several features that were politically attractive.  No university would miss out and no matter where you were, you could dream of being a hub but you could still be a spoke if that wasn’t to be.

The policy picked up the idea of critical mass and precincts (hubs) and regional support and inclusivity (spokes). Hubs and spokes sang of collaboration but also paid lip service to the reality of prioritisation.


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quote marks…one begins to look not for an educational revolution, nor for masterly inaction, but for consolidated moderate investment and a research strategy – an end to the uncertainties of start-stop funding.



NCVER Newsletter 13 June 2013

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research is Australia’s principal provider of vocational education training research and statistics. NCVER’s monthly newsletter reports on its latest research findings and publications.




Can we accept imperfection and still strive for a better society?

In a response to Alecia Simmonds  (Why Australia hates thinkers),  John Armstrong (University of Melbourne) suggests that in a manifestly imperfect world we might do worse than instutitionalise Jamie Oliver’s approach to life, working from sympathy rather than disdain.

Jamie3We can readily be forgiven for thinking that these are the worst of times: our collective institutions seem feeble in the face of our needs and hopes.

The Christian churches – which were once powerful and noble in intent, look deranged and broken. Government seems preoccupied by short term advantage and factional squabbling; the capitalist economy is (in many parts of the world) in disrepair; the media is fragmenting, in financial trouble and driven downmarket.

These troubles share an underlying logic. It is easy to imagine things going better, yet all plans to make them better run into the same obstacle.

Starting from low expectations – rather than from ideal hopes – changes the picture. The modern world, with all its defects, is a tremendous achievement.  Australia is astonishingly decent and sane, in comparison with what might have been.


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quote marks Jamie Oliver shows how to combine friendship with our ordinary selves and the longing for noble ideals. He wants people to be healthy, eat organic produce, work hard, care about quality. But he does not hate, or look down on, people who are not like this.


Tertiary ed seminars 2013






Fulbright ComFulbright Professional Scholarship In Vocational Education and Training

This Fulbright Scholarship is for employees within the vocational education and training sector or training leaders in business and industry. It is not for university academics that study VET as an academic discipline. Applications close 14 August 2013.



ACPET National Conference

VET and Higher Education: the future is in the private sector

29-30 August | Adelaide

???????????????????????????????ACPET’s national conference is the largest gathering of private and not-for-profit educators and trainers in Australia and provides an opportunity for networking and professional development.

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Higher Education Policy Seminar

The Future of Demand Driven Funding for Victoria Tertiary Education System

La-Trobe_Logo_x2La Trobe University Friday 21 June 12.30-2.00

The tertiary education system has evolved from central control to demand driven. This seminar will explore the trajectory of the demand driven system and provide insight into future funding models. The speakers are Associate Professor Leesa Wheelahan (University of Melbourne) and Andrew Norton (Grattan Institute).

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criterion-logoWith a growing need for building partnerships it is essential for RTOs to develop a competitive advantage, to engage and educate employers on workforce planning. This conference will examine how RTOs can become more competitive through adapting their business model, shifting from a regular training approach towards a business consultancy focus.
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MOOCs 2013

22 – 23 July 2013 | Melbourne Marriott HotelInforma

The creation of MOOCs opens up many questions both in the short term future with regard to the viability of the current MOOCs model, as well as in the long term with reference to the democratisation of education and what it means for the future of universities. Such complex and far reaching consequences raise significant questions for Australian universities across a spectrum of issues.



Is there something interesting near where you live and/or work? Got an interesting story? Got an event coming up? Tell us about it!

It’s free….no hidden costs… absolutely gratis



Shift to VET licensing system

The Australian    |     13 June 2013

NSSCRegistered Training Organisations face tougher regulation after tertiary education ministers approved a shift from registration to licensing.

Under the change, the right to issue qualifications – now an automatic entitlement for registered colleges – will require a licence.  Licensed providers will need to meet tougher corporate benchmarks, and individual staff known as “accountable education officers” will be made responsible for the quality of training.

Providers unwilling or unable to meet the new requirements will have the option of selling up or delivering other colleges’ qualifications under franchising arrangements.

