tertiary entry

NSW university offers 2015

20 January 2015

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UACAs in Victoria, the traditional January main round of university offers in NSW, through the University Admissions Centre (UAC), is decreasing in prominence in the calendar. Offers through the year and direct offers are becoming increasingly the norm. This year, universities have made 46,507 offers through UAC ‘s main round, down 4,307 (- 9%) on last year. But the total number of offers to date is actually up a little, at 76,339, up 1,542 ( + 2%) from last year’s 74,792. So, main round offers through UAC are now about 62% compared to 68% last year and almost 100% four or five years ago.

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Applications were down a little for this year (85,605 domestic applications vs. 86,800 for 2014 – a decrease of about 1.5%) but the “success rate” has obviously gone up (about 89% this year compared to 86% last year). Of course success is a relative term: many applicants would have not got their first preference of course at their preferred university.

This year also marks the end of a decades old tradition, with no newspaper publishing the offers – in Victoria, the Herald-Sun continues to publish an online supplement, which is quite useful.
And that’s all the information we have.

 

The Scan # 144 20 December 2013

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Christmas (2)
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Our best wishes for a joyful festive season and a happy and prosperous year in 2014

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TAFE grants rescinded

TAFEs have slammed the government’s decision to shut them out of a competitive capital grants fund, reneging on $76 million awarded by the previous government.

TDA-logo219 December 2013 | The grants, to TAFEs in the Sunshine Coast, Central Queensland and NSW North Coast, would have supported three of the 12 projects approved by the Education Investment Fund’s advisory board…..[ READ MORE ]…

Mid year cuts

The changes to policy and funding announced in relation to higher education included in the Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Outlook result in net reduction of just over $200m in funding over Budget 2013the next four years.

19 December 2013 | The largest cut relates to the cessation of the regional priorities round of the Education Investment Fund (EIF). While this will save the government $187.5m over the next three years and relates to monies that have yet to be allocated, it will reduce the capacity of regional universities and TAFE institutes to invest in much needed capital infrastructure….[ READ MORE ]…

Gardner appointed V-C at Monash

Monash University Council has appointed Professor Margaret Gardner AO as the ninth Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, and the first woman to serve in the role.

Professor Margaret Gardner17 December 2013 | Professor Gardner will commence on 1 September 2014, succeeding Professor Edward Byrne, who will become President and Principal at King’s College London. Professor Gardner is currently Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT University. She previously held a range of senior academic roles, including serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at The University of Queensland. .…[READ MORE ]….

Increased financial support leads to fewer deferrals

Analysis by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) reveals that, while there has been a competitionsubstantial decline in the proportion of university deferrals in Victoria since student financial support has been increased, location and socioeconomic status continue to play a role in restricting access to higher education.

17 December 2013 | In the latest ACER Joining the Dots research briefing, Principal Research Fellows Drs Sheldon Rothman and Daniel Edwards use data from Victoria’s annual post-school transitions survey to explore the extent to which deferral rates have changed since 2008, and the influence policy changes to financial support may have had on deferral decisions.…[ READ MORE ]….

Poor trainers prompt national standards call

 

Almost half of Australia’s training providers could be misleading customers with ”disturbing” online marketing practices.

regulatory-jigsaw17 December 2013    |   The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) says some registered organisations are promising iPads on enrolment, advanced diplomas in two weeks and guarantees not to fail. Victoria is home to 46 of the 191 suspect websites.One of the most widespread problems identified is the advertising of fast-tracked certificates and qualifications, such as a forklift licence in just two hours..…[ READ MORE ]….

 

Higher ATAR makes university science places harder to get into

An analysis of Victorian ATAR results from the past five years shows gaining entry into top undergraduate science degrees is getting harder.

ATAR 116 December 2013 | ATARs have risen despite an increasing number of places in many courses. The analysis revealed science-related courses have accounted for 15 of the top 20 degrees in which the final cutoff scores have increased most from 2009 to 2013. The biggest increase was for computer science at Monash University, which required 70 in 2009 but demanded almost 85 this year..…[ READ MORE ]….

National TAFE inquiry gets go ahead

The Senate’s Education and Employment References Committee will hold a wide-ranging inquiry into TAFE.tafe-image

16 December 2013 | It will probe issues including funding, affordability, accessibility, and linkages to secondary and higher education. The inquiry is to specifically consider any public information provided to the 2013 House of Representatives inquiry by the Standing Committee on Education and Employment on the role of the technical and further education system and its operation….[ READ MORE ]….

Commonwealth plots uni takeover

The Commonwealth government is planning to end the historical role of state governments in the establishment and governance of universities.uni-syd-pic

16 December 2013 | Education minister ­Christopher Pyne is in talks with the NSW government about the Commonwealth assuming control over the governance of the state’s 10 universities, which would be the first stage of a national takeover…..[ READ MORE ]….

VET employment outcomes steady

Employment outcomes for graduates have remained steady over the past year with 78.2% employed after training.

NCVER Insight16 December 2013    |     NCVER’s  Student Outcomes 2013, which provides an annual national scorecard on Australia’s training system, shows that 83.4% of graduates undertook their training for employment-related reasons, of which 81.1% were employed after training.  Satisfaction with training remains high, with 87% of all graduates satisfied with the overall quality of their training….[ READ MORE ]….

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Review of demand driven system

19 December 2013 | Submissions to the review of the demand driven system initiated by education minister Christopher Pyne closed on 16 December 2013. University sector submissions support its retention and an extension to sub-bachelor places to create pathways for less academically prepared students.

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Menzies“It is not yet adequately understood that a university education is not, and certainly should not be, the perquisite of a privileged few. We must become a more and more educated democracy if we are to raise our spiritual, intellectual, and material living standards… The new charter for the universities, as I believe it to be, should serve to open many doors and to give opportunity and advantage to many students.”

-Sir Robert Menzies, 28 November 1957, quoted in the Swinburne University submission

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Federation University

Federation University – a merger between the University of Ballarat and Monash University’s Gippsland campus – comes into being on 1 January 2013. This “seasonal greeting” recounts the journey to this point. Let’s wish them well.

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The Scan in 2013

The%20hiatus%20pic%20cloud

In 2013, over 700 items were posted on The Scan (down from about 900 in 2012). The continuing ructions in the VET sector featured heavily in 2013 (Once was TAFE , a leading post in 2012, wasn’t too far off the pace in 2013, either), as did regulatory issues in both the VET and higher education sectors. You would have expected in an election year that politics and policy would rate highly: but it was the paucity of new policy, for either VET or higher education, that was notable BEFORE the election, although Christopher Pyne has had a bit to say since. With both a national commission of audit and a formal review of the higher education demand driven system to report in early 2014, next year’s budget (probably delivered on Tuesday 13 May 2014) should be full of interest.

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Comment & analysis

Policy directions in higher education

In this commentary for the ACPET Journal for Private Education, Brendan Sheehan looks to the higher education policy horizon under the newly elected Coalition government.

signposts2It has been clear for some time that general budget pressures, and the ballooning cost of higher education, would bring the gaze of policymakers, post-election, to the efficacy of a demand-driven system — whatever the hue of the government.

The post-election gaze is unlikely to stop at the demand-driven system, and will certainly take in the architecture of the entire system, including the place of non-university higher education provision, which has a small but growing role in provision.

Over the six years of the Labor Rudd/Gillard government, there was explosive growth in higher education participation, and funding, fuelled by the phase out of enrolment caps during the period 2010–2012. In announcing its last set of funding cuts in April 2013, the Gillard government claimed that student numbers had increased by 34% or an extra 146,000 students (more recently, it has been reported as 190,000 extra students) and funding had increased by 50% since 2007. That was on an upward trajectory, with enrolments projected to increase by another 100,000 students, and expenditure by another couple of billion dollars, by 2016.

In order to meet the target of 40% of 25-34 year olds having a bachelor degree by 2025, it is estimated that there will need to be at least about another 300,000 students in higher education by 2025 (with some estimates suggesting up to 500,000 additional students).

The requirements of meeting that projected growth is enough to cause any minister to contemplate the need for change.

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ACPET_Journal_JUNE13_WEB-Cover-imageACPET Journal for Private Higher Education

The Journal for Private Higher Education is a biannual peer-reviewed journal for scholarly articles on the theory and practice of higher education in the context of the private sector. It provides up-to-date perspectives of benefit to educators, scholars, students, practitioners, policy-makers and consultants. The December 2013 issue (volume 2 , issue 2) is now online.

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The first 100 days

An off centre perspective on the state of the polity

This commentary is by someone we haven’t actually noticed before – Andrew P Street of The Vine, which is a Tony Abbottlifestyle blog targetting young people (18 to 35 years old). Street’s forthright lack of “even handedness” is disarmingly fresh – you can have no doubts where he stands in the political spectrum.

Back before the election I wrote a piece explaining the looming Abbott victory was possibly the best thing for the Left in Australia.

Part of my argument was that if Labor had pulled off a skin-of-the-teeth victory they’d have been forced further to the Right, there’d have been even more desperate finagling of independent support and virulent in-fighting as the party imploded, and the only thing that could possibly give the party a short, sharp reminder of its origins as the party of the people would be a kick back to opposition.

Since then, things have been, let’s be honest, ghastly.

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UA Conference 2014

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Inside a cooperative university

David Matthews of The Times Higher Education Supplement reports on the University of Mondragon (Spain), which is fighting to preserve its teaching mission, industry-focused research and mutual governance model.

An educational idyll: on the lush campuses in the Basque mountains, students say they encounter a different ethos. One says: ‘We are like a family. We all work together’
An educational idyll: on the lush campuses in the Basque mountains, students say they encounter a different ethos. One says: ‘We are like a family. We all work together’

10December 2013 | Mondragon is jointly owned by its academic and administrative staff. To become a fully fledged member, employees have to work there for at least two years, and then pay €12,000 (£10,300), which buys a slice of the university’s capital that can be withdrawn upon retirement.However, it is unlikely that anyone employed by the university expects to earn enough to build a personal art collection or buy membership to an exclusive private members’ club: no one at Mondragon may earn more than three times the salary of the lowest-paid worker.

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The year in music

Jonathon Alley of Stack Magazine sums up the past 12 months of “tunes, ascensions and triumphs”.


17 year old New Zealand singer Lorde was the debut artist of the year – this You Tube clip has been viewed 116 million times, so you might have seen it.

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Life & stuff

Bah! Humbug?

19 December 2013

It was cool and wettish in Melbourne but November 2013 was a hot month for planet Earth.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that last month set a heat record. It says it was the warmest November on record, across Earth, since record-keeping began in 1880.

It says average global temperature, for water and land surfaces combined, was 56.6 degrees (13.7 Celsius). That’s 0.78 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average.

It was the 37th consecutive November with above-average temperatures. The last below-average November was in 1976.

It was also the 345th straight month with above-average temperatures. That’s almost 29 years.

Here’s a message from Santa, courtesy of Greenpeace.

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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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Regional students prefer direct approach

The Australian     |    6 December 2013

There’s been a big increase in direct applications to universities, with the total number of direct applications to universities having increased from 61 805 in 2010 to 82,890 in 2013 (plus 34.1%). The increase in 2013 was 12.6%.

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competitionPeter Lee, chairman of the Regional Universities Network RUN, has defended a 6% drop in applications this year to regional unioversities, saying a “massive increase” in direct applications by both school-leaver and mature-age students more than compensated for the fall in official applications data.   The official data only counts applications via state tertiary admission centres (TACs).  Lee said

“There is a growing trend across the sector for students to apply directly to universities rather than going through a TAC. While the Department’s figures show a decline in students applying to RUN universities through a TAC of 5.8%compared to an increase of 0.8% for the sector as a whole, direct applications to RUN universities in 2013 increased by 23 %.

The Applications Offers and Acceptances 2013  report released by the Commonwealth education department in early December shows that RUN universities received 14,561 applications via TACs and 14537 directly.

Lee said growth in direct applications was across the sector.  Since 2010, there has been a 34.1 % increase in direct applications.  In 2013, direct applications and offers across the sector grew by 12.6% and 8.3% respectively.

Among school leavers, 97.6% of applicants to RUN institutions were made an offer but only 67.6% cent accepted it.

See

The Scan’s most viewed posts 2013

15 December 2013

This is a brickwall
This is a brickwall

In 2013, over 700 items were posted on The Scan (down from about 900 in 2012).   There were some surprises.   The short obituary on Peter Redlich attracted a surprising number of views because he died suddenly (although he’d been ill for some time), being Jewish, he was buried within 24 hours and a full obituary wasn’t published for some weeks, so as word spread, people ended up at The Scan via search engines.  An increasing amount of traffic comes to The Scan by way of search engines:  The Scan “archive” of items is now approaching 2000 (it totals more than posts of over 1600 because a post may contain several items).   The Scan of 22 March 2012  is a perennial favourite by virtue of carrying a graphic: people google “brick wall” and end up at that edition (ditto the post Much ado about the sounds of silence, because of its association with “nothing”). 

There are a number of ways of accessing archived items:

  1. Enter a key word or term in the search box at the the top right the page
  2. Clicking a word/term in the tag cloud in the right sidebar
  3. Checking the monthly archive or the calendar of posts in the right sidebar.

The continuing ructions in the VET sector featured heavily in 2013 (Once was TAFE , a leading post in 2012, wasn’t too far off the pace in 2013, either), as did regulatory issues in both the VET and higher education sectors. You would have expected in an election year that politics and policy would rate highly: but it was the paucity of new policy, for either VET or higher education, that was notable BEFORE the election, although Christopher Pyne has had a bit to say since.   With both a national commission of audit  and a formal review of the higher education  demand driven system  to report in early 2014, next year’s budget (probably delivered on Tuesday 13 May 2014) should be full of interest.    Following are the most viewed items on The Scan in 2013 .

