TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 18 April 2011


US Tertiary Mission to Florida Colleges

The US State of Florida, the first to approve degree courses through Community Colleges, hosted a series of high-level roundtables and meetings with the Australian Tertiary Mission last week.

Patricia Frohe, Director Baccalaureate Programs, Florida Department of Education, led a group of up to 18 Florida Colleges currently offering degrees. The group was hosted by the Community College Baccalaureate Association, with visits to Edison State College on Florida's west coast, Miami Dade College on the east coast and Broward College in the north. 

Dr Donna Jennings, Dean of Workforce Education and Development at Miami Dade College, described the growth of students in College degrees as "enormous", with most Colleges reporting a 30% to 40% compound growth in student enrolments in the courses staged over the five years of their introduction.

Miami Dade College, the largest of the US Colleges with 175,000 students over eight campuses, convened its Faculty Deans to discuss degree courses in nursing, business supervision and management, teacher education, criminal justice, and new programs in digital film and TV, health and allied sciences, and physician’s assistants.

Kristin Zimmerman, Dean Baccalaureate and University Programs at Edison State College, showcased innovative student engagement strategies, and the extensive nursing and medical facilities supporting its degree courses.

Dr. Barbara J Bryan, President of Broward College North Campus, emphasised that the strategy for College degrees was to satisfy local and regional skill shortages.

Australian delegates were also hosted to the gala opening of the Miami Dade Culinary Institute.

An Occasional Paper is to be published jointly by TDA and LH Martin Institute, with individual contributions from delegates and further research from the Community College Baccalaureate Association. 


(L to R) Martin Riordan (CEO, TDA), Dr Rolando Montoya (College Provost), Bruce Mackenzie (Chair of TDA, CEO Holmesglen Institute VIC)


(L to R) Ian Neuhard (Director of Baccalaureate Programs, Indian River State College), Patricia Frohe (Director Baccalaureate Programs, Florida Department of Education), Kristen Zimmerman (Dean, Baccalaureate and University Programs, Edison State College).

MDC Degree Roundtable, hosted by Miami Dade College Faculty Deans.  

(L to R) Kim Harrington (Faculty Manager Business, Central Queensland Institute of TAFE QLD), Denise Stevens (CEO, TDC VIC), Kim Hawkins (Executive Director, West Coast Institute of Training WA)


(L to R) Associate Professor Leesa Wheelahan at the Miami Dade Culinary Institute launch



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TDA calls for funding fairness

TDA has called for Commonwealth Supported Places to be extended to TAFE Institutes offering degrees to provide a level playing field between universities and TAFE Institutes.

In its submission to the Higher Education Base Funding Review, TDA argued that TAFE Institutes are becoming more involved in the delivery of higher education programs, yet they are denied the same access to the funding places as universities.

TDA said that extending the funding to TAFE Institutes would help overcome a growing imbalance between funding to universities and funding to TAFE Institutes offering degree courses.

See TDA’s media release here. View TDA’s submission to the Higher Education Base funding Review here.

TDA’s Director, Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, Pam Caven, was interviewed on Adelaide’s 891am ABC radio about the inequality of Commonwealth funding between TAFE Institutes and universities. Click here to view a transcript of the interview.

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Progress on National Trade Cadetships underway

The Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, the Hon Peter Garrett MP, has hosted a stakeholder workshop to discuss the proposed National Trade Cadetship program beginning in 2012.

Mr Garrett outlined his commitment to making the program a success, and announced the formation of an expert panel, including industry representatives, to guide the development of the program.

TDA was represented by Director, Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, Pam Caven, and consultant, Pam Jonas, at the workshop.  TDA reaffirmed its position on the NTC outlined in a joint Issues Paper with Group Training Australia. See the paper here.

Click here to view Minister Garrett’s speech.

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Annual Report on China Leadership Program released

The China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) has released a summary of the 2010 Vocational Education Leadership Training (VELT) program. Click here to view the summary.

A total of 208 Chinese higher education college directors were hosted in six countries including 86 in Australia - 41% of the total cohort.