The new framework was developed by the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC), chaired by former education minister  and treasurer John Dawkins.  It was endorsed at a Canberra meeting of COAG’s Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment.

But private training peak group ACPET says a swathe of cautionary measures – including demands for a regulatory impact statement and cost-benefit assessment – shows the ministers have heeded its concerns about unintended consequences for small and specialist colleges.

ACPET CEO Claire Field also said the new approach is not a done deal, with the proposals facing another six months of “debate and testing”.

If the benefits are not sufficiently strong, ministers will not approve changes. They want to see evidence that demonstrates the need.

Field said the NSSC had already watered down its proposal for accountable education officers and abandoned a minimum capital requirement for licensed colleges.

NSSC Standards fro the regulation of VET – Communique
New regulatory standards for VET… not quite… but progress towards them (ACPET Newsletter)
Dawkins proposes stricter VET college registration requirements

TDA Newsletter 8 April 2013


Business leaders among sacked TAFE chairs

Despite the Victorian government’s claims that the recent removal of several of the state’s TAFE chairs was due to their inability to lead “a large and complex government business”, successful business owners and entrepreneurs are among those who have been removed from their positions.

Among them is Chisholm Chair, David Willersdorf, and Holmesglen Chair, Jonathan Forster, both of whom run successful businesses with an annual turnover of approximately $400 million each.

Prominent VET consultant and former Chisholm chair, Virginia Simmons, is highly critical of the sackings.

“The Napthine Government’s unceremonious sacking of more than half of the 14 TAFE board chairs is an outrage and an insult to all those competent industry leaders and dedicated citizens who have given so unstintingly to the their local TAFE communities over many years and who, in more recent times, have worked to guide the institutes through a period of unprecedented budget cuts,” said Ms Simmons.

A spokesman for Victorian Skills Minister, the Hon Peter Hall, told The Australian that new chairs had already been selected based on, “their qualifications, management experience in the commercial sector, understanding of governance generally and previous experience as a chair.”

Click here for further information.

Provide feedback on NSSC paper

The National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) is seeking feedback and comments on its Standards for Vocational Education and Training Accredited Courses consultation paper.

Please provide any feedback or comment by no later than 5pm on Friday, 12 April.

Feedback should be addressed to Luke Behncke, Director, Office of the NSSC, and provided via email, luke.behncke@natese.gov.au, or fax, (03) 6216 0359.

Click here to view the consultation paper.

Call for vocational education expansion in Asia to focus on building partnerships

With the new Tertiary Education and Skills Minister, the Hon Craig Emerson, seeking to further VET involvement in Asia, one consultant is warning that, “to reap the benefits from vocational education exports, Australia needs to prepare the ground.”

Francesca Beddie wrote in The Australian that the push in to Asia should focus less on a new mass market, and more on developing partnerships, up-skilling our workers, and training our teachers.

“We could ratchet up our policy dialogue across the region about qualifications frameworks that embrace a broad notion of competency; development of transnational curriculum and skills recognition; and harnessing technology for quality education,” suggests Beddie.

Click here to read the full article.

AsiaBound scholarship guidelines released

Guidelines for the first round of the AsiaBound scholarship grant program have been released, including details on eligibility, funding, selection criteria and timeframes.

The grants cover student mobility programs from June 2013 to December 2014 and applications can be made through the International Student Exchange Online. The deadline for submissions is 14 May 2013.

AsiaBound provides funding in the form of $2000 or $5000 grants for around 3,600 Australian students each year, to participate in a study experience in Asia. All mobility experiences must contribute towards the student’s course by providing credit or being a mandatory component.

As part of AsiaBound, students are able to undertake short-term mobility for a variety of experiences including semester-based study of one or two semesters, practicums, clinical placements, research trips or volunteer projects for up to six months.

Click here for further information.

Schools matter in tertiary admissions

A new report has found that schools matter when considering tertiary entrance rankings and university enrollment.

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) report, The impact of schools on young people’s transition to university, found that while individual characteristics remain the main driver of success, schools account for 20% of the variation of Tertiary Entrance Rankings (TER).

