TEQSA

Senate inquiry splits on TEQSA bill

The Australian    |    19 June 2014

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A Senate inquiry into a bill to restructure the higher education regulator has split along party lines.
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Regulatory frameworkThe majority report of the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee has recommended the Senate to pass the bill to streamline the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

The bill would take away its broad quality assessment role, spill the commissioners and restructure the commission, and enlarge the minister’s power to give directions to the agency. It would give commissioners more power to delegate decisions, and allow TEQSA to extend periods for registration and accreditation.

The committee report did suggest TEQSA come up with guidelines to ensure that the power to extend registration and accreditation was used responsibly.

In a dissenting report, Labor deputy chair Sue Lines suggested a series of changes to the bill.

A strong case can be made, even without regard to the radical restructure of higher education set out in the budget that it would be better to allow the evolving operational culture of TEQSA, rather than legislation, to respond to the stakeholders’ objections (about heavy-handed regulation).

In her dissenting report, the Australian Greens’ Lee Rhiannon said the bill ought not to be passed as it stood, with the need for a robust regulator at a time of proposed extension of public funding to private higher education providers.

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TEQSA bill deferred

 

The Scan | #154 | 13 June 2014

TEQSA “gardening leave” confirmed

carol nicoll13 June 2014    |    It has been confirmed at Senate Estimates that chief higher education regulator Carol Nicoll has taken indefinite leave and her future is tied to legislation that would restructure the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.  A Bill introduced in late February by education minister Christopher Pyne would spill the positions of TEQSA’s five commissioners, splitting the roles of chief commissioner and chief executive both of which are currently vested in the person of Dr Nicoll. It would also strip away the agency’s broader role in quality assessment…..[ MORE ]….

VET susidy cuts in QueenslandSkills Qld

13 June 2014    |    The Queensland Government will reduce subsidies to certain vocational training qualifications under a new plan to come into effect next month. A number of subsidies to diplomas in arts, health, community services and business will be cut and redirected to “priority” training areas in trades, aged care and oil and gas. Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek says the priority is training that will lead to a job…..[ MORE ]….

CSIROCSIRO cuts gather pace

13 June 2014    |    CSIRO IS to cut 31 jobs from its Marine and Atmospheric Research division as it works through already announced plans to cut up to 500 jobs, after having its budget slashed by $115 million over four years. The CSIRO Staff Association said scientists will account for 28 of the job cuts and cover areas such as ocean climate processes and climate modelling, as well as biodiversity. Most of the jobs will be lost in Tasmania and Victoria…..[ MORE ]….

Review of Higher Education Standards FrameworkRegulatory framework

13 June 2014    |    The Higher Education Standards Panel has invited comment on proposed revisions to the Higher Education Standards Framework, which govern the approval processes for becoming and remaining a higher education provider. The Panel’s third Call for Comment includes background information on the Panel’s approach and consultation process, as well as instructions for the submission of comments. The closing date for comments is Friday 27 June 2014……[ MORE ]….

 Approvals process streamlined

Regulatory jigsaw 213 June 2014    |    Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has announced what he says is the first in a series of changes to reduce red tape in the vocational education and training (VET) sector, making it easier for registered training organisations to manage changes to training packages from 1 July.  Macfarlane said that when a training package qualification is changed, but the vocational outcome remains the same, training providers will no longer need to apply to their regulator or pay a fee to update their registration…….[ MORE ]….

Academic Gongs

9 June 2014 | The university sector featured strongly in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2014, particularly in the Order of Australia2higher orders. Of the 571 civil awards this year, 107 (about 19% of the total) were to people associated with universities, which were concentrated in the first three levels (40%) as against the fourth level (4%). Women made up only 32% of recipients but that’s up from 26% in the Australia list…..[ MORE ]….

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Milestones

UTas reappoints Peter Rathjen

13 June 2014   |   The University of Tasmania is bracing for extremely challenging times, as it reappoints vice–chancellorRathjan Peter Rathjen for a further 3 year term. Professor Rathjen said the Federal Government’s move to deregulate universities would make life extra difficult for UTAS, but he said the university would tackle deregulation from a position of strength.
We’ve got a strong base, the research is going well. There are a couple more really big announcements coming. But, more important than that, we’ve got a strong relationship with our student body …and a good relationship with the community, including politicians.  Prof Rathjen said the university’s position was unique in that to serve Tasmanians it needed to keep course fees low which, under deregulation, could force severe cutbacks.

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Comment & analysis

13 June 2013

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The Greens say there have been more than a million hits on an online calculator it has launched to show how much a degree now under the fee regime announced in the recent budget. Government sources have questioned the accuracy of the calculations on the What Will My Degree Cost website, but there can’t be any doubts about the interest in the outcomes. Meanwhile, the proponents of “Americanisation” of Australian higher education might take note of recent actions by the US government to stem ballooning student debt, which now stands at more than $1 trillion and, according to economists, is acting as a drag on the economy.

The cost of an Arts degree, according to the Greens calculator of Doom.
The cost of an Arts degree, according to the Greens calculator of Doom.

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There’s a few things wrong with Americanised universities

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The high level of student debt, to begin with.

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President Barak Obama has taken executive actions to ease the burden of college loan debt for potentially millions of Americans, in a White House event coinciding with Senate Democrats’ plans for legislation to address a concern of many voters in this midterm election year. On 8 June, Obama announced “new steps to further lift the burden of crushing student loan debt”. Despite past actions by the administration, borrowers’ debt load is growing and retarding their ability to buy homes, start businesses or otherwise spend to spur the economy, economists say.
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The School of Life is looking for a Program Producer. The successful candidate for this role School of Lifewill be responsible for assisting the development, delivery and evaluation of the program of events as part of TSOL Program Team in Australia.

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Arts degrees shouldn’t be funded

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11 June 2014     |   In this recent article in the Australian Financial Review, the IPA’s John Roskam decries the sense of entiltement of young people, particularly those who would undertake an Arts degree (“It’s not obvious why Australia needs more arts graduates anyway”). He seems to be missing something generally – the transformative nature of education generally – and something specifically, in that even arts graduates do go on to make vital contributions to society and the economy in a variety of ways, just as do graduates in other fields of education. If you’re not an Arts graduate maybe you agree – like what’s the contribution to the wellbeing of contemporary Australian society of learned articles on the “emergence of poetry in various Caribbean Creoles”. But he seems to us as obviously a chap who gives meaning to the adage about a person who knows the cost of everything and the value of very little.
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Given the sense of entitlement young people have these days, it’s no surprise they’re outraged by the Abbott government’s higher education reforms. One of the things the Coalition wants to do is to increase the interest rate on the loans the government provides to students to pay for their tuition. Instead of the interest rate being based on inflation as now, it would be set according to the how much it costs the government to lend the students the money. This change would cost a typical university graduate paying off their loan over eight years an extra $3 a week. It’s no wonder so many university graduates have trouble adjusting to the real world. Rather than being grateful that half of their tuition is being paid for by taxpayers, students complain they’re being asked to pay $3 a week more for their degree.

Australian university students don’t realise just how fortunate they are. Arts students are especially fortunate. No one has yet asked why taxpayers should pay for even half of someone’s arts degree. If an individual wants to go to university to watch French cinema classics of the 1950s and write essays about it, they should be free to do so. That doesn’t mean taxpayers should pay for it. It’s not obvious why Australia needs more arts graduates anyway. Nearly a quarter of all students in higher education are enrolled in degrees in the field of “Society and Culture”.

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The National University Finance and Procurement 2014 Conference Program will include workshops and case studies that demonstrate practical as well as strategic solutions to the challenges facing Higher Education Providers in the current economic and technological environment.

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Life & stuff

The Beatles in Australia

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13 June 2014     |     It’s been said that you can’t really trust someone who doesn’t like the Blues or The Beatles. It’s 50 years ago – a half century – since The Fab Four took Australia by storm: 300,000 people – a third of its then population -turned out in Adelaide to welcome them to the City of Churches.
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The Beatles

The eruption of Beatlemania in Australia was more intense than anywhere in the world. For thirteen days in 1964 the nation was held in a kind of euphoria, captivated by the talent, the songs and the charm of the Fab Four on their concert tour.
This exhibition, at the Melbourne Arts Centre until 1 July, presents the sights and sounds of Beatlemania — the arrivals, the press conferences, the concerts and the screaming fans – through newsreel footage, television reports, radio coverage, magazines and press clippings. It looks at how Australians responded to The Beatles and the tour’s lasting impact on Australian music and culture.

If you’re not in Melbourne and can’t get to it , the exhibition website is well worth checking.

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No Frills‘No Frills’ is a well-known annual national conference, hosted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, where researchers and practitioners in the vocational education and training (VET) sector come together to present, discuss and share information about key issues confronting the sector. The conference also provides professional development opportunities for new and existing researchers.

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Review of Higher Education Standards Framework

Regulatory framework

The Higher Education Standards Panel has invited comment on proposed revisions to the Higher Education Standards Framework, which govern the approval processes for becoming and remaining a higher education provider. The Panel’s third Call for Comment includes background information on the Panel’s approach and consultation process, as well as instructions for the submission of comments. The closing date for comments is Friday 27 June 2014.

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The Scan Early Edition – # 151 – 27 May 2014

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Fees to double: NTEU

NTEU campaign graphic
NTEU campaign graphic

27 May 2014 | Analysis by the National Tertiary Education Union of the impact increased university fees predicts that degrees such as engineering, law and dentistry could cost over $100,000, and medicine could rise to as much as $180,000. On average, the cost of degrees will more than double. Higher fees when combined with the new market-determined interest rate, will take more than twice as long to pay back for some degrees. For graduates that take time out from the workforce to care for family members, HELP debts might not be paid off until they reach their late 50s.....[ MORE ]….

Pyne challenges unis on fees

$ sign26 May 2014 | Education minister Christopher Pyne has challenged universities not to increase fees for current school leavers, saying it is their call whether to include them in a deregulated fee system from 2016. Pyne says he is willing to negotiate on his higher education reforms, including the HECS-HELP student interest rates and the salary threshold when debt repayments kick in. However, he put the onus on universities to end the confusion over students enrolling over the next 18 months....[ MORE ]….

TEQSA cut “nuts”

26 May 2014 | A budget line item to halve Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) funding has Regulatory jigsaw 2been described as “counter¬intuitive” by Hilary Winchester, deputy vice-chancellor at CQ University and a former higher education auditor. While the cuts are meant to reflect a reduction in red tape, the review of regulation by Lee Kwong Dow and Valerie Braithwaite did not take into account the opening up of the sector to private operators as proposed by the government....[ MORE ]….

Kangan/Bendigo merger funded

Bendigo26 May 2014 | Bendigo TAFE will receive $64 million from the state government to support its merger with Melbourne-based Kangan Institute. The government expects a further $35 million to be invested by the private sector and the merged institute. A National Centre of Excellence for Health and Human Services will be created at the McCrae St campus. The centre will be created in partnership with La Trobe University to make the most of employment opportunities at the new hospital....[ MORE ]….

TAFE Queensland

TAFE Queensland has announced the appointment of six general managers for its key TAFE institutes....[ MORE ]….

Govt blinks on budget measuresPyne3

24 May 2014 | The Commonwealth government has conceded it will need to compromise on some of its more controversial budget measures to get them through a hostile Senate. Education minister Christopher Pyne has told told Fairfax Media that he accepts his plan to deregulate universities is unlikely to pass in full. He said he is “realistic enough” to see that the proposal will require amendments.…..[ MORE ]….

Making a stab at fees poses great risks

Budget 222 May 2013 | With Prime Minister Tony Abbott acknowledging that he can’t guarantee that university fees might not double, University Australia chair Sandra Harding says that there are “grave risks” in a precipitate move to fee deregulation, set to take place in 2016. As the new fee regime will apply to all enrolments after 14 May 2014, students enrolling after that date will not know the fees that will apply from 1 January 2016 until such time as universities announce their fees. …..[ MORE ]….

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Comment & analysis

27 May 2013

Careful what you wish for

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The debate over the deregulation of fees in the university sector has been going on at various levels of intensity for some years, as a check of The Scan archive shows. In this post from May 2012, which has attracted some attention in recent days, Swinburne vice-chancellor Linda Kristjanson presciently warned the more effusive proponents of deregulation that any increase in student contributions in years to come may well be accompanied by reductions in public expenditure.

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An internal discussion paper distributed at a recent Universities Australia meeting in Adelaide canvassed a range of Coinscontentious issues including setting minimum entry limits on certain degrees and some degree of fee deregulation, issues on which there is not unity of opinion within the sector…..But Swinburne University of Technology v-c Linda Kristjansonhas sounded the warning: careful what you wish for.

An unfortunate political reality is that governments often see public funding and student contributions as interchangeable. Any increase in student contributions in years to come may well be accompanied by reductions in public expenditure, a measure on which Australia already performs particularly poorly by OECD comparisons.

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Higher Education Policy Seminars 2014

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Has Australia the imagination and will to create and maintain international pre-eminence in higher education? Key issues must be tackled across the next few years if an excellent higher education system is to be designed and built. The series commences Wednesday 28 May.

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Commission of Audit a missed opportunity on VET

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Peter NoonanThe National Commission of Audit’s recommendations for vocational education and training – proposing that responsibility for VET revert to the states – represent a missed opportunity for overdue reform says Peter Noonan, professor of tertiary education policy at Victoria University. He says the commonwealth’s interests in VET are stronger than ever before, not weaker, and the commission’s recommendations for VET should be set aside .

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For all it has achieved, the VET system now needs genuine ¬renewal. The current federal-state shared funding model has run its course.

Governance arrangements are complex and opaque. There is duplication in programs and ¬administration. Longstanding debates about quality remain unresolved. VET qualification completion rates are too low.

The commission identifies some of these weaknesses but misses the opportunity to propose sensible reform options to VET reformaddress them. Instead, in poorly evidenced logic, it recommends that the commonwealth wind back its -involvement in the sector by transferring VET policy and funding responsibility to the states, and abolishing all commonwealth VET programs.

And, strangely enough, despite the recommendation for the commonwealth to vacate the field, the commission also reckons the states should still be required to continue specific reforms set by the commonwealth.

It all points to a limited and partial analysis and understanding of VET and the commonwealth’s role in it. Its assertion that under the Constitution the commonwealth has no responsibility for VET is inaccurate, and taken to its logical conclusion would require that higher education also be handed back to the states.

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Life & stuff

City Library

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City Library, in the New York sector of Flinders Lane near The Scan GHQ , has become a firmly established institution for Melbourne city workers, students and residents. It turns 10 this month.

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City Library 253 Flinders Lane Melbourne

With a cafe (Journal) at the entrance, in the main areas it’s all buzz and go. Up on the mezzanine, there’s a piano and oft times someone playing (there is a sign that you do need to be competent!). If you’re really lucky, you’ll get a recital from a little old lady, whose playing sounds not dissimilar to Keith Jarrett (she is quite truly remarkable). There’s usually some kind of art exhibition hanging in the mezzanine and regular late afternoon performances (music & poetry). You can speak at normal levels without a librarian shushing you. But if you’re there to work, there are a variety of spaces where the normal library quiet prevails. And of course there are books, newspapers magazines, CDs and videos available to browse, listen to, view and borrow and banks of public access computers.

 

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No Frills‘No Frills’ is a well-known annual national conference, hosted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, where researchers and practitioners in the vocational education and training (VET) sector come together to present, discuss and share information about key issues confronting the sector. The conference also provides professional development opportunities for new and existing researchers.

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

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TEQSA cuts "nuts"

The Australian    |   21 May 2014

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A budget line item to halve the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency’s (TEQSA) funding has been described as “counter¬intuitive” by Hilary Winchester, deputy vice-chancellor at CQ University and a former higher education auditor.

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Winchester said:Regulatory jigsaw 2

It does look nuts to me. We will see … new operators rushing to get registered and offer higher education programs in what they see as a low cost market.

The 2014-15 budget papers show regulation and quality assurance cuts from $20.4 million in 2013 to $10.3m in 2017. According to the budget statement :

Reduced funding for TEQSA in 2014-15 and forward years has been significantly reduced following the government’s acceptance of the recommendations of the review of higher education regulation. Funding is reduced by $3.338m in 2014-15, $7.596m in 2015-16 and $9.999m in 2016-17.

While the cuts are meant to reflect a reduction in red tape, the review by Lee Kwong Dow and Valerie Braithwaite did not take into account the opening up of the sector to private operators as proposed by the government.

Peter Coaldrake, vice-chancellor of Queensland University of Technology, says

With the prospect of new providers, the role of TEQSA is to protect Brand Australia and it will need to ensure there are proper processes for vetting new providers.  If there are a large number of new providers wanting to get into the system, that is going to require a lot of energy and resources.

A TEQSA spokesman said business processes would be reviewed to ensure “regulatory work continues in line with its legislated obligations”.

Professor Winchester said there is a very real chance certain discipline areas would be swamped by private colleges.
These colleges want to do it on their own terms, she said, adding there would be a lot of interest in the provision of degrees which don’t vary much in content, such as business.

Higher education revolution – redux

6 May 2014

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christopher-pyneEducation minister Christopher Pyne has set the scene for extensive changes, to be announced “in-principle” in the forthcoming Federal Budget (13 May), to higher education funding arrangements, as proposed by the Kemp- Norton Review and the Commission of Audit. He has come out strongly in support of allowing universities to compete on price by deregulating what fees they can charge students and extending the publicly subsidised demand-driven system to non-university higher education providers (NUHEPs). Students at NUHEPs would receive a lesser subsidy than students at universities because they do not need to fund research activities. He also strongly backs another Kemp-Norton recommendation for the federal government to subsidise pathway programs into universities. He indicated that the burden of the cost of tuition also might be shifted, from the government currently providing on average 60% of the costs to something less, with the student contribution rising.

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In framing the federal Budget for higher education and research, Pyne said the government faces five significant challenges:

  1. Repair the national Budget, given the unsustainable Budget deficits and ballooning debt left by the previous government.
  2. Australia’s higher education and research systems are at risk of being left behind and overtaken by the growing university systems in our region.
  3. Growth in the number of higher education students as a result of the introduction of demand driven bachelor degree places is driving up the cost of higher education to the taxpayer. But there are compelling reasons to expand the demand driven system to support more students – spreading opportunity further for students.
  4. The previous government also left funding cliffs for essential research programmes.
  5. Meeting all those challenges in ways that are fair and reasonable both to students and to taxpayers.

He said if Australia is to achieve world class status it will “require government to change the way it treats universities and colleges, and to give them more freedom to do what they do best”:

If universities and colleges were able to compete on price, it would mean they must have a greater focus on meeting the needs of students. They would need to continuously improve the teaching and learning they offer to attract students.

Pyne said if the government accepts the recent recommendation of the Kemp-Norton review to expose universities to more competition from private colleges and TAFEs, then “there would need to be careful attention given to how this is done”.

After an in-principle decision along these lines, it would be necessary for there to be consultation and review of relevant evidence to determine the appropriate conditions of eligibility for Commonwealth-supported places, and the terms of such places. Obviously, only providers registered with the tertiary quality agency, TEQSA, could be eligible, and only for accredited courses; and there would be other important conditions as well.

Pyne said it would be “appropriate” for non-university education providers “to be funded at a lower rate than universities” because they do not need to fund, for example, research activities.

Pyne gave tacit support to the view, expressed in the Kemp/Norton Review and elsewhere, that pathway courses are the best option for some students, although in the main  such courses are excluded from the demand driven higher education system.

These arrangements encourage students to enter bachelor degree programmes when they may be better suited to a diploma programme. Pathway courses suit many students who are less well prepared to attend university and they also prepare students for jobs where there is growing demand. The government could do more to ensure that students can study what they choose and where they choose.

Pyne indicated  that the budget will also include funding for the continuation of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme, which pays for the significant ongoing costs of 27 world-class research centres.

 

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Launch of the Diamond Deposition Suite

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eNewsletter

Wednesday 30 April

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Featured in this issue


Comments on the Demand Driven Funding System Report

Jim Davidson

Comments on the Demand Driven Funding System Report from Jim Davidson who spoke at the CSHE & LHMI Seminar on this report on Wednesday 16 April.


Demand Driven Funding Review debate: a user’s guide

Dr Geoff Sharrock

The main proposals of the Kemp-Norton Review of Australia’s “demand driven” funding system for higher education, released in mid-April, have been reported and debated fairly widely. This user’s guide from Geoff Sharrock aims to help the sector navigate the current policy debate.


Challenges in assuring the quality of our universities – anticipating the future

Dr Jan Cameron

Australia’s higher education quality assurance and regulation landscape has been through significant changes in the past few years, and looks certain to go through more in the years ahead. In New Zealand AQA has been paying close attention to the Australian reforms, while making our own small adjustments to our existing systems.


Australia’s economic tsunamis, innovation-led growth and the entrepreneurial State

Fabiana Barros de Barros

Where will jobs come from after the mining boom? How to boost Australian productivity? What factors will drive long-term growth? What will be Australia’s position in the global market in the years to come? Such questions have populated public debate lately.


Higher Education in Brazil: Overview, Challenges and Upcoming Overhauls

Rafael Arruda Furtado & Tatiana deCampos Aranovich

Brazil has undergone dramatic changes. These improvements, together with a robust increase in state funding have driven a sharp rise in the volume of students enrolled in higher education, challenging authorities and regulators to assure the quality, efficiency and equity of the higher education sector.

Upcoming Programs & Events


Tertiary Education Leadership: Leadership and the National Policy Context for Tertiary Education.

26-27 May – Canberra

With recent developments such as the demand driven funding review and the Commission of Audit, formulating and implementing coherent institutional strategies critically requires an understanding of the impact of policy drivers and national and international trends in tertiary education.

The two-day program on Leadership and the National Policy Context for Tertiary Education workshop from 26-27th May in Canberra provides a valuable opportunity to network with peers and explore the challenges of leadership while working in an environment of ongoing change.

Guest speakers include:

  • Professor Sandra Harding (Vice-Chancellor, James Cook University and Chair, Universities Australia),
  • Mrs Diane Paton (Director of TAFE Services, Community Services and Health, TAFE NSW, North Coast Institute),
  • Ms Belinda Robinson (Chief Executive, Universities Australia),
  • Ms Maria Spies (Director, Educational Technology and eLearning, NAVITAS) and
  • Professor Leo Goedegebuure (Director, LH Martin Institute).

For more information, visit our website.


Planning and Evaluating Tertiary Performance

16 – 18 June – Hong Kong

Contribute to planning the development or enhancing your institution’s capacity for evidence based decision-making.

This executive training program is for people involved in higher education planning and evaluation. It will enhance your understanding of research, and optimise your contribution to management and leadership.

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Budgeting and Financial Management for Tertiary Education Managers

6-7 May – Melbourne (limited places still available)

The ability to understand and manage financial resources is critical to managers in tertiary education institutions however many people are placed in roles without any formal training in this area.

The Budgeting & Financial Management for Tertiary Education Managers program, held in Melbourne on the 6-7 May will assist people who would like to strengthen their understanding of managing budgets and analysing financial data within the tertiary education context. It will also enable them to engage more effectively with financial specialists in their institutions.

Find out more and register.


Welcome to Dr Ruth Schubert

The Institute is thrilled to announce the recent appointment of Dr Ruth Schubert, Program Director (Vocational Education and Training). Ruth’s role will focus on developing programs specifically tailored to develop leadership, governance and management capability in the VET sector. Ruth comes to the Institute from TAFE SA Regional and has been an LH Martin Institute Council member.


Position Vacant

TEQSA leaders on gardening leave?

The Australian    |      10 April 2014

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The two founding leaders of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) have gone on extended leave with no official word on their return.

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carol nicollTEQSA chief commissioner Carol Nicoll and Brisbane-based commissioner Ian Hawke, who served as interim chief executive of the new national regulator, are on leave as the agency confronts an agenda of radical reform and a federal austerity budget.

The commission, identified as a bottleneck for key regulatory decisions, will be down from five to three members at least until the end of the financial year, TEQSA’s spokesman confirmed.

The agency and education minister Christopher Pyne confirmed that Nicoll and Hawke had taken leave, and said it was business as usual, but would not be drawn on a return date. Pyne said he was “confident that the work of TEQSA will continue in line with my direction to simplify processes and improve timelines of decisions for key activities.”

TEQSA bill deferred

Universities Australia  |     7 March 2014

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The TEQSA reform bill has been referred to the Senate education committee.

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Speaking in favour of the referral, opposition higher education spokesman Kim Carr evoked a “back to the bad Regulatory jigsaw 2old days” scenario, although it is not at all evident that the pre-TEQSA era was characterised by systemic quality issues.

Excellence must not be sacrificed in the blind haste to cut red tape. We do not want to return to the days where fly-by-night operators exploit loopholes to create degree factories.

Carr said the bill to reform the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, and spill its leadership, had been “hastily and secretly drawn up” by the government, and introduced to Parliament last week without consultation.

He also said Labor was troubled by the use of legislation to remove “properly appointed government officials”, and by proposed changes to delegation of decision-making at TEQSA and to the minister’s powers to give directions to the agency.

Education minister Christopher Pyne said the Opposition had executed “a spectacular backflip” because the Bill would put into effect recommendations of the TEQSA review ordered last year by then Labor government.

Universities Australia’s Chief Executive Belinda Robinson, while acknowledging the role of the Senate committee in scrutinising legislation, urged it to complete its work expeditiously.

The changes proposed by Education Minister Christopher Pyne to streamline TEQSA are consistent with the recommendations of an independent review into university regulation by Professors Kwong Lee Dow and Valerie Braithwaite, commissioned by the previous government.While there may be some technical aspect to be considered, the fact that all parts of the higher education sector have expressed broad support for the reforms should provide the Committee with a degree of reassurance on the merits of the amendments.

The committee is to report by 16 June 2014.

ACPET National Monday Update – Edition 543, 3 March 2013

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In Focus

Claire FieldTEQSA – changes to deliver on the deregulation agenda
For ACPET members, whether delivering in the VET, ELICOS and higher education sectors, Thursday’s second reading speech by Minister Pyne, introducing the TEQSA Amendment Bill 2014 will come as very good news. It shows a government clearly committed to lifting onerous and unnecessary regulation on high performing higher education institutions.As the Minister stated:

The Government has committed to deliberate action to remove red tape and is determined to implement an appropriate deregulatory agenda to ensure that higher education institutions have more time and resources to devote to doing what they do best- that is delivering the highest quality teaching, learning and research.

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Featured

Minister Macfarlane seeks views on improving the VET system ACPET is pleased to see that the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, the Minister of Industry and his department are keen to hear directly from the VET sector about the issues we are facing. This includes looking for ways to free up high performing VET providers from unnecessary layers of red tape and improving the effectiveness of the VET system…. Read more

National

Bringing you the best of industry and educational expertise to support your leadership growth at ACPET’s Melbourne Executive Retreat ACPET’s second Executive Retreat ‘Drive your business vision through your executive brand’ in Melbourne this 6-8 April, features a unique selection of high-level executive facilitators, business and industry experts who will share with you and your executive peers their deep experi… Read more
Be prepared: New Federal Privacy laws come into effect 14 March!RTOs should review their privacy policies and procedures to ensure they comply with the new Australian privacy principles before they come into effect on 14 March 2014. The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 is the most significant privacy reform since the Privacy Act was int… Read more
Ensuring your trainers and assessors’ industry currency Edition 543Consultation with industry is an integral requirement for compliance with the SNR and AQTF Standards. Equally important is evidence of the current industry skills and knowledge held by trainers and assessors. Participants in this webinar will refresh their understanding of the responsibilities of RT… Read more
Moodle (Advanced) – Taking Moodle to the next level to engage Learners Moodle features a deep range of tools to engage and manage learners. In this workshop we’ll explore how to take Moodle beyond a simple content repository, quizzing and assessment upload tool and how to make your courses look good. If you are confident with the basic use of Moodle this is the… Read more
Independent Validation – the Why’s and the Wise Did you know just how seriously RTOs are failing their validation of assessment requirements at audit? ASQA found an alarming 80% non-compliance in assessment validation requirements in its recent blitz audit of Aged and Community Care training providers. The high rate of RTO non-compliance fi… Read more

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