TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 18 July 2011


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New Ombudsman for overseas students

Commonwealth Ombudsman, Allan Asher will now also be responsible overseas students who have problems with private education and training.

As the newly appointed Overseas Students Ombudsman, Mr Asher will take complaints from students who cannot resolve problems with their education provider. Click here for more information.

TDA welcomes this initiative and is encouraged by Mr Asher’s willingness to refer evidence of deceptive and misleading conduct by providers to the Australian Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

TDA is also delighted to have Mr Asher as a keynote speaker at this year’s TDA National Conference, in Sydney, 4-6 September.

With responsibility for handling complaints from international students enrolled in private colleges in every state and territory except South Australia, plus all students in the ACT, Mr Asher and his team have already been fielding calls from disaffected students.

International students studying at TAFE institutes and public universities continue to have access to their respective State and Territory Ombudsmen.

For additional commentary, click here.   

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New NSW Director-General for Education

The NSW Minister for Education, the Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, has appointed Dr Michele Bruniges as the new Director General of the Department of Education and Communities, and Managing Director of TAFE NSW.

Dr Bruniges’ most recent role was leading the national school reform agenda as an Associate Secretary with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. She started her career as a teacher in New South Wales public schools, taught at TAFE in Western Sydney, and worked with the Adult Migrant Education Service teaching English.

TDA congratulates Dr Bruniges on her appointment. Click here for further information.

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Comment sought on draft guidelines for the Education Investment Fund

The draft guidelines for the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Regional Priorities Round have been released for consultation. Click here for a media release about the announcement.

The Regional Priorities Round was a five-year, $500 million commitment from the Federal Government’s 2011-2012 Budget. Click here for more information, or to view the guidelines.

Comments are sought on the draft guidelines and should be sent to DEEWR by close of business 3 August 2011.

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WA TAFE Institute, Polytechnic West, showcases its sustainable skills training

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, visited Western Australia’s Polytechnic West to demonstrate some of the sustainable technologies being taught to auto-mechanic students, and to talk about the Government’s plans for a carbon price.

Senator Evans said the nature of training and work was changing, with the introduction of sustainable technologies.

“There’s no point training young people in this industry (auto-mechanics) without introducing them to hybrid and electric cars, because increasingly, the way of the future will have those more green-orientated jobs being the ones that young people are working in. So it’s a sign of the transition that’s already occurring in the economy,” he said.

For more, click here.

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TAFE capability database under development

TAFE Institute Directors across Australia have been invited to contribute to a database of TAFE capabilities to further enhance international engagement.

The database, categorised by industry sectors, will also support the work of Austrade staff in their 105 offshore locations in 55 countries, plus the 14 offices in Australia.

The first stage of the project is due for completion in early August and inquiries should be directed to either Rebecca Hall rebecca@rebeccahall.com.au or Peter Holden  peter.holden@tda.edu.au.

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WA’s international education marketing branch becomes an RTO

Education Training International (ETI), the international marketing and branding branch of the Western Australian Government’s Department of Training and Workforce Development, has been granted official recognition as a Registered Training Organisation as of June 2011.

ETI is now responsible for all international and multi-jurisdictional courses and student enrolments in WA, with services provided through a range of State Training Provider (STP) Partnership Agreements.

This change relates to the State Government decision to maintain Western Australia’s regulatory responsibility for public training. Consequently all STPs will continue to be registered and quality assured at a state level, and ETI will be registered and audited through the national VET regulator (ASQA).

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Overseas student services amendments tabled in Parliament

Two new bills were tabled in Parliament in the first week of July, signalling a number of changes to registration charges for providers of courses for overseas students.

Included in the changes is a new option for courses of less than 13 weeks, with a registration fee of $1500 plus $10 per enrolment. A new fee of $100 for each new course registered will also be imposed. New providers will have to pay an initial entry charge of $15,000 over three years instead of the $366 fee for first year registration.

The Commonwealth estimates an overall reduction of $8 million in registration charges. TDA is keen to hear from members on the impact of these changes and whether there are any adverse consequences. Contact Peter Holden to respond.

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New Zealand eyes a lift in teaching and learning standards

New Zealand is focused on lifting the teaching and learning standards of tertiary institutions, according to Dr Peter Coolbear, the head of Ako Aotearoa, the New Zealand National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

Dr Coolbear recently visited Australia for the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) Conference “No Frills”.  He said there is a divide between the world-class standards of some education in New Zealand, and the not-so-good.

“Despite being controversial, current reforms, such as publishing performance indicators for each educational institution on course completions have made organisations improve the quality of their teaching and learning practices. There are some interesting times ahead for tertiary education,” said Dr Coolbear.

Click here for more information.

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Nursing scholarships available

The Australian Government is funding scholarships for students who are commencing, or intending to commence, an accredited nursing course.

The Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme, provides scholarships worth up to $10,000 per year for three years full-time study or $5,000 per year for up to six years part-time study.

It is offered through the Royal College of Nursing, with applications open from 25 July.

For more information, click here.

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WorldSkills wraps-up Global Skills Challenge

More than 80 competitors from 10 countries descended on Wollongong for the WorldSkills Global Challenge earlier this month.

The competition was a chance for participants to experience, albeit on a smaller scale, the type of competition they will face at the 41st WorldSkills International Competition in London later this year.

To view the results of the competition, as well as a photo gallery, click here.

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TDA Conference - the latest opinions, news and research on the issues that matter

Book your place at this year’s TDA National Conference to be held in Sydney, 4-6 September – a key industry event featuring high-profile local and international speakers.

The Conference will be a valuable event for TAFE management and staff, industry leaders, international business managers, academics, government officials, emerging TAFE leaders, and training providers.

Delegates will hear the latest opinions, news, and research on the issues that matter for the vocational education and training industry including:

  • The future of international education
  • Green skills
  • New regulatory frameworks
  • A strong and inclusive tertiary sector
  • Contestable markets
  • Skills shortages and workforce development

View the latest program here. To register click here.

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‘Reframing the Future’ website to be decommissioned  

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) will decommission the Reframing the Future website on 31 August.

Resources from the website will remain available in the VOCEDplus database in the Reframing the Future collection and via hard copy by loan from the NCVER library collection.

NCVER will continue to answer queries in relation to the website and related publications and resources. For more information, please contact the Information and Library Services Branch at NCVER on +61 8 8230 8400.

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Nominate top VET researcher for national award

Nominations are now open for the 2012 Vocational Education and Training (VET) Researcher of the Year Award.

Sponsored by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), the award aims to recognise a VET researcher’s significant contribution to policy or practice in the national training sector.

Nominations for the award close Friday 30 September. The 2012 award winner will be announced in December and presented with a prize of $5000 to support their research career. The winner will also be invited to deliver a paper as a keynote address at next year’s 21st National VET Research Conference. Click here for more information.

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Diary Dates

Inaugural Regional Higher Education Forum
DATE: 2-3 August, 2011
LOCATION: Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: More information soon

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 here

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

AUSTAFE National Conference
2020 Vision
DATE: 12-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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

Making a Difference... 2011: Breaking Through the Barriers
DATE: 19-20 October, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
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

Australasian Association for Institutional Research Forum “Let the sunshine in”
DATE: 9-11 November, 2011
LOCATION: Sea World Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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