TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 23 May 2011




Earlybird registrations end 6 July. Click here for more information.


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Parliament House launch of regional development reports

This week will see two TDA papers launched at Parliament House, by the Minister for Regional Affairs and Arts, the Hon Simon Crean MP, and Member for Lyne, the Hon Rob Oakeshott MP.

The two publications both focus on regional development and include:

  • A joint Occasional Paper by TDA and Regional Development Australia – North Coast, resulting from the 2010 ‘Strategic Regional Leadership for the Future Conference’
  • TDA’s board paper: ‘TAFE’s Strategic Leadership Role in Regional Australia’

The papers will be distributed to Members on Wednesday, following the launch at 12:30pm.

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TDA AGM – Thursday, William Angliss Institute, Melbourne

The Annual General Meeting of TAFE Directors Australia will be hosted this year by William Angliss Institute of TAFE, at its Conference Centre, in Melbourne, at 10.30am on Thursday.

Members and associate members wishing to attend, or those wishing to pass on apologies if unable to attend, please RSVP c/- David Potter at memberservices@tda.edu.au or telephone 02 9217 3180 by COB today. Please advise of any specific catering requests in the RSVP.

Following the AGM, members are invited to attend a roundtable briefing and discussion on the Federal Review of Higher Education Income Support. Leading the roundtable will be the Chair of the Federal Review, Professor Kwong Lee Dow. TDA recently submitted a response to the review, and members can access the response ahead of the roundtable here.

Details of the day include:


Date: Thursday 26 May 2011

Location: William Angliss Institute Conference Centre, Building A, Level 5, 555 Latrobe St, Melbourne

10.30am  ­- AGM

11.45am – 12.15pm – Light lunch

12.00 noon to 1.30pm – Members roundtable

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Australian Embassy, Chile reception - students selected for Australian TAFE studies

The Australian Ambassador to Chile, Ms Virginia Greville, hosted a special reception for 30 vocational education graduate students selected for further studies and English language in Australia under the BECAS Chile technical scholarship program.

Joining the Ambassador in congratulating the students were Horacio Fuentes Miller, the Director of Programa Técnicos para Chile, Ms Sofia Pereira, Austrade’s Education Commissioner for the Americas, and Peter Holden, TDA.

The 30 students will join over 100 Chilean scholars already studying at one of 18 TAFE Institutes across Australia. The scholarship program is the result of a Bilateral Agreement between TDA and the Chilean Ministry of Education which followed a joint MoU between the Governments of Chile and Australia.



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Australia China Working Group – visit to TDA by CEAIE Secretary General

Ahead of this week’s 4th China Australia Joint Working Group on Education and Training Cooperation, the Chinese Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) Secretary General, Dr. Jiang Bo, met in Sydney with TDA to further extend relations between China colleges and polytechnics, and Australian TAFE Institutes.

Dr. Jiang Bo and CEAIE officials, along with Ms. Feng Junying from the China Consulate in Sydney, met with TDA to confirm arrangements for an inaugural Joint Australia China Conference on Sustainability and Green Skills, proposed to be hosted by CEAIE in Beijing in October 2012. Dr. Jiang met with Martin Riordan (CEO), Peter Holden (Director, International and Business Development), and Yun Brian Zhang (Consultant, Special Projects).


Peter Holden (TDA), Ms Song Bicheng (CEAIE), Dr Jiang Bo (Secretary General CEAIE), Martin Riordan (TDA), Ms Feng Yunying (Education Counsellor, China Consulate Sydney)


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TDA meets with US author

TDA was delighted to welcome to its Sydney Office Ben Wildavsky, author of The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities are Reshaping the World, when he dropped by the TDA Sydney office last week.

Ben is a senior fellow in research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation in the United States. His book won the 2010 Frandson Award for Literature in the Field of Continuing Higher Education, and is being translated into Chinese, Vietnamese, and Arabic. He is also co-editor of Reinventing Higher Education: The Promise of Innovation, just published by Harvard Education Press.

Ben is touring Australia while on an international education policy exchange program sponsored by Australian Education International.

Ben recently wrote a blog on foreign students in Australia. To view his blog click here.

TDA thanks Ben for his visit, and looks forward to engaging with him in the future.

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Tertiary regulator update

The Tertiary Education Quality Standards Authority (TEQSA), has provided an update on its establishment, and leadership. Click here to view the update.

The update says that the Senate Standing Committee for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations has released its report on the TEQSA Bill 2011. The report can be accessed here. The government accepted the Committee’s recommendations including reducing the maximum timeframe for TEQSA to make a decision regarding a provider’s application for registration or accreditation for a course of study from 24 months to 18 months.

The Government will seek passage of the final Bills through Parliament in the winter sittings.

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Resource peak bodies sign MoU to increase skilled workers

Peak resources bodies from Western Australian and Queensland, along with national Industry Skills Councils, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to identify strategies to source the increasing number of skilled people the resources industry will require over the next 5-10 years.

The peak bodies include the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME), Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and SkillsDMC.

Click here for more information.

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Farewell, Tony Adams

Members are advised that former Foundation President of the International Education Association of Australia, Tony Adams has passed away after a short battle with cancer.

Tony was an inspiration and mentor to many people in international education in Australia and around the world. TDA sends its condolences to Tony’s family and friends.

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Pearson English test accepted for visa applications

Pearson, one of the world’s leading education companies, has had its English test approved by the Australian Government for use in assessing student visa applications.

The decision means that for the first time in ten years, Australian institutions and their potential students will have the choice of tests.

Martin Riordan, Chief Executive Officer of TAFE Directors Australia, said, “For the first time this decision will allow for a competitive market for English language testing, as part of the student visa program.

“Pearson Australia is to be congratulated for developing an English language testing regime that has successfully met the most stringent requirements, and will deliver wider choice for providers and students.”

TAFE Directors Australia has been a consistent supporter of the change, and sees this long-awaited Commonwealth decision as a way forward, and overdue. Click here for more information.

**STOP PRESS** The ETS TOEFL test has also being accepted by DIAC for the student visa program. More details in next Monday’s newsletter.

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Development of national e-assessment guidelines

The Australian Flexible Learning Framework has released an interim report which looks to develop national e-assessment guidelines, and provides best practice case studies.

Benchmarking surveys suggest that e-assessment is growing rapidly with 46% of RTOs using e-learning for assessment in 2009.

Feedback is sought on the guidelines, particularly on the following questions:

  • Do you agree with the definition of e-assessment?
  • What are your views on the description of the application of e-assessment in different stages of the assessment process?
  • Do you agree with the five categories of e-assessment guidelines?
  • Do you have any comments on the specific e-assessment guidelines?
  • Are there any omissions or errors in the e-assessment guidelines?

Forward comments to Melanie Worrall - melanie.worrall@sa.gov.au.

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Free NQC workshops in Melbourne

The National Quality Council (NQC) is holding free workshops in Melbourne aimed at improving assessment practices with in the VET sector.

The workshops will communicate key elements of NQC reports on validation and moderation.  Click here for a summary of the workshops.

A registration form is available here.  Submit to form to leslie.comley@bigpond.com. Places are limited and registration will close when all places are filled or no later than Friday, 27 May 2011.

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Concerns raised about the private college sector in Victoria

A surge in government-funded places accessed by Victorian private providers has generated concerns over quality, according to The Australian.

The article says the Victorian TAFE Association and the Australian Education Union have expressed joint concerns about quality and advertising within the private sector. They say courses are being advertised that provide little class time and use incentives such as iPads to sign-up students.

Read the article here

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Skills Australia conference and information sessions

Skills Australia will hold a joint conference with Industry Skills Councils in Melbourne, 21 July 2011.

The Conference titled ‘Putting skills at the heart of the economy ‘will present an economic perspective on skills in terms of the 3 ‘Ps’ – Productivity, Population and Participation. It will also debunk some of the myths and misinformation about skills, and showcase how employers are dealing with skills issues in their workforce.

Visit www.skillsaustralia.gov.au to register and take advantage of the early bird discount registration. 

Also... Skills Australia is also holding information sessions about VET reform – outlining the rationale and key recommendations of its recent report: Skills for Prosperity – a roadmap for vocational education and training.

The sessions are scheduled for the period 23 – 31 May 2011. Click here to find out when these sessions will be run in each capital city.

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Report from TDA representative, Julie Zappa

TDA’s representative on the Innovation Business Skills Australia (IBSA) Education Sector Advisory Committee, Julie Zappa, has written a detailed report on the Committee’s latest meeting.

The report details the status of various industry initiatives that could be of interest to TDA members including: the development of Diploma TAE10; eScan 2011; an interim report on TAE10 Skill Sets as VET workforce development tools in enterprise RTOs; and the No More Excuses Industry Response to the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Challenge, ISC collaborative paper.

Click here to view the report.

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Australasian Association for Institutional Research Forum 2011

The Australasian Association for Institutional Research (AAIR) Forum extends a warm invitation to participate in the 21st Annual AAIR Forum which will be held at the Sea World Resort, on the Gold Coast from 9 – 11 November 2011.

The 2011 Forum will be titled:“Let the sunshine in”.  Registrations and Call for Abstracts are now open. For more information please visit the website or contact Brigitte Cunningham 03 6234 7844 or brigitte@leishman-associates.com.au.

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Mid Coast uni portal information sessions – this week

The Port Macquarie Council has partnered with six universities and North Coast TAFE to develop the ‘Mid Coast Uni Portal’ website. Click here for more information.

Information sessions about the portal will be held in Taree, Kempsey and Port Maquarie this week. For more information click here.

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Diary Dates

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

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.

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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