TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 27 April 2010


TDA and Universities Australia agreements around tertiary education – a real breakthrough

TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) and Universities Australia (UA) have commissioned a project designed to support a more cohesive national tertiary education system.

The joint TDA/UA project was commissioned in September 2009 and aims to augment the connections between the vocational education and training (VET) and higher education (HE) sectors.

It seeks to identify how the two organisations could facilitate an enhanced range of student pathways to support the attainment of the participation targets proposed in the Bradley Review of Higher Education and endorsed by COAG.

The project was informed by expectations which the Deputy Prime Minister articulated early in 2009:

“This is not about bolting on new policies to an already complex system. It is about fundamentally rethinking separate systems and institutions to create better connected learning for millions of individual students.” (Speech to the Big Skills Conference March 2009).

The TDA and UA agreements have been developed jointly by vice chancellors and TAFE CEOs. To read the joint TDA/UA agreements click here.

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Calls for government to fund TAFE degrees

Training experts are leading calls for greater funding to be allocated to TAFE Institutes to support the growing number of degree courses delivered through the VET sector.

Currently there are 10 TAFE Institutes offering degree courses, most of which are in Victoria. However this is set to increase when TAFE NSW gains approval to offer its first higher education degree qualification next year, according to an article in the Australian Financial Review. View the article here.

In the article, Dr Leesa Wheelahan, from the University of Melbourne, said that the government would struggle to meet its expansion targets without the help of TAFE Institutes to deliver courses. She also said that disadvantaged TAFE students undertaking higher education courses should be allowed access to subsidised places in line with their university counterparts.

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Policy in the Pub tackles the National VET Regulator

L-R: Pam Caven, TDA, Mary Hicks, ACCI, Jennifer Taylor, DEEWR, and Sharon Robinson, TVET Australia

TVET Australia, the body that supports the National Training System and is responsible to the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment,has held its ‘Policy in the Pub’ event in Melbourne titled, The National Regulator: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

TDA’s Pam Caven was part of the panel which also included Jennifer Taylor, Group Manager of Tertiary Skills and Productivity, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and Mary Hicks, Director of Employment and Training, from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

To view Pam Caven’s address to the event, click here.

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Universities voice concerns about new regulatory body

Universities Australia Chairman, Professor Peter Coaldrake, has called for the new Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) to be phased in gradually to avoid disruption to universities.

In The Australian’s Higher Education Supplement, Professor Coaldrake advocated the creation of an interim advisory body to oversee the design and implementation of TEQSA.

View the article here.

Also in Higher Education... The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations has advised of the appointment of senior Treasury and Finance Department officials to its higher education division to aid in the delivery of education reforms.

David Hazlehurst, most recently Treasury's chief adviser on the Henry taxation review, has been appointed the new Group Manager of Higher Education, and Kathryn Campbell, the current Deputy Secretary of Budget within the Finance and Deregulation Department, will become Deputy Secretary for Tertiary, Youth and International. View the article here.

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Green Skills Agreement – seeking feedback on implementation plan

The Green Skills Agreement Implementation Group (GSAIG) - made up of government, industry and peak bodies, including TDA - is seeking feedback for its draft implementation plan which will “enable the VET workforce to provide high quality instruction in skills for sustainability” and will also ensure qualifications and products incorporate skills for sustainability.

TDA’s representative on the Action Group is Dr Garry McDonald from Swinburne University of Technology. While the Plan between the Commonwealth and States and Territories is at a high level, Dr McDonald invites member’s observations and case studies so that he can best represent the TAFE perspective.

To view the draft plan click here.

TDA members are invited to particularly respond to the following issues:

1.  The 3-5 most important actions to focus on in the next 12-18 months to help promote skills for sustainability training

2. How we see our sector/organisation implementing those actions

3. What can we achieve within existing resources?

4. What specific additional knowledge and skills VET instructors and teachers require to deliver and assess skills for sustainability?

5. Is there a need for any additional student learning infrastructure and support services to achieve these outcomes?

TDA members are advised to send their responses to pcaven@tda.edu.au by 3 May.

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New research into education workforces

The Productivity Commission will undertake research into the factors impacting on early childhood, schooling and vocational training workforces, as announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP.

The research will look into the current and future needs of these workforces and will consider factors including remuneration, working conditions, retention, training and support structures. For more information click here.

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National strategies for international students endorsed by COAG

The Council of Australian Governments has endorsed a range of strategies for supporting and protecting international students including a national complaints body and a single student information portal.

The full COAG communiqué can be read here (see pages 12-14).

Combined with recent amendments to the ESOS Act and further amendments arising from the Baird Review, these strategies have the potential to fundamentally change the way providers operate in the market.

TDA is generally supportive of the changes, however it has raised a number of concerns with the viability and implementation of some of these strategies and the foreshadowed changes to legislation.

A full list of TDA submissions, including those relating to international education can be found here. TDA welcomes input from all members through our Australian TAFE International Network or directly to peter.holden@tda.edu.au.

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TDA members invited on mission to China

TDA is organising a mission to southern China from 19 to 26 June this year led by the Chair of TDA’s Board of Directors and Chief Executive of Holmesglen, Bruce Mackenzie.

The mission will include a symposium jointly hosted with the China Education Association for International Exchange.

Delegates will travel to China’s fastest growing city Chongqing, and to Shanghai where a Plenary Session supported by DEEWR will be held in the Australian Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo.

CEOs and Directors of TDA’s member Institutes are invited to express their interest in joining the mission by completing the attached form.

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Mission to Cambodia

Austrade and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise are jointly leading a mission to Cambodia from 15 to 17 June. Further details can be found here.

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Special events and workshops for the international education sector

Members may be interested in taking a look at some upcoming international education workshops:

IEAA maintain a comprehensive listing of events and workshops for the international education sector. Of particular note are their three workshops in May focusing on student support services, good practice in transnational education and an introduction to international education.

AEI are holding their Outbound Student Mobility forum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 6 May. An agenda and further details can be found here.

Austrade is convening a workshop in Sydney on 17 May to explore approaches to marketing and promoting international education.

TDA has been invited to nominate up to five experienced international marketing experts to participate, and a request for nominations will be sent to all members this week.

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Report on revised Health Training Package

TDA’s representative on the HLT07 Health Training Package Advisory Committee, Foonghar Chong from TAFE NSW, has provided a report on the committee’s recent meeting.

The committee has been engaged to oversee the process of improving the Package to reflect industry derived competency standards, skill sets and qualifications.

See Foonghar’s report here.

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Public Safety Training Package

Revised units of competency, skill sets and qualifications relating to the PUA00 Public Safety Training Package are now available for review on the Government Skills Australia (GSA) website.

The revised material will be available for comment until 21 May. Click here to participate.

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Applications invited for senior position with Hunter Institute

A senior business development position with the TAFE NSW Hunter Institute has been advertised with applications closing on 7 May.

The position is:

Director Business Strategy
Institute Manager Level 5
Location: Newcastle Campus

Further details can be found here.

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VET students are a happy bunch

Undertaking vocational qualifications such an apprenticeship or traineeship has a positive effect on happiness according to new research from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research.

The study found that the happiness that VET student respondents experienced throughout their studies continued after completion, however those who studied at university experienced a decline in happiness upon completion.

For more information click here.

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Welcome back Martin Riordan

TDA would like to welcome back CEO Martin Riordan after the completion of his Fulbright Scholarship in the United States over the past three months.

TDA would also like to thank Pam Caven for filling in as CEO while Martin was away.

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Diary Dates

Victorian TAFE in the Tertiary Landscape
DATE: 6-7 May 2010
LOCATION: Novotel Forest Resort, Creswick
DETAILS: Click here for more information

19th National 'No Frills Research Conference
DATE: 7-9 July 2010
LOCATION: Central Institute of Technology, East Perth Campus, Perth
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2010 National Conference
DATE: 13-14 September 2010
DETAILS: Details will be available soon

Work Integrated Learning (WIL): Responding to Challenges
DATE: 30 September - 1 October 2010
LOCATION: Curtin University of Technology, Perth
DETAILS: Click here for more information


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