TDA is also acknowledged for co-hosting, with CEAIE, a China-Australia Symposium on Vocational Education and Training, held in Shanghai in June 2010.

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TDA wins UK research project on training systems

TDA has been confirmed as the successful bidder for a research project funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat based in London.

The project will review recent, current and future technical vocational education and training (TVET) policies and initiatives in five Commonwealth countries: Bangladesh, PNG, Kenya, Gambia and Jamaica.

Although primarily a desktop research exercise, TDA will draw on its extensive international networks and the experience of members to capture the achievements, challenges and major issues that each of these countries is currently facing.

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New website to open communication about training package reform

TVET has created a website to communicate the progress of reforms currently underway which will ensure that training packages meet changing client needs and expectations.

The 21C Website will provide regular updates on developments, news and events relating to the a new model for National Training Packages.

For more information, click here.

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Ai Group urges formation of workforce development agency

Ai Group has proposed the establishment of an Australian Workforce Development Agency to ensure future skills development meets the needs of industry.

Ai Group says that there is an urgent need for industry to be given a stronger role in the training sector.  It says the agency, if developed, would work closely with Skills Australia and Industry Skills Councils to develop short-to-medium term workforce development strategies in partnership with governments.

To view a media release from Ai Group click here.

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Awards recognise excellence in international education

The International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) has opened nominations for its Excellence Awards for International Education.

The award categories include:

  • Distinguished Contribution to the field
  • Excellence in Leadership
  • Best practice/innovation
  • Outstanding postgraduate thesis on a topic related to international education
  • New category:Excellence in Professional Commentary on issues related to international education

For more information click here.

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Value of diplomas under the spotlight

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) managing director, Dr Tom Karmel, has voiced his concern about the future of Diplomas and Advance Diplomas.

Dr Karmel said Diploma-level qualifications are losing their relevance in the labour market.

In defence of the value of diplomas, CEO of Skills Australia, Robin Shreeve, said: "Diplomas are valuable in their own right. It still provides a good outcome. But in certain areas there has been credential inflation. But there is one big caveat: industry likes VET qualifications because competencies are specified by industry. They feel they have more control over them than university qualifications."

View the article in The Australian here.

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National webinar series gets underway

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research’s webinar series is underway for 2011.

Two webinars are scheduled for May:

  • Getting to know VOCEDplus: the tertiary education research database
  • Initial VET teacher training: a portrait in a bigger picture.

For more information about these webinars click here

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TDA and AUSTAFE join for National Press Club dinner

AUSTAFE will partner with TDA to host a joint dinner function at the National Press Club, as part of the AUSTAFE 2011 National Conference in Canberra later this year.

The conference will be held from 12 – 14 October. For more information click here.

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Adult literacy conference - Melbourne

The Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council (VALBEC) is hosting the 34th Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL) conference in Melbourne, 26 – 28 September.

The conference titled Literacy on the Map: Common Visions, Different Paths, will focus on the multiple and diverse adult literacy and numeracy programs and their place in the landscape of social and economic development.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit the VALBEC website for more information.

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Victoria University in talks to forge new relationship with the Federal Government

Victoria University (VU) recently met with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research to discuss the VU’s strategic plan to form a new funding relationship between individual universities and the government.

See a summary of the meetings here.

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International VET conference

The International Vocational Education and Training Association (IVETA) is calling for presentation submissions for its 2011 Conference, to being held in conjunction with the Association for Career and Technical Education Convention. 

The conference will be held in St. Louis, Missouri in the United States from 16 November. It will focus on the challenges of an emerging global knowledge economy for technical and vocational training staff.

Submissions are due June 30. Click here for more information.

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Latest research association newsletter

The Australasian Association for Institutional Research has distributed its April newsletter

Featuring a comprehensive list of upcoming events in the sector.

Click here to view the newsletter.

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Diary Dates

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

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

20th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference (No Frills)
DATE: 13-15 July, 2011
LOCATION: North Coast TAFE, Coffs Harbour
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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