The three most important school attributes for TER are sector (Catholic and independent or public school), gender mix (single-sex or co-educational), and the extent to which a school is ‘academic’.

Click here for further information.

Further discussion to improve job services

The Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) has announced it is undertaking discussions to improve employment services post-2015.

CICA said it believes a better result could be achieved with less, but better targeted, funding.

Priority should be given to:

  1. Including career development in the DEEWR approved standard, against which employment service providers will be accredited from 2015.
  2. Building the capacity of providers in terms of career development.
  3. Reviewing the Job Seeker Classification Instrument (JSCI) to ensure that self management skills are part of the instrument.
  4. Extending eligibility for assistance from the career advice telephone helpline that is part of the Experience + initiative for mature-age workers.
  5. Regular assessment under the CICA career service quality standard.

Click here for more information.

Join the Australia-EU relations symposium

TDA members are invited to attend a Jean Monnet National Symposium to discuss the topic Australia-EU Relations – is it time for a reappraisal?

The free event, which is co-hosted by the Monash European and EU Centre and the University of Melbourne School of Social and Political Sciences, will be held on Friday, 26 April, at the Monash University Caulfield campus.

Click here for further details, including a full list of speakers.

Diary Dates

LSAY National Research Forum: Are we there yet? Youth transitions in Australia

DATE: 11 April
LOCATION: Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Group Training National Conference 2013 – Group Training Works
Group Training Australia

DATE: 17-19 April, 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane Central
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

TLISC Awards for Excellence
Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council

DATE: 18 April, 2013
LOCATION: Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australia-EU Relations – is it time for a reappraisal?
Jean Monnet National Symposium

DATE: Friday, 26 April, 1-4pm
LOCATION: Monash Caulfield Campus, Lecture Theatre HB40, 900 Dandenong Rd, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Augmented reality for VET
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 29 April-24 May
LOCATION: The Edge, Brisbane State Library
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Foundation Skills Workshop
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 9am-4pm, 1 May
LOCATION: Cliftons, 288 Edward St, Brisbane QLD 4000
DETAILS: Click here for further details.

National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference
Australian Council for Education Research

DATE: 9-10 May
LOCATION: Ultimo College, TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

NCVER ‘No Frills’ Conference

DATE: 10-12 July
LOCATION: Sunshine Coast TAFE, Mooloolaba campus
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TDA Annual Conference 2013
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 2-3 September 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Watch this space for further details shortly.

Teaching & Learning Conference
VET Development Centre

DATE: 5-6 September
LOCATION: RACV Healesville Country Club
DETAILS: Click here to view the invitation, and here to register

2013 National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 19-20 September, 2013
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australian International Education Conference

DATE: 8-11 October
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

2013 AUSTAFE National Conference

DATE: 9-11 October
LOCATION: Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland
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What’s going on? asks ACPET

ACPET News  |    18 March   2013

PrintThe Australian Council of Private Education Providers (ACPET) is becoming increasingly agitated by regulatory measures that seem designed to put the squeeze on smaller private VET providers.

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is proposing fee increases for almost 50 regulatory activities, with 15 more than doubled, with registration up 388%,  on the basis that such increases are necessary  for it to become fully self-funding, as required by government policy.

At the same time, the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) is proposing  much more strict VET provider registration requirements in order to protect the economy from a “failure in confidence” in qualifications. 

NSSC chair John Dawkins admits the proposed tougher requirements would be a hurdle for  new and smaller providers, who might have to operate under the aegis of larger established providers.

ACPET chief executive Claire Field says

…the release of the National Skills Standards Council’s position paper on new standards for the training system and the release of substantially higher fees for VET providers in the latest fee schedule of the Australian Skills Quality Authority can only be seen as a signal that small providers are no longer wanted in the VET system.

For decades Australia’s VET system has prided itself on its flexibility, innovation and responsiveness.   All of that is now at risk with the release of these new reports.

The end of innovation in Australia’s VET system
Hysteria or well founded concerns?
Private colleges face massive hike in fees