TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 11 April 2011


TDA calls for Provider Categories for VET sector

TDA is urging the Federal Government to introduce Provider Categories and Standards for the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

TDA has released is policy paper titled: ‘Realising Australia’s Tertiary Sector: The Case for Provider Categories in VET’. It presents a case for the establishment of provider categories and associated standards in VET, as a first step towards developing an aligned tertiary sector.

It says that for both domestic and international students, there is no easy way to differentiate between providers, particularly in areas of size, scope, history, quality, capability and risk.

TDA has submitted the policy paper to the newly established Australian Quality Skills Authority (AQSA), and says that the implementation of provider categories would help AQSA achieve improved regulations in the VET sector.

Click here to view a media release from TDA. Click here to view the full policy paper.

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LH Martin/TDA Tertiary Mission to the U.S. begins

Emerging leaders from the 1,200 members of American Community Colleges will be critical to supporting the US economy as it emerges from the Global Financial Crisis, according to a Keynote Address by Dr. Walter Bumphus, the new CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), at the opening of the National Convention in New Orleans yesterday.

Fourteen Australian VET leaders joined the ‘LH Martin/TDA Tertiary Mission to US Community Colleges’, which will involve a Joint US-Australia workshop on the US’s four-year degree programs, and will focus on those states which have legislated to allow their Colleges to offer the degrees.

These four-year degrees have been supported by US State and City funding, dominantly in specialist skill shortage areas.

The tour is hosted by the Community College Baccalaureate Association, and later this week Dr. Beth Hagen, Executive Director of the Baccalaureate Association, will facilitate a roundtable and briefings with representatives of Florida State Community Colleges now offering degrees.

The Australian Mission is led by Associate Professor Leesa Wheelahan (LH Martin Institute) and TDA Chair Bruce Mackenzie (CEO, Holmesglen VIC). Delegates include public and private RTOs, along with emerging leaders from TAFE Institute in most states. The group is accompanied by Mark Darby, Education Counsellor with the Australian Embassy, Washington DC. A full report will be included in next week's TDA Newsletter.


Tertiary Mission Delegates at the weekend opening of the AACC 91st Community College Convention, New Orleans.


(L to R) Bruce Mackenzie (Holmesglen Institute VIC), Kim Hawkins (West Coast Institute of Training WA), David Windridge (MEGT), Sandra Pattison (NCVER), Coralie Morrissey (Victoria University), and Martin Brown (TAFE NSW)

(L to R) David Windridge (MEGT), and Mark Darby (Australian Embassy)     


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ESOS Fund taps Commonwealth for $25 million lifeline

The Department Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) has released the 2009 financial statements for the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Fund.

The statements detail the critical financial position facing the Commonwealth-managed fund which seeks to manage the activation of tuition assurance for international students affected by private college closures.

The published accounts show that in 2009, the fund incurred losses of $9.7 million.

In February 2010, the Commonwealth provided a $5 million line of credit. This was followed by a further $25 million in November 2010.

TDA has made a submission to DEEWR on the ESOS Fund in the context of the Baird Review, and awaits results of the review.

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Invitation to China and India briefings

Austrade is inviting TDA members to be a part of consultations to discuss Austrade’s plans in India and China, via two videoconferences to be held during April.

Participants will receive a discussion paper which will include:

  • An assessment of where Australian education and training is placed, and the broad priorities in each market
  • A brief list of planned activities for 2011/2012

Participants can join the discussions from Austrade’s offices in Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Places are limited to a maximum of 12.

The India videoconference will be held 18 April, at 2pm. The China videoconference date and time are yet to be advised.

Those nominating to attend should be knowledgeable about, and engaged in, the market concerned, prepared to share their market insights and discuss their institution’s strategies. 

To nominate, contact Roger Stewart by COB 13 April and include the following details: name, role, institution, peak body of membership and the closest Austrade office. 

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Australia-China higher education ties renewed

The Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, along with His Excellency Mr Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, have overseen the renewal of an Australia-China agreement which aids student mobility.

The Arrangement on Higher Education Qualifications Recognition supports greater student, academic and professional mobility between China and Australia, and enhances links between Australian and Chinese universities.

Click here for more information.

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Minister Ellis visits Polytechnic West

The Minister for Employment Participation the Hon Kate Ellis MP, has applauded Polytechnic West for its use of the Federal Government’s Jobs Fund to improve employment prospects for young people.

The Minister visited Polytechnic West’s project based at Palmerston Farm residential rehabilitation facility, which cares for people with substance abuse problems. The construction of the facility has created 18 jobs and provided work experience for more than 150 apprentices and pre-apprentices.

Read a media release from Minister Ellis here.

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Tribute to prominent educator and Indigenous campaigner

TDA Board Member, and Managing Director of Polytechnic West, Wayne Collyer, has written a moving tribute to Dr Ralph Clark, a prominent figure in higher education who passed away in March.

See the tribute here.

Dr Clark was a highly regarded educator, who took an active interest in Indigenous education. In 1994, Dr Clark was appointed the task of establishing the Kimberly College of TAFE, and oversaw the operation of the new college for nine years before moving on to the University of Southern Queensland.

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WA Training Awards – nominations open

Nominations for the Western Australian Training Awards are now open, with a share of more than $100,000 in prizes up for grabs for the State’s best students, employers and training organisations.

This year there are 14 categories, including the new ‘Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Training Award’.

For more information click here.

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Diary Dates

TAFE Governance and Regulations Forum
DATE: 27-28 April, 2011
LOCATION: Rutherford House, Wellington
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Gaining the Edge – Outcomes, Equity and Innovation
DATE: 3-4 May, 2011
LOCATION: Hilton on the Park, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 Queensland VET Symposium
DATE: 12-13 May, 2011
LOCATION: Hilton, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Industry E-learning Showcase and Exhibition
DATE: 25 May, 2011
LOCATION: Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

No Frills
DATE: 13-15 July, 2011
LOCATION: North Coast TAFE, Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Nominations closing date
DATE: 25 March, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Interconnected Tertiary Education - Stronger pathways across Higher Education & VET for increased participation
DATE: 30-31 March, 2011|
LOCATION: Mercure, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

The 9th Annual Higher Education Summit
DATE: 27-29 April, 2011
LOCATION:Sofitel, Brisbane  
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Research in VET: Janus – Reflecting Back, Projecting Forward
DATE: 28-29 April, 2011
LOCATION: Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Higher Education on the Edge
DATE: 4-7 July, 2011
LOCATION: Radisson Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National VET Conference
DATE: 4-5 August, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 10 August, 2011
LOCATION: Four Season’s Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 5-6 September, 2011
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: More information soon

2011 Conference
DATE: 11-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

ePortfolios Australia Conference 2011
DATE: 17-18 October, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Looking ahead - Group Training National Conference
DATE: 19-21 October, 2011
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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