TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 26 July 2010


TDA releases key election policy proposals 

As the 2010 election campaign launches into full swing, TDA has presented six key policy measures to both the government and opposition, outlining the key opportunities and challenges facing TAFE Institutes into the next political term.

The six policy proposals in the 2010 TDA Election Manifesto include:

  • Wider engagement of young people in vocational skills
  • A special focus on the resources sector, with trials for alternate pathways to apprenticeships
  • Funding for TAFE to deliver higher qualifications across a more connected tertiary education sector, with priority funding for occupational skill shortages
  • A dedicated Structural Adjustment Fund for TAFE Institutes
  • A simpler and more effective quality assurance regulatory system
  • A revitalised international student market

Click here to view the TDA Election Manifesto.

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Labor promises pre-apprenticeship training in schools

The Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, has announced the establishment of National Trade Cadetships to be integrated into Vet-in-Schools programs and the national school curriculum from 2012.

The election promise includes a two-stage program for students in Years 9-12 including a foundations course which focuses on work-readiness skills, and a pre-apprenticeship course in a specific trade, including work experience delivered through group training organisations.

To view the announcement click here.

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The week in politics: 2010 election campaign update

Catch-up with who is saying what about education and training during the 2010 election campaign with a selection of announcements, speeches and interviews from the past week below:

Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP

  • Speech: National Press Club
  • Doorstop: National Trade Cadetships announcement
  • Doorstop: work experience for National Trade Cadetships

Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Simon Crean MP

  • Interview: Radio National,  National Trade Cadetships, Trade Training Centres, Building the Education Revolution, WorkChoices and Fair Work Act
  • Doorstop: Education Tax Rebate; Workplace relations

Opposition Leader, the Hon Tony Abbot MP

Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeship and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP

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TDA releases tertiary blueprint

TDA has published a new policy paper, ‘A Blueprint for Australia’s Tertiary Education Sector’ which provides proposals for the way forward for the Australian tertiary education sector – including advocacy for Commonwealth Supported Places to be extended to TAFE degree courses, with priority in occupational skill shortage areas.

Importantly, the paper argues the TAFE tertiary proposals would benefit students in a system characterised by its quality, diversity, opportunities and accessibility. For industry, and for the community as a whole, the proposals would provide a well-educated and highly skilled workforce to strengthen Australia’s position in the international economy and completions in higher level qualifications.

The Blueprint for Australia’s Tertiary Education outlines a framework consistent with the six key characteristics identified in the Bradley Review of Australian Higher Education Final Report 2008 for an effective tertiary education system.

Click here to view the TDA blueprint.

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TDA memo to CEOs -- seeking ‘emerging leaders’ for the 2010 National Conference

TDA is inviting ‘emerging leaders’ from TAFE Institutes to be involved in the TDA 2010 National Conference to be held in Melbourne, 13-14 September.

TDA Members are asked to nominate an emerging leader from their Institute who would benefit from the opportunity to facilitate a group discussion during the ‘World Cafe’ session of the conference.

The World Cafe session will entail a highly-structured group table discussion format, where each table will discuss a key question related to the VET sector. Conference delegates will be able to visit three tables of their choice during the session.

TDA is keen to recognise these ‘emerging leaders’ and develop networking and professional development opportunities for them, helping to build the overall leadership capacity of the TAFE sector.

There will be 20 available ‘emerging leaders’ positions. Please send nominations to Pam Caven by COB 29 July. Please note, those chosen for this opportunity will receive 50% discount on the conference price (excluding conference dinner).

 To view a conference flyer, including a list of guest speakers, click here.  

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Encouraging Indigenous people into the health workforce

The National Indigenous Health Equality Council recently held an Indigenous Health Workforce Forum to discuss ways to engage more Indigenous people into careers in health.

The forum was sponsored by Minster for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health, and Regional Services Delivery, the Hon Warren Snowden MP.

Participants discussed developing a mentoring program for students, improving the marketing of career pathways in health by VET and higher education providers, and including cultural competency within health programs.

TDA’s representative, Vicki Williams, from Charles Darwin University, travelled to Canberra for the forum, and has written a report for TDA members. Click here to view the report.

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Racism and the international student experience

A recent controversial discussion paperby Adam Graycar, titled Racism and the tertiary student experience in Australia, has certainly stirred a strong reaction, as reported by The Australian.

