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Newsletter | 22 April 2013    

In this edition


Register now for Holmesglen TAFE conference

Registrations are now open for the Holmesglen Higher Education Conference to be held in Victoria on 31 May.

The theme is Quality Teaching: Investing in the Future, featuring a key note speech from futurist, Peter Ellyard.

Click here for further information and to register.

'Education Bonds' initiative and living cost loans for international students proposed

The foundation CEO of Universities Australia and current head of the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, Professor Glenn Withers AO, has urged the Coalition parties to consider creating special ‘Education Bonds’ as a new measure to allow universities and major VET providers to better access funding.

He described how the current debate on university cuts had followed other cuts to vocational education, and the debilitating effect on both ends of the tertiary sector.

Professor Withers detailed the measure in a special column in today’s AFR Education, saying the latest ‘efficiency dividend’ involves cuts to universities which will directly affect quality, and “…will be squeezing what is increasingly a very dry lemon.”

The Bonds would be achieved from a securitisation based on the Education Investment Fund (formerly Higher Education Endowment Fund, HEEF), which would access the long term debt market, and also a ready vehicle for the expanding superannuation sector. Professor Withers noted that the Bond concept was similar in model to that outlined originally by Shadow Treasurer, the Hon Joe Hockey.

In addition, Professor Withers said a more innovative approach to student loans could be used to boost international student support. This may include offering course fee loans, and also extending these to living and accommodation costs. This alone would create vast competitive support to Australia’s $17 billion a year education export industry.

Click here to see Professor Withers’ AFR column.

Coalition pushing for better targeting of VET funding

The vocational education and training (VET) sector would see a greater focus on performance outcomes under a Coalition government, the Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, the Hon Sussan Ley told the Group Training National Conference in Brisbane.

Ms Ley said that some aspects of the VET sector were a “convoluted mess”.

While not formally outlining Coalition policy, Ms Ley said that the training sector was characterised by considerable duplication between the States and Federal Government.

Across all areas of government-funded programs, a Coalition government would be looking for value for money and better targeting of incentives, including those aimed at helping apprentices and trainees.

Meanwhile, Shadow Education Minister, the Hon Christopher Pyne, has flagged that the 2% efficiency dividend proposed by the government on universities would remain, if a Coalition were elected later this year.

New Victorian TAFE Chairs announced

Victorian Higher Education and Skills Minister, the Hon Peter Hall, has announced the state’s 14 TAFE Chairs, several of whom are new appointments.

Minister Hall said the new appointments are meant to ensure “TAFE institutes are well-equipped to face the challenges of an increasingly commercially competitive training market.”

Minister Hall also said boards would now be made up of between nine and 15 individuals, with the chair appointed by the Governor in Council, on the Government’s recommendation.

“Legislation agreed to by the Parliament in 2010 and 2012 requires the introduction of new constitutions at each TAFE institute and part of this renewal process involves the appointment of new boards,” the Minister said.

The TAFE Chairs are:

  • Advance TAFE – Scott Rossetti
  • Bendigo TAFE – Margaret O’Rourke
  • Box Hill Institute – Suzanne Ewart
  • Chisholm Institute – Stephen Marks
  • GippsTAFE – John Mitchell
  • GOTAFE – Michael Tehan
  • Holmesglen Institute – Peter Lewinsky
  • Kangan Institute – Michael Brown
  • NMIT – John Gibbins
  • South West TAFE – Mike Weise
  • SuniTAFE – Leonie Burrows
  • The Gordon – Brian Williamson
  • William Angliss Institute – Michele Allan
  • Wodonga TAFE – Tony Brandt 

The Chairs were appointed after the Victorian government removed several of the previous TAFE Chairs earlier this month.

Click here for further information.

Independent TAFE Queensland body imminent - TDA recommendations accepted

The Queensland Government has announced it is proceeding with its plan to establish a new TAFE Queensland as an independent statutory body.

Minister for Education, Training and Employment, the Hon John-Paul Langbroek said the Newman Government would establish the new body on July 1.

“Through the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce we undertook extensive consultation with industry and they told us that we should keep TAFE at arm’s length from the government to enable it to thrive in an increasingly competitive training market,” said the Minister.

Minister Langbroek said the first step would be to recruit up to nine board members with high level commercial experience and in-depth knowledge of VET for the TAFE Queensland board.

Click here for further information, or here to view the bill presented to State Parliament.

The Queensland initiative meets the key recommendations made to last year’s Queensland Skills & Training Taskforce. View the TDA report www.tda.edu.au.

Nominate now for the Australian Training Awards

Nominate for the Australian Training Awards in the following categories:

There are also three further categories accepting applications directly to the Australian Training Awards. These include:

To find out more, visit the Australian Training Awards website. Entries Awards close on Friday, 31 May.

AusAID VET scholarships pilot program

AusAID is piloting vocational education and training (VET) scholarships for candidates from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, in the priority sectors of water, natural resource management, mining industries, and rural livelihood.

Programs nominated by scholarship applicants must be registered on Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), in the 2014 academic year, and at a Diploma or Advanced Diploma level.

Austrade, which is managing AusAID, is seeking submissions from eligible participating institutions that outline CRICOS registered programs linked to any (or all) of the priority sectors at the Diploma and Advanced Diploma level. In addition, institutions should provide information regarding arrangements for the delivery of a pre-course English program of up to 12 months duration.

Click here for further information.

International student award nominations now open

The Council of International Students Australia (CISA) invites TAFE institutes to nominate international students for the CISA's International Student of the Year award.

The award will be presented at the CISA Conference in Sydney in July.

CISA is the peak body representing international students in higher education.

Click here for more information on the CISA Conference and the International Student of the Year Award.

New units of competency for Telehealth Administration

New draft Telehealth Administration units of competency and a skill set are now available for public comment on the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) website.

Healthfirst Network developed the units which are being considered for inclusion in the Health Training Package (HLT07).

A Telehealth Administration skill set is also being proposed. The skill set includes the two Telehealth units of competency, plus two units focusing on cultural diversity, which is critical to the context of Telehealth service provision.

Provide feedback before Friday, 17 May.

Full details are available here.

Good Practice Guide for overseas students education providers

Victoria’s TAFE International network of executives has developed a Good Practice Guide to help institutes implement the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students, now available for purchase.

The National Code is a set of standards that governs the protection of overseas students and delivery of courses to these students.

The VTI Good Practice Guide summarises each of the 15 standards of the National Code and outlines key issues in relation to the implementation of the code.

Click here for further information.

Join free labour mobility webinar

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research’s (NCVER) is holding a free webinar on labour mobility and VET in Australia.

Presenter: Dr Kostas Mavromaras, Director, National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS), Flinders University

Date & Time: Tuesday 23 April, 2.30-3.30pm AEST

In determining whether job quality improves with mobility, the researchers at NILS have compared several measures of quality before and after completion of a VET course and Kostas will share their findings in this free webinar.

To register or for further information, click here.

E-Scan launched

The Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) has launched its Environmental Scan (E-Scan).

The E-Scan is a key annual publication of TLISC which presents the most up-to-date advice on the workforce planning and development needs for the Transport and Logistics Industry.

TLISC CEO, Robert Adams thanked industry for its cooperation, and reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to develop high-quality, contemporary industry intelligence that informs workforce development and skills needs across the industry.

Click here for further information.

TLISC also announced its annual Awards for Excellence. Click here to view the results.

Diary Dates

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: