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Newsletter | 18 March 2013    

In this edition


Special thanks to supporters of National Scholarships Foundation

TDA extends its thanks to those who supported the recent launch of the TAFE Directors Australia National Scholarships Foundation.

“Mick’s Big Night Out” fundraising dinner, in Sydney on Friday 1 March was a real success, with more than 300 guests participating in both the fundraising and the launch of the Foundation, under which the Mick Young Scholarships will be widened across Australia.

Thank you to all special guests and sponsors.

Click here to visit the new TDA National Scholarships Foundation page on the TDA website.

Improved quality regulatory platform recommended by National Skills Standards Council 

The National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) has launched its Position Paper on the standards for the regulation of VET.

NSSC Chair, the Hon John Dawkins AO, when interviewed by media last week, indicated that continuing problems with rogue providers “at the fringe” of the vocational education and training sector made it mandatory to recommend a fresh approach to registration standards for all public and private training.  This was one of three options offered by the NSSC.

The Position Paper forms the basis of a wide-ranging review of the standards for the regulation of VET, focusing on issues of quality, commissioned by the federal, state and territory training Ministers.

Responses to the Paper are due by April 16.

Click here to read the NSSC Special Bulletin.

International student visa news

INTERNATIONAL - Cessation of automatic and mandatory cancellation of student visas, but no news yet on streamlined visas for international students

In line with recommendations 24 and 25 of the Knight Review, legislation to cease the automatic and mandatory cancellation of student visas has been passed through the Executive Council on 14 March, and will come into effect on 13 April.

The removal of automatic and mandatory cancellation requirements will provide fairer outcomes for students by allowing the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to take into account the individual circumstances of a student when considering a breach of visa conditions.

This in turn will increase the ability of DIAC to undertake more targeted and strategic analysis of non-compliance and risk in the student visa cohort.

Information on these changes will be available on the DIAC website in the coming days.

Regrettably, successive Ministers’ much-promised review of streamlined visas for international students is yet to be released.

More than 15 months has passed, and a full academic year, with the Gillard Government refusing equal terms for international VET students. TDA continues to pursue this issue with representations to the government, ahead of Parliament rising in two weeks.

INTERNATIONAL - Updated university business partners for streamlined visa processing released

The third iteration of the eligible education providers and education business partners for streamlined visas has been released and is effective from 23 March.

TAFE institutes have been added to the registers of Griffith University (three TAFEs), University of Ballarat (three), University of Canberra (two), University of Southern Queensland (seven) and the University of the Sunshine Coast (one).

There is still no announcement regarding the extension of streamlined visa processing to other providers, despite explicit directions from COAG and advice from the Knight Review and the recently released advice from the International Education Advisory Council (IEAA).  For several months TDA has been advised such an announcement is ‘imminent’.

As most of our institutes will be producing 2014 course guides and advice for parents, students and agents by the end of June at the latest, any further delay will have major repercussions on our ability to promote and recruit international students for the start of next year.

Click here to view the list, changes have been highlighted.

INTERNATIONAL - New post-study work visa regulations

The regulations for the new post-study work arrangements have been signed-off by the Governor-General.

The new post-study work arrangements will be introduced as a new stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) Visa and will commence on 23 March.

However, the new arrangements have failed to recognise any other English language test, other than the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Occupational English Test.

An evaluation of the implementation of alternative English language tests for the student visa program is almost complete, and therefore the decision to proceed with formalising regulations for the 485 visa is both premature and discriminatory. 

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s (DIAC) own information sheets highlight this inconsistency:

“The English language requirement will be Competent English, which is a minimum score of 6 in each of the four components of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test or the equivalent score in another English language test specified by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship for use with this visa. The English language test must have been undertaken in the three years prior to lodging the visa application.

For the purposes of applying for a subclass 485, only IELTS and Occupational English Test (OET) results are acceptable. Currently, English language tests other than IELTS and the OET are only acceptable in the student visa program. The department will evaluate the implementation of alternative English tests in the student visa program before making any decisions to expand their acceptability to other visa programs.”

Detailed information regarding the new post-study work arrangements has been posted on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's website.

The Procedures Advice Manual (PAM) for the subclass 485, incorporating the new post-study work arrangements, will be available on the Agents Gateway from 23 March. The PAM will be published on Legend in May.

INTERNATIONAL - Victorian TAFE international launches ESOS National Code Good Practice Guide

Victorian TAFE International (VTI) has produced an excellent guide for Victorian TAFE members on understanding and applying the National Code for Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS).

It includes a brief summary of each of the 15 standards, institute perspectives on interpreting these standards, and templates and checklists produced by VTI member institutes.

TDA is working with VTI on options for making this resource available to TAFE institutes in other states and territories. 