TDA will be represented at a roundtable convened by Universities Australia, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Human Rights Commission in early August to further the discussion on strategies to enhance the safety of international students in Australia.

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Student safety – Australian Network ABC TV initiative

The Australia Network managed by ABC TV will launch a student safety campaign this week. The website www.thinkbefore.com is now live worldwide and information is currently being uploaded on 60 international social media and public video sites including youtube).

In the words of Australia Network’s Larry Anderson, “this campaign has the potential to change the way we communicate with students. We will be closely monitoring how effective it is and exploring options of how to further develop the delivery of important information to international students using the foundations of this campaign”.

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Farewell to Dr Lin Hui Cheung

TDA has had the pleasure of hosting Dr Cheung for the last four months as she completed an Endeavour Executive Award program funded by the Federal Government.

In her role as a Deputy Director with the Council of Labor Affairs Taiwan (R.O.C.), Lin Hui will be responsible for proposing reform in the Taiwan VET system, and the Endeavour program enabled her to gain valuable insights into the way Australia quality VET system, and higher qualifications increasingly sought for delivery by VET providers across international tertiary education sectors.

TDA would like to thank the wide range of individuals and agencies who generously gave their time to brief Lin Hui and we look forward to an ongoing relationship with the Taiwanese Council as they implement their reforms.

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UK opens up English language testing options

The UK Border Agency announced earlier this year that a new requirement would be introduced for student visa applicants.  

The new requirement is that all international students coming to the UK to study on a course below degree level (with the exception of foundation courses and English language courses) have to provide evidence of English language proficiency.

The UK Border Agency have just announced they will accept Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)as evidence of English language proficiency for student visas under Tier 4 of the Points Based System.  PTE Academic was already accepted for Tier 1 and 2 and there are further details of the announcement on the Pearson’s website.

Meanwhile there is still no resolution to DIAC’s tender process which raised the prospect of opening up the market for language testing systems in Australia. Currently only the IELTS is accepted for visa applications.

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New nursing and midwifery accreditation plans

The new accrediting body for the nursing and midwifery professions, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC), has outlined its plans for both the renewal of old, and lodgement of new accreditation documents.

The ANMC has distributed a letter to stakeholders to explain the plans, and seeks comments and suggestions. Click here to view the letter.

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Simon Crean shares his vision for education and training

Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Simon Crean MP, was recently interviewed by the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council on the issue of workforce development and his plans for his newly appointed role.

He said Industry Skills Councils will play a valuable role in reporting on the developing skills shortages, and that workforce development will be a key to sustaining Australia’s economic growth.

Click here to view the interview.

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Review of Higher Education Provider framework

The Australian University Quality Agency (AUQA) has been funded by DEEWR to review the Quality Audit Factors (QAFs) – the quality framework used to audit non-self accredited Higher Education Providers that operate under the Higher Education Support Act 2003. For more information click here.

The AUQA is seeking feedback from anyone involved with QAFs, and have provided a 10-minute survey which will aid its review. To participate in the survey click here. Survey closes 6pm, 29 July.

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New email alert system for NCVER

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has introduced an email alert service for both the NCVER and the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) websites.

The free email alerts will provide subscribers with more timely information and provide NCVER with valuable data on the information NCVER customers use, which will help with the development of new products in the future.

To receive email alerts, register for the NCVER or LSAY website (one registration covers both websites).

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Diary Dates

Investing in VET = Succeeding in VET
DATE: 5-6 August 2010
LOCATION: Sydney Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Using Skills Productively
DATE: 6-7 September 2010
LOCATION: Hilton Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2010 National Conference: TAFE in the Year of the Tiger
DATE: 13-14 September 2010
LOCATION: Crown Promenade, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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

Leadership, Innovationa and Workplace Culture
DATE: 14-15 October 2010
LOCATION: Citigate Central, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Research Forum - Fostering enterprise: The innovational and skills nexus
DATE: 9 November 2010
LOCATION: Australian Technology Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Has institutional research come of age in Australiasia?
DATE: 10-12 November 2010
LOCATION: Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Geelong
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Has institutional research come of age in Australiasia?
DATE: November 2010
LOCATION: Birmingham, UK
DETAILS: www.wfcp.org

2010 Australian Youth Mentoring Conference

DATE: 10-11 November 2010
LOCATION: Radisson Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

World Innovation Summit for Education
DATE: 7-9 December 2010
LOCATION: Sheraton Resort, Doha, Qatar
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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