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ASQA’s one in ten strike rate

Regulatory jigsaw 214 June 2013    |     A 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 ]…..

Report recommends reducing regulatory & reporting burdencut red tape

5 August 2013    |    On the cusp of going into caretaker mode, pending the election outcome, the Commonwealth government has released the report of a review examining how red tape can be reduced for universities while also supporting the quality and excellence of Australia’s world class university system.  Releasing the report by professors Kwong Lee Dow and Valerie Braithwaite –  Review of Higher Education Regulation: Report-  minister for higher education Kim Carr noted that while the report supports the continuing role of the national regulator  – the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) – it  also finds that the burden of higher education regulation on universities can be reduced without compromising quality standards..[ READ MORE ]…..

Queensland’s blueprint for skills reform: the government’s response

qld-tafe1 December 2012    |     In its response to the Skills and Training Taskforce Report, the Queensland government says it will avoid a “massive cost blowout” by rejecting a Victorian-style free-for-all in its open training market. The government has accepted, in full or in principle, all 40 recommendations of contentious report but watered down a proposal to close 38 of the state’s 82 TAFE campuses.  Queensland Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the government will rationalise campuses but had not settled on a number. He said 12 would be given to a university-TAFE merger in central Queensland and 13 would be sold, but additional closures were on hold.[ READ MORE ]……

Employers losing faith in training systemtafe-quals

12 August  2013    |    A  Victorian government-commissioned survey has found that employers are losing faith in the quality of training qualifications, adding more ammunition to ongoing criticism of the state’s open market for training subsidies that has led to a proliferation of private providers.  The report from Queensland-based consultants Ithaca Group, and obtained by the HES, surveyed about 140 Victorian employers as part of an effort to assess their training information needs, but it found many would rather buy qualifications than trust the training system to improve staff skills....[ READ MORE ]……

A collage of Coalition policies

Seven pillars28 September 2013       |    This wasn’t an election in which education was a key issue and tertiary education hardly figured at all.  Here’s a collage of Scan articles over the past year or so touching on the Coalition’s approach to tertiary education, which provides a sort of compass to the horizon.   The 7 pillars of Coalition HE policy.

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Sacked TAFE chairs slam funding cuts

16 April 2013    |     The outgoing chairs of a number of the boards heads of Victorian TAFEs have been highly critical of the State holmesglen-002government in their 2012 annual reports tabled in Parliament on 18 April.  The former chair of Holmesglen TAFE, Jonathan Forster, wrote in his report that last year’s funding cuts to TAFEs placed “considerable strain” on the institute and that the funding changes were implemented with “undue haste” and will result in a “significant increase” in fees and uncertainty for the sector.   Other TAFE heads described the cuts in their annual reports, as causing “a significant amount of turbulence and disruption” and a “challenging and unsettling period.”....[ READ MORE ]……

Circle of silence’ protests over removal of Institute of Koori Education directorwendy brabham

24 July 2013    |     Deakin University Institute of Koorie Education (IKE) staff are staging daily silent protests after the removal of their director, Professor Wendy Brabham, on 15 July.  Brabham a nationally-respected Indigenous academic was suspended by her supervisor in the presence of security guards but was not furnished with an explanation until 23 July, eight days after her suspension.   Each lunchtime staff gather in a circle of silence for up to ten minutes around a tree trunk cut from Professor Brabham’s homeland near Mildura.....[ READ MORE ]……

Open Universities launches MOOC platformOpen2Study

21 March 2013     |    Australia’s leading online higher education provider, Open Universities Australia (OUA),  has unveiled its own free online education venture, Open2Study.  OUA describes  Open2Study as “a new dimension in online learning, … is designed with the online student in mind.”   Launched with 10 subjects, including Financial Planning and Introduction to Nursing there’s a pipeline of a couple of hundred and OUA expects to offer 40 to 50 subjects by the end of 2013.....[ READ MORE ]……

Victoria changes TAFE funding rules

$ sign9 August 2013    |    Victoria has changed funding arrangements for foundation skills courses following the latest reported rorts of training subsidies.   It’s the latest in a string of modifications to the state’s four year-old open training market.  They include cuts and some increases to course funding rates, changes to eligibility rules and a stop-start approach to dedicated funding streams – including the scrapping of TAFEs’ $170 million “community service obligation” funding…..[ READ MORE ]….

The polytec movement gathers pacepolytec

6 March 2013    |     Encouraged by remarks by the Commonwealth minister that he’s looking afresh at tertiary “inter-connectedness”, five tertiary institutions* are proposing a national network that brings together the strengths of TAFE and higher education traditions, enabling degrees to be studied initially at TAFE institute campuses in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.  Students would  be able to study degrees in face-to-face, online or blended modes, with extra support depending on their needs and requirements of the course….[ READ MORE]….

Ballarat to take over Monash Churchill

FED UNI LOGO INSET (2)22 February 2013    |    Monash University and the University of Ballarat are proposing to “join forces” at the Monash Churchill campus in Gippsland.  The proposal involves Ballarat taking over the campus, with Monash retaining a presence through its medical school.  Monash will  “teach-out” its existing courses and retain an active research presence on the campus.   The new arrangements would see the range of courses being offered by the University of Ballarat and the Gippsland campus to be expanded by “drawing on the knowledge and expertise residing within them”, according to the universities…..[ READ MORE ]….

Coalition to target ridiculous researchresearch infrastructure - ABC

6 September 2013    |    A Coalition proposal to take $103 million from “ridiculous” projects in the humanities and redirect the money to medical research, has raised the ire of the research community.  Catriona Jackson, chief executive of the science and technology peak group STA, asked whether Australians want politicians picking and choosing which grant proposals deserve funding.  She said that  “scientists and research funding agencies understand that governments set priorities for research and that this is entirely valid given we do not have the resources to fund everything.  Priority setting is very different from political picking and choosing. Only a quarter of research grant bids that go to the ARC each year are successful. Only the best of the very best get through the very careful peer review, expert-driven process.”  ….[ READ MORE ]….

UNSW launches a MOOC program

moocs115 October 2012   |    The University of NSW has become the first university in Australia to have a massive open online course, or MOOC, available free on the internet, ahead of the universities of Melbourne, Western Australia and Queensland, whose MOOC programs are still being developed.  A UNSW introductory computing course will be made available from 15 October.   While the course’s intellectual property is owned by the university, the course will be delivered through Open Learning – an online education start-up company that Associate Professor Richard Buckland founded with UNSW graduate Adam Brimo, and which now employs a team of UNSW alumni…..[ READ MORE ]…..

Vale Peter RedlichPeter Redlich

5 January 2013    |    Peter Redlich passed away on 3 January 2013.   Among his many contributions to the Victorian community, Peter was a member of the Council of Monash University from 2005 to 2009.  Peter created, developed and for many years led the [progressive] legal firm of Holding Redlich, pursuing his vision of  it becoming a legal resource available to all.  This was based on his unflinching belief in social justice and the need to defend and protect fundamental human rights whenever they were in danger….[ READ MORE ]…..

Why institutions matter – why TAFE MATTERS

Leesa25 October  2013    |     The insightful Leesa Wheelahan will soon be decamping the LH Martin Institute to take up the William G Davis Chair of Community College Leadership at the University of Toronto.  Here she reflects on the challenges facing the TAFE sector as a result of “VET reform”, which she suggests can only result in a greatly diminished role for TAFE, at great community and social cost.  It’s not an uncommon view: recently retired Holmesglen Institute director Bruce Mackenzie says TAFEs might  disappear entirely from some states in less than a decade due to “state government meddling and federal government indifference “.  He does suggest that “re-invention” involving TAFEs in effective collaborations and partnerships will be the key to survival.…..[ READ MORE ]…..

ACPET lashes “gold plated regulation”Claire Field

30 August 2013      |      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 ]…..

Holmesglen & Healthscope partner for new private hospital

Holmesglen26 September 2013    |     Holmesglen Institute and private health company Healthscope are proposing to build a new private hospital at Holmesglen’s Moorabbin campus in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs. The project will convert an existing  conference centre into a health and education precinct, providing clinical  training  for Holmesglen’s health science students, as well as health care for local residents.  Holmesglen will contribute $20 million to the project , presumably in the form of the site,  and Healthscope will spend $100 million.  The hospital is expected to create 500 construction jobs and 750 healthcare roles……[ READ MORE ]…..

The cone of silence descends

26 September 2013     |     The difference between being in government and opposition, Tony Blair once famously said, is that in Pyne2government a minister wakes up and thinks, “what will I do today”. In opposition, the spokesperson wakes up and thinks, “what will I say today?” New education minister Christopher Pyne possibly began to appreciate this difference when his public musings about “quantity” versus “quality” (i.e. the pros and cons of the demand driven system),  sparked the most public attention of the nascent government’s term (except for deciding not automatically announcing new boat arrivals).  People think that what he says may reflect what he’s going to do…..[ READ MORE ]…..

Qld opens TAFE assets to private RTOs

qld-tafe11 June 2013     |      The Queensland government has released a “reform action plan”, its detailed response to the report of the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce.   Great skills. Real opportunities confirms that full contestability of public funding will be phased in from 1 July 2013, to come into full operation from 1 July 2014.   It also takes the concept of “competitive neutrality” to another level in Australia: the ownership of what are now TAFE facilities are to transferred to a new, yet to be determined entity, which will provide access to public training facilities for private providers as well as the public TAFE institutes.   This will leave TAFEs to focus on training while the separate entity manages their “ageing, under-utilised, ill-suited infrastructure”, according to the statement.…[ READ MORE ]…..

Vice-chancellor remuneration

12 August 2013    |       An analysis  by the National Tertiary Education Union of the 2012 Annual reports of Australia’s 37 public dollarsuniversities shows that their vice -chancellors (VCs) were well financially rewarded for their efforts. In total the VCs received remuneration packages worth close to $30m.   The data  show that total remuneration ranged from $1.2m for the VC of Macquarie University (who for the bulk of 2012 was Prof Steven Schwartz) to a little over $300,000 for Prof Andrew Vann at Charles Sturt University (CSU).  The data also clearly indicates that Prof Vann’s remuneration package is very much an outlier with the next lowest package being almost double his package at close $550,000….[ READ MORE ]…..

Undergraduate Applications, Offers and Acceptances 2013: Summary

15 December 2013

This report contains applications and offers data received from Tertiary Admissions Centres (TACs) and universities as of 15 May 2013.  It is an update of the data published in the earlier report The Demand Driven System: Undergraduate Applications and Offers, February 2013.

 1.1         Highest Preference Applications

  • As of 15 May 2013, there were 275 397 applications made through TACs, an increase of 0.8% compared with 2012.  Applications increased in NSW/ACT (2.0%), SA/NT (2.4%) and Tasmania (6.3%) but decreased in WA (-1.9%), Qld (-0.5%) and Vic (-0.3%).

Applications by state and territory, 2009-2013

State

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

% Change 2012-2013

% Change 2009-2013

NSW/ACT

81,101

83,108

84,415

86,999

88,697

2.0%

9.4%

Vic.

67,457

71,984

71,202

72,275

72,078

-0.3%

6.9%

Qld

50,055

57,205

55,852

56,512

56,233

-0.5%

12.3%

WA

18,650

20,834

20,532

19,304

18,941

-1.9%

1.6%

SA/NT

23,279

24,235

24,766

26,425

27,065

2.4%

16.3%

Tas.

9,201

9,630

10,443

11,652

12,383

6.3%

34.6%

Australia

249,743

266,996

267,210

273,167

275,397

0.8%

10.3%

* Unpaid Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC) applicants are included in the 2009 and 2010 applications data but excluded in the subsequent years.

  •  Nationally, current Year 12 applications increased by 2.3% while non-Year 12 applications decreased by 0.9% in 2013.

Applications by Current Year 12 status by state and territory, 2012 and 2013

State

Current Year 12

Non-Year 12

2012

2013

% Change

2012

2013

% Change

NSW/ACT

48,671

49,371

1.4%

38,328

39,326

2.6%

Vic.

43,398

44,346

2.2%

28,877

27,732

-4.0%

Qld

27,489

28,094

2.2%

29,023

28,139

-3.0%

WA

12,312

12,399

0.7%

6,992

6,542

-6.4%

SA/NT

12,286

12,963

5.5%

14,139

14,102

-0.3%

Tas.

3,448

3,813

10.6%

8,204

8,570

4.5%

Australia

147,604

150,986

2.3%

125,563

124,411

-0.9%

  • The most popular broad field of education (in terms of number of applications) in 2013 was Health (71 034).  This was followed by Society and Culture (55 815) and Management and Commerce (34 613).
  • Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies recorded the largest increase in applications (7.1%).  This was followed by Natural and Physical Sciences (4.2%) and Health and Information Technology (3.2%).  The largest decrease in applications was recorded in Architecture and Building (-9.1%) followed by Creative Arts (-2.5%).

 Applications by field of education, 2012 and 2013

Field of education

2012

2013

% Change

Natural and Physical Sciences

23,199

24,183

4.2%

Information Technology

6,891

7,112

3.2%

Engineering and Related Technologies

18,224

18,570

1.9%

Architecture and Building

9,137

8,305

-9.1%

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

4,203

4,500

7.1%

    Agriculture

1,924

2,079

8.1%

    Environmental Studies

1,474

1,523

3.3%

   Other             805             898            11.6%
Health

68,861

71,034

3.2%

Medical studies

11,814

12,433

5.2%

Dental Studies

3,964

3,883

-2.0%

Veterinary Studies

2,302

2,243

-2.6%

Nursing

22,176

21,964

-1.0%

Health Other

28,605

30,511

6.7%

Education

23,542

23,589

0.2%

Teacher Education

22,661

22,566

-0.4%

Education Other

881

1,023

16.1%

Management and Commerce

35,182

34,613

-1.6%

Society and Culture*

55,231

55,815

1.1%

   Law

10,721

10,848

1.2%

Creative Arts

26,417

25,763

-2.5%

Mixed field programs

2,264

1,895

-16.3%

Total

    273,167

275,397

0.8%

Note: Hospitality is not shown due to the small number of applications, hence the total number of applications does not equal the sum of applications/offers by broad field of education in the above table.

* Society and Culture includes a broad range of subject areas including Behavioural Science, Law, Language & Literature, Economics & Econometrics.

  •    The Group of Eight (Go8) recorded the largest increase in applications (2.8%), followed by the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) (0.1%).

 Applications by type of university, 2012 and 2013

Type of university

2012

2013

% Change in number of applications

Number

Share (%)

Number

Share (%)

Group of Eight

82,616

30.2%

84,959

30.8%

2.8%

Australian Technology Network

54,379

19.9%

53,329

19.4%

-1.9%

Innovative Research Universities

47,877

17.5%

47,918

17.4%

0.1%

Regional Universities Network

15,450

5.7%

14,561

5.3%

-5.8%

Total*

273,167

100.0%

275,397

100.0%

0.8%

*Total includes applications to universities that are not aligned with a university group.

 1.2         Offers

  • In 2013, there were 224 782 offers made, an increase of 1.0% compared with 2012.
  • Nationally, offers to Year 12 applicants increased by 3.6% in 2013 while offers to non-Year 12 applicants fell by 2.1%.

Table 7:  Offers by state and territory, 2009-2013

State

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

% Change 2012-2013

% Change 2009-2013

NSW/ACT

64,402

67,232

69,149

72,004

73,501

2.1%

14.1%

Vic.

46,428

51,258

54,714

59,371

59,725

0.6%

28.6%

Qld

39,333

42,738

43,391

45,637

46,752

2.4%

18.9%

WA

15,322

17,045

16,795

16,399

15,974

-2.6%

4.3%

SA/NT

18,527

19,323

19,652

20,580

20,573

0.0%

11.0%

Tas.

7,056

7,198

7,784

8,485

8,257

-2.7%

17.0%

Australia

191,068

204,794

211,485

222,476

224,782

1.0%

17.6%

  • On top of strong growth in the number of offers, the national offer rate (number of offers as a percentage of highest preference applications) increased from 81.4% in 2012 to 81.6% in 2013. The offer rate provides an indicator of the way which universities choose to respond to student demand. This represents a key indicator following the introduction of the demand driven system from 2012.

Offer Rates by state and territory, 2009-2013

State

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Change (p.p) 2012-2013

Change (p.p) 2009-2013

NSW/ACT

79.4%

80.9%

81.9%

82.8%

82.9%

0.1

3.5

Vic.

68.8%

71.2%

76.8%

82.1%

82.9%

0.7

14.0

Qld

78.6%

74.7%

77.7%

80.8%

83.1%

2.4

4.5

WA

82.2%

81.8%

81.8%

85.0%

84.3%

-0.6

2.2

SA/NT

79.6%

79.7%

79.4%

77.9%

76.0%

-1.9

-3.6

Tas.

76.7%

74.7%

74.5%

72.8%

66.7%

-6.1

-10.0

Australia

76.5%

76.7%

79.1%

81.4%

81.6%

0.2

5.1

  • Offers increased for all broad fields of education, except for Information Technology, Architecture and Building and Society and Culture. Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies recorded the largest increase in offers (7.2%).  This was followed by Natural and Physical Sciences (5.4%) and Engineering and Related Technologies (1.7%).

Offers by field of education, 2012-2013

Field of education

Offers

Offer rates

2012

2013

% Change

2012

2013

Change (p.p)

Natural and Physical Sciences

23,148

24,399

5.4%

99.8%

100.9%

1.1

Information Technology

6,081

6,008

-1.2%

88.2%

84.5%

-3.8

Engineering and Related Technologies

15,586

15,851

1.7%

85.5%

85.4%

-0.2

Architecture and Building

6,432

6,004

-6.7%

70.4%

72.3%

1.9

Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies

4,164

4,462

7.2%

99.1%

99.2%

0.1

   Agriculture

1,913

2,126

11.1%

99.4%

102.3%

2.8

   Environmental Studies

1,487

1,498

0.7%

100.9%

98.4%

-2.5

   Other

764

838

9.7%

94.9%

93.3%

-1.6

Health

44,227

44,822

1.3%

64.2%

63.1%

-1.1

   Medical Studies

2,480

2,417

-2.5%

21.0%

19.4%

-1.6

   Dental Studies

1,100

977

-11.2%

27.7%

25.2%

-2.6

   Veterinary

601

683

13.6%

26.1%

30.5%

4.3

   Nursing

16,934

16,932

0.0%

76.4%

77.1%

0.7

   Health Other

23,112

23,813

3.0%

80.8%

78.0%

-2.7

Education

19,010

19,259

1.3%

80.7%

81.6%

0.9

   Teacher Education

18,159

18,218

0.3%

80.1%

80.7%

0.6

   Education Other

851

1,041

22.3%

96.6%

101.8%

5.2

Management and Commerce

30,949

31,617

2.2%

88.0%

91.3%

3.4

Society and Culture*

51,491

51,356

-0.3%

93.2%

92.0%

-1.2

   Law

6,886

7,245

             5.2%

64.2%

66.8%

2.6

Creative Arts

19,120

19,281

0.8%

72.4%

74.8%

2.5

Mixed field programs

2,252

1,708

-24.2%

99.5%

90.1%

-9.3

Total

222,476

224,782

1.0%

81.4%

81.6%

0.2

Note: Hospitality is not shown due to the small number of offers, hence the total number of offers does not equal the sum of offers by broad field of education in the above table.

Note: Offer rates are expressed as the number of offers as a percentage of first preference applications.  Given that offers may result from lower order preferences, offer rates for certain fields of education may exceed 100%.

* Society and Culture includes a broad range of subject areas including Behavioural Science, Law, Language & Literature, Economics & Econometrics.

  • Applications to Regional Universities Network (RUN) universities were most likely to receive an offer (an offer rate of 97.6%).  This was followed by the Innovative Research Universities (IRU) (85.2%) and the Australian Technology Network (ATN) (75.4%).  The Group of Eight (Go8) recorded the lowest offer rate (68.9%), reflecting its relatively high entry requirements.

Offers and offer rates by type of university, 2012 and 2013

Type of university

2012

2013

Number

Share (%)

Offer rates (%)

Number

Share (%)

Offer rates (%)

Group of Eight

57,562

25.9%

69.7%

58,569

26.1%

68.9%

Australian Technology Network

40,045

18.0%

73.6%

40,220

17.9%

75.4%

Innovative Research Universities

40,769

18.3%

85.2%

40,832

18.2%

85.2%

Regional Universities Network

15,238

6.8%

98.6%

14,209

6.3%

97.6%

Total*

222,476

100.0%

81.4%

224,782

100.0%

81.6%

*Total includes offers from universities that are not aligned with a university group.

1.3         Acceptances/Deferrals

  • There were 157 294 applicants who accepted an offer in 2013, a decrease of 1.6% compared with 2012.

Acceptances* by state and territory, 2009-2013

State

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

% Change 2012-2013

% Change 2009-2013

NSW/ACT

46,770

48,681

50,633

51,829

52,414

1.1%

12.1%

Vic.

31,777

35,300

36,216

39,479

39,786

0.8%

25.2%

Qld

31,064

33,572

33,599

36,244

34,340

-5.3%

10.5%

WA

11,143

12,738

12,311

12,333

11,862

-3.8%

6.5%

SA/NT

13,170

13,810

12,589

13,609

13,108

-3.7%

-0.5%

Tas.

4,773

5,129

5,618

6,343

5,784

-8.8%

21.2%

Australia

138,697

149,230

150,966

159,837

157,294

-1.6%

13.4%

*Acceptances exclude deferrals.

  • Of all applicants who received offers in 2013, 21 988 or 9.8% deferred their offer through a TAC.  The deferral rate was similar in 2012 (10.5%).
  • Year 12 applicants were more than twice as likely to defer compared with non-Year 12 applicants (12.9% compared with 5.7% respectively).
  • Non-metropolitan applicants were more than twice as likely to defer compared with metropolitan applicants (16.3% compared with 7.6% respectively).

Acceptance rates by state and territory, 2009-2013

State

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Change (p.p) 2012-2013

Change (p.p) 2009-2013

NSW/ACT

72.6%

72.4%

73.2%

72.0%

71.3%

-0.7

-1.3

Vic.

68.4%

68.9%

66.2%

66.5%

66.6%

0.1

-1.8

Qld

79.0%

78.6%

77.4%

79.4%

73.5%

-6.0

-5.5

WA

72.7%

74.7%

73.3%

75.2%

74.3%

-0.9

1.5

SA/NT

71.1%

71.5%

64.1%

66.1%

63.7%

-2.4

-7.4

Tas.

67.6%

71.3%

72.2%

74.8%

70.0%

-4.7

2.4

Australia

72.6%

72.9%

71.4%

71.8%

70.0%

-1.9

-2.6

Acceptances* and acceptance rates by type of university, 2012 and 2013

Type of university

2012

2013

Number

Share (%)

Acceptance rate (%)

Number

Share (%)

Acceptance rate (%)

Group of Eight

42,728

26.7%

74.2%

43,008

27.3%

73.4%

Australian Technology Network

31,097

19.5%

77.7%

30,187

19.2%

75.1%

Innovative Research Universities

28,837

18.0%

70.7%

27,882

17.7%

68.3%

Regional Universities Network

11,005

6.9%

72.2%

9,608

6.1%

67.6%

Total**

159,837

100.0%

71.8%

157,294

100.0%

70.0%

*Acceptances exclude deferrals.

**Total includes acceptances for universities that are not aligned with a university group.

1.4         Students from Low Socioeconomic (SES) Backgrounds

  • Applications from applicants from low SES backgrounds have shown the largest increase (1.7%) from 2012 to 2013, compared with those from medium SES backgrounds (0.7%) and high SES backgrounds (0.4%).
  • Over the same period, offers to low SES applicants increased at a higher rate (2.2%) than offers to medium SES applicants (1.1%).  Offers to high SES applicants rose by 0.4%.
  • Since 2009, offers to low SES applicants have recorded the largest increase (21.7%) compared with medium SES (18.9%) and high SES applicants (13.8%).
  • Applications by applicants from low SES backgrounds were less likely to result in an offer. Their offer rate was 80.0% compared with 81.5% for medium SES applications and 83.5% for high SES applications in 2013.
  • Low SES applicants are more likely to apply for courses in Nursing and Education, and less likely to apply for Medical Studies, Management and Commerce, Society and Culture and Creative Arts.
    • Just under one quarter of domestic applicants (23.7%) were from non-metropolitan areas (regional and remote areas), less than their population share of 27.4%.
    • In 2013, applications from metropolitan residents increased by 1.3% while applications from non-metropolitan residents decreased 0.6%.
    • Offers made to metropolitan applicants increased by 1.7% compared with a decrease of 0.7% in offers made to non-metropolitan applicants in 2013.
    • While non-metropolitan applicants are under-represented, they are more likely to receive an offer than metropolitan applicants: 84.6% of non-metropolitan applicants received offers, compared with 81.0% of metropolitan applicants.
    • However, metropolitan applicants were more likely to accept an offer (74.4%) than non-metropolitan applicants (61.2%).
    • Non-metropolitan applicants are more likely to apply for courses in Nursing, Education, Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies courses. Management and Commerce courses were more popular among metropolitan applicants.

1.5         Students from Non-Metropolitan Areas

  • Just under one quarter of domestic applicants (23.7%) were from non-metropolitan areas (regional and remote areas), less than their population share of 27.4%.
  • In 2013, applications from metropolitan residents increased by 1.3% while applications from non-metropolitan residents decreased 0.6%.
  • Offers made to metropolitan applicants increased by 1.7% compared with a decrease of 0.7% in offers made to non-metropolitan applicants in 2013.
  • While non-metropolitan applicants are under-represented, they are more likely to receive an offer than metropolitan applicants: 84.6% of non-metropolitan applicants received offers, compared with 81.0% of metropolitan applicants.
  • However, metropolitan applicants were more likely to accept an offer (74.4%) than non-metropolitan applicants (61.2%).
  • Non-metropolitan applicants are more likely to apply for courses in Nursing, Education, Agriculture, Environmental and Related Studies courses. Management and Commerce courses were more popular among metropolitan applicants.

1.6         Indigenous Students

  • Indigenous people are under-represented in the pool of TAC applications. Indigenous people represent around 2.3% of the Australian working age population whereas they constitute only 1.3% of all applications to university.  Indigenous applicants have a larger representation among direct applications (2.7%) than among TAC applications.
  • Nationally there were 3539 applications from applicants who identified as Indigenous (Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both), an increase of 198 applications or 5.9%.  
  • Nationally 2703 offers have resulted from applications from Indigenous applicants, an increase of 183 offers or 7.3%.
    • Just over three quarters (76.4%) of applications from Indigenous applicants had attracted an offer, compared with an offer rate of 81.7% for non-Indigenous applicants in 2013.
    • Indigenous applicants are more likely to apply for courses in Education, Nursing and Society and Culture. They are less likely to apply for Management and Commerce, Natural and Physical Sciences, Engineering and Medical Sciences courses.

1.7         Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)

  • In 2013, 71.4% of all offers made to Year 12 applicants were for those with an ATAR above 70.  Offers to Year 12 applicants who achieved an ATAR above 90 accounted for 27.4% of all offers.
  • The share of offers for applicants in the ATAR band “50.00 or less” has increased steadily from 1.6% in 2009 to 4.1% in 2013.
  • During this time, the likelihood of an applicant with a low ATAR receiving an offer has recorded a greater increase than an applicant with a higher ATAR, which has remained relatively steady.  Offer rates for Year 12 applicants in the “50.00 or less” ATAR band have recorded the largest increase from 12.0% in 2009 to 32.6% in 2013. 

1.8         Direct Applications

  • The total number of applications (per person per university) made directly to universities in 2013 was 82 890, an increase of 12.6% when compared with 2012. Since 2010, the number of direct applications has increased from 61 805 to 82 890, an increase of 34.1%.
  • There were 66 969 offers resulting from direct applications, an increase of 8.3% between 2012 and 2013.
  • Offer rates in relation to direct applications increased from 79.7% to 80.8% over the same period.
  • Compared to TAC applicants, direct applicants were less likely to be Year 12 students and hence were more likely to be older.  Female and Indigenous applicants made up a larger share of direct applicants than TAC applicants.
  • Taking into account that 13 855 applicants applied through TACs as well as directly to universities, a total of 316 607 applicants submitted 330 462 applications.  This represents an increase of 2.3% for total unique applicants between 2012 and 2013.
See
Undergraduate Applications, Offers and Acceptances  2013

 

The Scan in October 2013 : Most read items

1 November 2013

LeesaWhy TAFE matters

25 October 2013  |  The insightful Leesa Wheelahan will soon be decamping the LH Martin Institute to take up the at the University of Toronto.  Here she reflects on the challenges facing the TAFE sector as a result of “VET reform”, which she suggests can only result in a greatly diminished role for TAFE, at great community and social cost….[ READ MORE ]…. 

Hockey rules out privatisation of HECS

18 October 2013     |    Treasurer Joe Hockey has  hosed down speculation that the government plans to “privatise” student debt, followingSecuritisation claims that the right to recoup loans worth about $23 billion may be “sold off” to the private sector. But education minister Christopher Pyne has since “hosed it up”….. [ READ MORE ]….

Pyne2Pyne promises easier work rights for international students

30 September 2013    |    The Abbott government will look at liberalising immigration rules, including offering easier permanent residency, to encourage more international students to come to Australia in an effort to boost Australia’s $14 billion a year.…. [READ MORE ]….

Why a minimum ATAR would improve efficiency and equityMichael Gallagher

18 October 2013    |    Mike Gallagher (executive director , Group of Eight universities), makes the case for a “re-calibration” of the demand driven system, by the imposition of a minimum ATAR for university entry.   He argues that the G08’s proposal for a minimum ATAR of 60 (now apparently in public abeyance) was never an argument for  reintroducing caps but would actually improve both equity and efficiency in the higher education system.…. [READ MORE]….

marianne-loureyNice work, if you can get it

2 October 2013    |      A former Victorian energy bureaucrat has won her company a $1 million taxpayer-funded contract to oversee TAFE reforms despite her having no experience in the education sector and without having to go through a competitive tender process. The Ombudsman has now initiated an inquiry.[READ MORE]….

Employers losing faith in training systemTAFE quals

31 July 2013    |     A  Victorian government-commissioned survey has found that employers are losing faith in the quality of training qualifications, adding more ammunition to ongoing criticism of the state’s open market for training subsidies that has led to a proliferation of private providers.[READ MORE]….

cut red tapeTEQSA’s plan to cut redtape

4 October 2013    |    The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has announced details of a “reform agenda” drawing on the  Review of Higher Education Regulation  as well its own work to cut ‘red tape’; speed up regulatory decisions; strengthen risk-based regulation; acknowledge strong higher education track records; and maintain a “robust” approach…..[READ MORE]….

Australian unis suffer reputational damagethe_wur_launch_banner_2013

4 October 2013    |     Australia’s leading universities have generally gone backwards in the Times Higher Education rankings, which has been attributed to funding cuts announced by the previous government.  The University of Melbourne remains the highest ranked Australian university but fell six places from 28 to 34 while  Australian National University dropped 11 places from 37 to 48. …..[ READ MORE ]….

John DewarThe La Trobe model?

24 October 2013   |    La Trobe University vice-chancellor John Dewar has flagged a possible radical streamlining of the university’s structure in which the current five faculties would be collapsed into two super faculties.  One would house all the professional degrees, with the other combining the humanities, arts and sciences in a liberal arts faculty….[READ MORE]….

TEQSA commissioner “retired”Eric Mayne

17 October 2013    |    Education minister Christopher Pyne has not renewed the contract of lawyer Eric Mayne, one of the five commissioners who run the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, which expired on 2 October 2. The next expiry on the commission, for Dorte Kristoffersen’s contract, is not until September next year. Chief commissioner Carol Nicoll has a contract that runs to October 2016.[READ MORE]…

Holmesglen

Holmesglen & Healthscope partner for new private hospital

 25 September 2013   |   Holmesglen Institute and private health company Healthscope are proposing to build a new private hospital at Holmesglen’s Moorabbin campus in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs.The project will convert an existing  conference centre into a health and education precinct, providing clinical  training  for Holmesglen’s health science students, as well as health care for local residents….[READ MORE]

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 ]….

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Transitions

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.

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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)

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2013_election_logo (2)The Election Page

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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.

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The Scan 22 August 2013

#134     |     22 August 2013

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Opposition push to lift O/S student numbers

flags1An Abbott government would make it easier for foreign students to obtain post-study work rights in Australia as part of a Coalition push to repair the lucrative education export industry.  Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne says the Coalition ”cannot promise to reverse the $2.8 billion of cuts to higher education”.  However he vowed to increase revenue to universities within 100 days of being elected by ”rebuilding” the international education market, which he said had shrunk under Labor from $19.8 billion in 2008 to $14.5 billion today (although the decline has been concentrated in the VET sector)….. [ READ MORE ] …..

Peak bodies call for measures to restore international sector

inter-visasAustralia’s education peak bodies has  urged all political parties to get behind measures to restore global competitiveness and innovation to Australia’s international education sector.  They warn that Australia is losing ground to international competitors whose governments place a higher value on international education than Australia  does.  Expensive and inflexible student visas, a complex and stifling regulatory system and a reluctance by governments to aggressively promote Australian education abroad are combining to turn potential students away from Australia and into the “welcoming arms of Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA”….. [ READ MORE ] …..

Schools DO matter

The  academic standard of a school is a critical factor in whether disadvantaged students complete Year 12 and significantly raises their Hands up2chances of studying at university by as much as five times. A report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research has found that pupils from low socio-economic backgrounds who are weak students and attend a school of low academic quality have a 30%  of completing Year 12, and a 10%chance of studying at university.  But attending a school of high academic standards gave them an 80 per cent chance of finishing school, and a 50 per cent chance of going to university….. [ READ MORE ] …..

ATAR limit would drastically slash student numbers

competitionAn analysis by the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) has found that a proposal from Australia’s Group of Eight (G08) universities to limit university entry to students with an ATAR of 60 or more would have cut the number of university offers to school-leavers this year by 23% or 13,200 offers.  The proposal would halt the surge in undergraduate enrolments, which have grown by 190,000, since Labor came to office in 2007 and save the Commonwealth budget about $750m over 4 years. The Go8 proposes this could be used to offset savings of over $2b imposed earlier this year….. [ READ MORE ] …..

Tertiary “integration” a long way off

The outgoing head of the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER), Dr Tom Karmel,  has lamented the slow Regulatory frameworkprogress on implementing a ‘seamless’ tertiary education sector, as proposed by the Bradley Review.  Karmel says the promised integration between higher education and vocational education is “more distant now than ever”, while overstated differences between the sectors are producing dysfunctional outcomes. Other commentators agree that progress with the integration agenda is not only  a long way off but suggest that higher education would become an even more dominant partner if there were to be “forced marriage” with vocational education….. [ READ MORE ] …..

Industry demands clarity on apprenticeships

TradesA meeting of employer organisations, peak provider groups (including TDA and ACPET) and Industry Skills Councils has called on all political parties to respond, as a matter of urgency, to the dramatic drop in apprenticeship commencements.   According to the group, employers are losing confidence in the apprenticeship system, not because of a lack of commitment to a long-standing model of training delivered in a work context, but because they cannot rely on consistency in the approach by both Federal and State Governments…… [ READ MORE ] …..

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NTEU’s “National Day of Action”

nteu-logo19 August 2013   |   The National Tertiary Education Union, together with the National Union of Students (NUS) and the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) held a National Day of Action on Tuesday 20 August to “champion the cause of publicly-funded and properly-funded higher education in the lead-up to the Federal election”.   NTEU members at 10 universities are also taking industrial action as enterprise bargaining negotiations break down over key issues, including workloads and job security…. [ READ MORE ] ……

Australian unis rank highly

Rankings 201316 August 2013  | With five universities in the world top 100 and 19 in the top 500, Australia has one of the strongest higher education systems internationally – in spite of scarce research dollars and small population and economic scale. The University of Melbourne again took the title of Australia’s “best” university at 54th. It was accompanied in the top 100 by the Australian National University (66th), University of Queensland (85th), University of Western Australia (91st) and Sydney (97th)…. [ READ MORE ] …..

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Comment & analysis

Uncapped funding “fair and efficient”

In an opinion piece published in the  Australian Financial Review, Swinburne University’s head of Corporate and Government Affairs, Andrew Dempster, says that uncapped funding for higher education is fairer and more efficient. He also says it’s consistent with Coalition policy – and Labor , of course, introduced it.

UNIVERSITY STOCKThere is a degree of resignation in higher education circles that the system of funding undergraduate university places according to student demand may be on its last legs.

This is not new. Hand-wringing about the sustainability of the so-called demand-driven system has been fashionable for some time.

There is heightened scepticism of the demand-driven system among Australia’s sandstone universities, which have an unfortunate tendency to look down their nose at those institutions that take students with ATAR [Australian Tertiary Admission Rank] scores of 70 and below, as if those that do are “lowering the standards” for everyone else.

This is despite the fact that many establishment universities would not know what a student with an ATAR of 70 looks like, let alone how university teaching might be configured to assist these students to succeed.

It is also conventional wisdom that, because the demand-driven system is a Labor creation, it will inevitably be for the chop under any Coalition government that follows.

While budget pressures are real, it does the Coalition no credit to assume the demand-driven system will be dispatched to history if it forms government this year.

Indeed, there are many reasons why it may survive and even prosper.

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2013_election_logo (2)The Election Page

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Election 2013

A crock….?

David Rowe

The Australian Financial Review’s incomparable David Rowe captures the general reaction to the Coalition’s paid maternity leave scheme, which has been described as bad policy, inequitable and extravagant.

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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.

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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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ATAR limit would drastically slash student numbers

Australian Financial Review    |     19 August 2013

competitionAn analysis by the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) has found that a proposal from Australia’s Group of Eight (G08) universities to limit university entry to students with an ATAR of 60 or more would have cut the number of university offers to school-leavers this year by 23% or 13,200 offers.

The proposal would halt the surge in undergraduate enrolments, which have grown by 190,000, since Labor came to office in 2007 and save the Commonwealth budget about $750m over 4 years. The Go8 proposes this could be used to offset savings of over $2b imposed earlier this year.

So-called “lower tier” universities strongly back the uncapped demand-driven system because they have been able to expand student numbers, taking in students with lower ATARs, ensuring higher education is available to disadvantaged students, who typically attain relatively low ATARs compared to other students.  While the Go8 says standards are being lowered, universities taking in these students argue that their support mechanisms enable students with lower ATARs to meet acceptable standards in studying for their degrees.

Higher education minister Kim Carr has publicly mused that it might be time to rethink the uncapped system, and questioned whether quality is being compromised.

Keep the caps off: Grattan Institute

Grattan Institute     |    7   August 2013

Go8 Equity scales

The latest report from Grattan Institute’s Higher Education Program, Keep the caps off! Student access and choice in higher education, urges the Commonwealth Government to reconsider any plan to end its university open access policy.

Higher education minister Kim Carr has raised the prospect of limiting public university enrolments.   Some university leaders support such a change.

Yet the open access policy, initiated by the current government, has been a major success.  More university applicants are getting into their preferred course, enrolment growth is strong in areas of labour market shortage and the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds is increasing.

Universities are also innovating to draw in more students, starting online courses and collaborating with TAFEs. All these policy achievements are at risk if the government ends the demand-driven funding system that began with bipartisan support last year.

The report shows that a proposal from Group of Eight chairman Fred Hilmer to set a minimum Australian Tertiary Admission Rank of 60 for university entry would be unfair to many university applicants.  Completions data show that students entering with ATARs below 60 have a good chance of finishing their degrees. A minimum ATAR would cut the number of students from low SES backgrounds.

Putting caps back on the higher education system would hit the people who miss out hard.  Many students who do get a place would also be worse off.  They would be less likely to be able to enrol in their preferred course or university. Keep the caps off! explains why the government should stick with one of its best higher education policy initiatives.