Following the launch of the resource, TDA conducted a workshop with 19 ESOS compliance officers and managers from Victorian TAFE institutes. Similar workshops in other states and territories will be announced shortly.

Nominate now for the Australian Training Awards

Nominations are now open for the Australian Training Awards, the peak, national awards for the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

TAFE members are encouraged to nominate people or organisations in the following categories:

The Australian Training Awards’ five National Focus categories offer applicants an opportunity to gain Australia-wide recognition for their work.

There are also three further categories, including:

All of the above direct entries to the Australian Training Awards close on Friday, 31 May 2013.

New funding not enough for Victorian TAFEs

The new Victorian Premier, the Hon Denis Napthine, announced the government would offer $200 million over four years to the state’s TAFEs – but conditions apply.

As reported in The Age, Holmesglen Institute of TAFE Chief Executive, Bruce Mackenzie, and Victorian TAFE Associate Executive Director, David Williams, agreed the government’s changes did not address ongoing issues for disadvantaged students, and added a new complexity with the prospects of a major restructure looming for the 17 TAFE Institutes.

The Premier said the government’s $200 million funding commitment would “support innovation, collaboration and structural reform,” and formed one of several responses to recommendations put forward by the TAFE Review Panel.

The $200 million package from the Victorian government included a pledge to offer TAFE institutes improved control of campus assets by transferring property titles, along with more control of workplace relations, and more clearly define the roles of TAFE institutes and the state department.

Click here to review the Premier’s media release, including a full list of reforms.

Click here to read an article published in The Age.

Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Conference

The national debate on language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) education and training will be the focus of this year’s National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference in Sydney.

The conference will involve a series of keynote presentations, breakout sessions, and pre-conference workshops that address the theme, Building on evidence to improve skills.

The conference is to be held on the 9-10 May.

Click here for further information.

Book now for the AVETRA conference Gala Dinner

The AVETRA 2013 Conference Gala Dinner will now be held at the Fremantle Sailing Club.

TAFE members will be given the opportunity to network with other VET professionals, as well as enjoy an extensive selection of specialty food and wine made from Western Australia’s finest produce.

The AVETRA Conference will take place over 3-5 April. The Gala Dinner will be held on Thursday, 4 April, from 7pm.

To attend the Gala Dinner and be a part of the 2013 AVETRA award presentations, please send contact the AVETRA Conference Secretariat.

Click here for further information on the AVETRA conference.

New training model to support Queensland providers

The Queensland VET Development Centre (QVDC) is offering a packaged program, Flipped learning design for VET, to assist training organisations deliver new training models, in line with the state’s VET reforms.

Flipped learning occurs when key learning materials are provided for study outside the traditional classroom environment, through audio, video, online forums or reading.  Valuable face-to-face time with the trainer is then used to work through real-life problems and to engage in discussions.

Flipped learning design for VET will be delivered over eight weeks through a flipped learning approach, using a combination of webinars, a face-to-face workshop, and professional networking sessions.

There is a free information webinar on Tuesday 26 March (from 12-1pm QLD time) which will provide more details on the flipped learning program.  To register for the information webinar, email events.qvdc@dete.qld.gov.au.

For more information and to register for Flipped learning design in VET, click here.

RTO and ESOS charges under review

Members are encouraged to review the proposed increases in ESOS and RTO charges recently proposed by ASQA as part of their move to full cost recovery.

Submissions close on Tuesday 9 April and members can provide input to TDA’s response by emailing memberservices@tda.edu.au by Friday 5 April.

Click here for further information.

IEAA professional development calendar  

Professional development events coming up on the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) calendar during March and April:

  • Understanding TEQSA Provider Standards –  20 March
  • Introduction to International Education – 27 March
  • Lead from the Back: Rob Lawrence Masterclass – 10 April
  • Middle East in Focus: Turkey & Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – 11 April
  • South-East Asia in Focus: Indonesia, Singapore & Malaysia – 12 April
  • Outbound Mobility Forum: Back to the Future – 19 April

For more details visit www.ieaa.org.au

Submit your view on government employment services delivery

The Federal Government has extended the deadline for submissions to its Issues Paper, Employment Services – Building on Success, to determine the delivery of employment services from July 2015.

Currently, government employment services are delivered by Job Services Australia and Disability Employment Services.

Responses to the Issues Paper are to be submitted by Friday 22 March.

Click here for further information.

Diary Dates

RC-2020 Spring Roundtable and Forum
TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute

DATE: 21 March
LOCATION: MLC Centre, Martin Place, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

AVETRA Conference 2013

DATE: 3-5 April, 2013
LOCATION: Fremantle, WA
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

LSAY National Research Forum: Are we there yet? Youth transitions in Australia

DATE: 11 April
LOCATION: Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information. Email events@ncver.com.au to register.

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.

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.

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: