TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 7 June 2010





Trade commencements take a hit in 2009 – International uncertainty for 2010

National data has recorded that Trade apprenticeships dropped drastically in the year leading up to December 2009, according to statistics released from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Data comparing the year to December 2009 apprentice and trainee statistics to the previous year to December 2008 period showed:

  • In total there were 414 900 apprentices and trainees in training
  • The number of trade apprenticeship commencements decreased 17%
  • Non-trade commencements decreased 1.2%

For more information on the NCVER research, click here.

For international students wishing to study in Australia in 2010, uncertainty has resulted from Federal Government restrictions to visas under skilled migration rules.

Uncertainties surrounding 2010 enrolments have followed the release last month of the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL), severely cutting several occupational training areas including hospitality.

The Chair of TDA, Bruce Mackenzie, has written to the Federal Government seeking clearer rules in visa applications for those students wishing to nominate TAFE as a destination.  This involved requesting the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to differentiate between public and private providers when establishing assessment levels for visa applicants, aligned with university visa destination protocols.


[Return to top]

VET productivity under the microscope

The Productivity Commission has suggested that funding of the VET system based on student contact hours could be damaging productivity in the sector.

The Commission airs its concerns about funding and productivity in an Issues Paper released last week aimed at generating discussion ahead of its inquiry into the education and training workforce.

It says that a funding model that is based on delivery of student contact hours may be constraining the way VET workers are deployed, and therefore impacting the productivity of VET workforce.

TDA has met with the Inquiry Commissioners in Melbourne, and will be making a submission on behalf of its members. TDA will provide members with a detailed list of questions to respond to in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, members can access the Terms of Reference and the Issues Paper here.


[Return to top]

TDA 2010 National Conference to feature author Don Watson

TDA is delighted to announce that Don Watson will deliver the dinner address at the TDA 2010 National Conference to be held in Melbourne, 13-14 September.  

Don Watson is a former speech writer for Paul Keating and trenchant critic of bureaucratic speak.

His collection of writings have won him numerous high-profile awards over his career including a Walkley Award for Non-Fiction for his book American Journeys,  the Alfred Deakin Essay Prize for his Quarterly Essay, Rabbit Syndrome, and Book of the Year (The Age and The Courier Mail) for his book Recollections of a bleeding heart: Paul Keating Prime Minister. He also wrote the best-selling Watson’s Dictionary of Weasel Words.

The full TDA Conference program which includes Members of Parliament, key decision makers from industry, training and government will be published in the coming weeks.

To complete an early bird registration click here.


[Return to top]

National Quality Council’s offshore delivery projects underway

Two important projects to improve the delivery of Australian qualifications offshore are now underway.

Led by Moire Schulze, Sue Foster and Bernadette Delaney, the projects will deliver a Good Practice Guide for offshore VET delivery and a report on internationalising Australian VET qualifications for offshore delivery.

TDA will be supporting the projects through regular consultation and the promotion of workshops in late June and July where practitioners will have the opportunity to contribute to the work of the project team. The aim is to have both projects completed by the end of the year. For a more detailed description of the projects please click here.


[Return to top]

Chilean Technical Scholarships program moves to the selection phase

After a very strong response from Chilean students, the first selection of students to study in Australia through the BECAS Chile Technical Scholarships program is now underway.

Confirmed offers are expected to be made in late July and the first students will arrive in October for intensive English classes. Up to 235 Chilean students will be awarded scholarships by the Chilean government to study in TAFE institutes across Australia in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Meanwhile TDA had the pleasure of farewelling the Chilean Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Jose Luis Balmaceda who has been a great supporter of TAFE and the technical scholarships program. TDA also welcomed the new Chilean Trade Commissioner to Australia, Ms Silvana Gattini who joined us for our AGM, and Ms Sofia Pereira who moves from AEI to take up her new role as Austrade’s Education Trade Commissioner for Latin America.


[Return to top]

Funding available for joint mobility projects

New funding is available for education cooperation projects between the European Union and Australia.

The funding will assist joint mobility projects which focus on structured exchanges of students and faculty members; and on the development of joint, or shared curricula and joint study programmes. 

More details can be found here. Applications close 6 September.

[Return to top]

Reminder – international research seminar this week

TDA members are reminded that the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) is holding its International Education Research Seminar in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday this week.

The theme of the seminar is ‘The Challenge of Sustainability – Planning for the Future of International Education to 2020, What the Research Shows’.

For more information click here. To view the program click here.


[Return to top]

New accreditation body for nursing courses

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council has been appointed as the new accreditation body for nursing and midwifery nursing courses.

The attached letter describes the processes and the schedules for the acceptance of new and previously accredited courses.

The ANMC also now has a dedicated email for accreditation enquiries:  anmcaccreditation@anmc.org.au.


[Return to top]

Policy in the Pub event tonight

TVET Australia is hosting its Policy in the Pub debate this afternoon in Melbourne on The Quality of VET Teachers: Australia’s Future in their Hands.

Speakers will include Leesa Wheelahan (Associate Professor, LH Martin Institute, University of Melbourne), Pat Forward (Federal TAFE Secretary, Australian Education Union), and Robert Bluer (Industry Manager, Education, Innovation & Business Skills Australia).

The event will be held at Honey Bar, South Melbourne from 4pm. Click here for more information.


[Return to top]

New Australasian research newsletter

The Australasian Association for Institutional Research has distributed its latest monthly newsletter.

It includes a call for abstracts for its Annual Forum to be held in Geelong in November. The forum is titled ‘Has institutional research come of age in Australasia?’ For more information, read the newsletter here.


[Return to top]

TAFE Institutes to trial emerging technologies  

Six TAFE Institutes have been chosen to trial emerging technologies including iPods, iPhones, e-books and virtual worlds in their workplaces.

The TAFE Institutes have received funding from the Australian Flexible Learning Framework to explore how new technologies can facilitate more flexible and engaging teaching and training, particularly through mobile and remote learning.

The Institutes involved in the trial include: New England Institute of TAFE, Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE, TAFE SA Adelaide North Institute, Tasmanian Polytechnic, Box Hill Institute, and Wodonga Institute of TAFE.  

For more information on the trials click here.


[Return to top]

Diary Dates

Higher Education Conference
DATE: 8-9 June 2010
LOCATION: Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

International Education Researchers Seminar
DATE: 10-11 June 2010
LOCATION: The Westin Hotel, Melbourne
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

Investing in VET = Succeeding in VET
DATE: 5-6 August 2010
LOCATION: Sydney Convention Centre
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

2Has 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


 [Return to top]

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the TDA Newsletter click here.