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Newsletter | 15 April 2013    

In this edition


TDA committed to China

TAFE Directors Australia was recognised in The Australian for the publication of its China Bulletin.

The High Wired edit praised TDA, "who demonstrate their commitment to the China market by showing respect to potential partners."

Click here to read the article. Click here to see TDA’s engagement with China.

China education skills linkages – Australian PM and ministerial visit

Prime Minister the Hon Julia Gillard MP, and newly appointed Tertiary and Skills Minister, the Hon Craig Emerson MP, jointly hosted Chinese and Australian education partners at an official dinner in Beijing, as part of the Prime Minister’s five-day visit, celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China.

TDA was invited to attend, along with long-term partners, the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE). Senior Chinese ministry officials who have worked alongside Australian TVET projects also attended, including Dr Liu Jiantong, Vice Director, Vocational & Adult Education, Ministry of Education.

Dr Zhanyuan Du, Vice Minister at the Ministry of Education, was seated beside Prime Minister Gillard, and paid a special note of thanks to TDA for leading the long-term relationship, mentoring executives and supporting industry-led curriculum development for China’s 1,200 public vocational and technical colleges and polytechnics.

The Prime Minister said the government’s proposed AsiaBound Scholarships included a segment for VET students, and expected 1,000 students to target placement in China’s universities and colleges.

Those invited for the PM’s dinner included CEO of TDA, Martin Riordan, China Ministry of Education officials, executives from CEAIE, and Professor Lu Hong, Director of the Chongqing College of Electrical Engineering and partner to the well-respected TAFE input, the AusAID TVET capacity building project (2004-08).Paul Ryan from Canberra Institute of Technology represented Adrian Marron, Board member of TDA.

Click here to read a blog from the CEO.

L-R:  Professor Lu Hong, Director of International, Chongqing College of Electrical Engineering, Martin Riordan, CEO of TDA, Dr Wenqi Niu, Vice President, National Academy of Education Administration, and agency colleague.

Martin Riordan (CEO, TDA), Liu Jiantong (Vice Director Vocational and Adult Education, MOE), Dr Zhanyuan Du, Vice Minister, MOR PR China)

Funding boost to adult learning

Higher Education and Skills Minister, the Hon Sharon Bird, has announced the government will commit $2 million to boost adult literacy and numeracy skills.

The Minister also announced that the government is providing more than $275,000 to celebrate Adult Learners’ Week in September.

“The foundation skills of reading, writing and numeracy and are essential in today’s modern workplace and crucial to workplace productivity,” Ms Bird said.

“I encourage organisations to apply for these grants so we can increase our reach and ability to deliver vital foundation skills training.”

Click here for further information.

Higher Education Minister speaking at Group Training National Conference

You can still register for the Group Training National Conference, to be held in Brisbane next week.

The Higher Education and Skills Minister, the Hon Sharon Bird MP, will open the two-day conference, and the Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, will launch the  second day.

Vocational Education research, Dr John Mitchell, and economist Saul Eslake are among the speakers.

The group training network comprises 150 group training organisations, and employs over 35,000 apprentices and trainees.

For more information and to register, click here.

Take part in Training Package Flexibility Policy review

The National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) has engaged Jana Scomazzon and her associate Bernadette Delaney to undertake a project a project evaluating the effectiveness of the Training Package Flexibility Policy, anticipated to be completed by mid-2013.

Consultation activities will consist of telephone interviews or electronic surveys with:

  • RTO peak bodies and training providers they may nominate
  • vocational educational and training and occupational regulators
  • Industry Skills Councils and quality assurance panellists they may nominate
  • State and Territory Governments
  • DIISRTE representatives
  • identified NSSC members
  • targeted auditors
  • targeted curriculum maintenance managers.

If you would like to participate in the project or have any queries, please contact Ms Jana Scomazzon (jana@ltg.net.au or 03 9532 8809).

Register for Student Service Centres Conference

The Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM) is holding a Student Service Centres Conference, asking the question, are we truly student-centred?

The conference will include a panel discussion with students, including a representative from the Canberra Institute of Technology.

The conference will be held in Canberra, 2-3 May.

Click here for further information.

Academic warns against "university-centric" policy

Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, Daryl Le Grew, has called for a national education strategy.

In his article, published in The Australian, Le Grew suggests the government’s university-centric policy ignores future needs for a technical and highly-skilled Australian workforce.

He says that university standards are falling due to the government’s uncapped places policy, which encourages universities to accept students “regardless of their capacity to engage in academic study”.

“The country desperately needs a national strategy to replace its outdated industrial base with a raft of smart new industrial enterprise, based on advanced technologies and different skills to those presently available,” writes Le Grew.

Click here to read the article.

Bruce Mackenzie retires

Former TAFE Directors Australia Chair Bruce Mackenzie has announced his resignation as Chief Executive of Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, and delivered scathing criticism of the Victorian government’s TAFE cuts.

TDA would like to thank Bruce for his significant contributions to TAFE, including the foundation of the Holmesglen Institute 31 years ago.

Mr Mackenzie originally planned to retire last year, but continued in his role until this year to see the Institute through the Victorian Government’s funding cuts to TAFE.

Click here for further information.

Diary Dates

Group Training National Conference 2013 – Group Training Works
Group Training Australia

DATE: 17-19 April, 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane Central
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

TLISC Awards for Excellence
Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council

DATE: 18 April, 2013
LOCATION: Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australia-EU Relations – is it time for a reappraisal?
Jean Monnet National Symposium

DATE: Friday, 26 April, 1-4pm
LOCATION: Monash Caulfield Campus, Lecture Theatre HB40, 900 Dandenong Rd, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Augmented reality for VET
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 29 April-24 May
LOCATION: The Edge, Brisbane State Library
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Foundation Skills Workshop
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 9am-4pm, 1 May
LOCATION: Cliftons, 288 Edward St, Brisbane QLD 4000
DETAILS: Click here for further details.

Student Service Centres Conference 2013
Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM)

DATE: 2-3 May
LOCATION: Hyatt Hotel, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Thought Leaders forum
VET Development Centre

DATE: 6 May
LOCATION: Rydges, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further details.

National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference
Australian Council for Education Research

DATE: 9-10 May
LOCATION: Ultimo College, TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

NCVER ‘No Frills’ Conference

DATE: 10-12 July
LOCATION: Sunshine Coast TAFE, Mooloolaba campus
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TDA Annual Conference 2013
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 2-3 September 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Watch this space for further details shortly.

Teaching & Learning Conference
VET Development Centre

DATE: 5-6 September
LOCATION: RACV Healesville Country Club
DETAILS: Click here for further information. 

2013 National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 19-20 September, 2013
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australian International Education Conference

DATE: 8-11 October
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

2013 AUSTAFE National Conference

DATE: 9-11 October
LOCATION: Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

TDA corporate affiliates: