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Newsletter | 24 June 2013    

In this edition


TDA CEO Blog reprinted from ‘The Australian’ Messy end to the Education Revolution

Julia Gillard’s frustration in convincing states to sign the Gonski school package by 30 June comes as no surprise to leaders in VET.

For the Gonski reforms, Canberra pledged to deliver $1.5 million to every school or $4000 to each student over six years to 2016, but based on shared input from states and territories.

The vocational education COAG deal signed in 2012 was also reliant on shared funding. Bureaucrats close to the national partnership agreement on skills described negotiations ahead of signing as ad hoc, or worse, chaotic.

Read more.

Labor backs away from international streamlined visas for non-university sector

Dr Craig Emerson, the senior Cabinet portfolio Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, has met the International education peak body IEAA, but backed away from early Government assurances to support extending streamlined visas for the non-university sector.

The Australian Financial Review today published news of the meeting.

Martin Riordan, CEO of TDA, said the decision by Federal Labor not to accept streamlined visas was without precedent given departmental advice that streamlining was possible beyond traditional universities.

He said: “It seems political uncertainties now sweeping Canberra have dominated, with all proper process and evidence put forward by state and territory governments, public TAFEs and private colleges, to no avail.

“Along with delays continuing to the EIF payments to TAFE, this is a remarkable decision. Worse, the decision will continue to unfairly discriminate against TAFE and major private providers, and student recruitment will continue to drift beyond Australia’s shores.”

Updated list of university business partners for streamlined student visa processing

A new legislative instrument listing changes to the nominated educational business partners of universities for the purpose of streamlined visa processing has been made and published on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI).

The instrument will come into effect on 1 July 2013. It can be viewed here.

Most of the 41 universities with access to SVP made no changes to their register. Central Queensland University dropped ten partners (nine private and one public) but added TAFE NSW, Central Queensland Institute of TAFE and Wide Bay Institute of TAFE.  Macquarie University dropped eight private partners from their register.  

Proposed DIAC student visa charges another hit to the VET sector

Members should be aware of the proposed changes to student visa charges due to commence from 1 July.

At the very least, onshore students wishing to apply for a new visa will be charged at least $700. There is little clarity as to whether they will also have to pay the base application fee of $535.

Despite claims by DIAC that consultation with the education sector occurred prior to these new charges, at no stage were any dollar figures tabled. A Regulatory Impact Statement was also considered unnecessary. It is worth noting a statement made by then Minister Bowen on Tuesday, 29 November 2011 when announcing a 5% reduction in the base application fee, in particular the following:

“The changes are projected to generate about $613 million over the next four years in revenue.” “Student visa application fees will also decrease by 5 per cent from 1 January 2012, increasing the competitiveness of Australia's international education sector. Other changes to take effect from July 2013 will affect applications for longer-duration visas and for those seeking further visas onshore.”

For the 9 months to March 2013, 23,179 international students transferred to another visa subclass, including 10,077 between VET 572 and Higher Education 573 (a 2 way flow). Another 84,444 transferred to a visa other than student, including 23,239 to a tourist and 2,397 to a working holiday maker visa.

These student flows are important to the international education and tourism industries, and are now threatened by this new punitive visa fee regime. By comparison, Canada charges $128 and the USA $167 for a student visa.  

TDA, along with other peak bodies, will continue to make representations to DIAC and Minister O’Connor to emphasise the significant impact these new charges will have on our ability to recruit, support and transition international students.

Roundtable called to discuss worsening apprenticeship numbers, discussion paper calls for ‘new ideas’

The Federal Department of Innovation, Tertiary Education and Skills will today convene a special roundtable for peak bodies and industry, to discuss worsening apprenticeship enrolments and completions.

The government has released a Discussion Paper, to seek ideas from industry and providers, on ways to enhance apprenticeships.

The roundtable has followed a two-month campaign by TDA, including a meeting with the incoming Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, Hon. Sharon Bird MP, about the crisis affecting apprenticeships.

See the Discussion Paper.

TDA also invites industry, providers, staff and students to send any of their own suggestions direct to TDA who will compile a full listing to pass to Government.

TDA 2013 National Conference – register now and pay before 30 June!

The TDA National Conference will be in Brisbane, 2-3 September.

The deadline for ‘early bird’ registration is Friday 5 July, but you can book now and pay ahead of the 30 June end of financial year.

Limited exhibition booths and table displays are still available. Book now and we can invoice you now or after July 1 (your choice)!  Please click here for more information. 

‘TAFE Redefined’, will be hosted by TAFE Institutes in Queensland, and will explore the future of technical and further education under the new era of market ‘entitlement’ and extending TAFE engagement further in the Asian Century.

Workshops selections are also now available to book at the time of registration.

Sponsors for the conference include: Ellucian, TechnologyOne, Group Training Australia, The Southbank Institute, VET Development Centre, Victorian TAFE Association, ETS TOEFL, Echo360, IDP IELTS, NCVER and Tutoring Australasia.

Register here.

UK workshop focuses on TDA research

This week, TDA’s Peter Holden will be in London to present the findings of a research project commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The research developed a benchmarking model where the national TVET systems of five Commonwealth countries were compared and priorities for future development were identified.

The workshop will include senior government representatives from Bangladesh, The Gambia, Jamaica, Kenya and PNG as well as representatives from the ILO, UNESCO, the UK Association of Colleges and the UK Government’s Department for International Development.

We expect the research report to be made available through our website following the workshop.

TAFE NSW education and training partnership with Vietnam

TAFE NSW is building a new education and training partnership with Vietnam, following the signing of an MOU in May between the NSW Department of Education and Communities, the Ho Chi Min City Department of Education and Training (DOET) and EMG Education Vietnam.

Ms Pam Christie, Managing Director of TAFE NSW, Mr Le Hong Son, General Director - Department of Education and Training Ho Chi Minh City, and Mr Hung Truong, Chairman EMG Education at the MOU signing in Ho Chi Minh City in May

To build nationwide employability, the Vietnamese Government’s Vocational Training Development Strategy 2011-2012 has set a target of 55% of the labour force trained as skilled workers with more than one-third completing advanced vocational training by 2020.

TAFE NSW is working with the Ho Chi Min City Department of Education to develop vocational education institutes to deliver TAFE NSW courses, provide professional development for Vietnamese teachers and increase pathways for students.

Pam Christie, Managing Director of TAFE NSW, has welcomed the opportunities the new partnership provides for TAFE NSW.

“Australia and Vietnam face similar challenges to rapidly train skilled workers and professionals to keep pace with global and technological changes. Our aim in working with international education partners is to build capacity through proven, collaborative strategies that are mutually beneficial,” said Ms Christie.

New edition of China Journal on vocational education and training

The new issue of the journal of Vocational and Technical Education in China is now available here

This excellent publication includes the current policy, practice and focusing points of vocational education in China.

The editors encourage comments and contributions and contact details are on their website or email ChinaJournalVTE@126.com

New appointments to TasTAFE

Tasmania’s Minister for Education and Skills, the Hon Nick McKim, has announced appointments to the board of TasTAFE.

The six successful candidates are Bob Gozzi, Christine Mucha, Michelle Swallow, Mike Brough, Neville Smith and Nick Burrows.

They will be joined by Kathryn Thomas who has been appointed chair of the TasTAFE Board.

The new CEO of TasTAFE is the Chair of TDA, Stephen Conway.

See the Minister’s media release.

Selfless students set their sights on Singapore

Ten Challenger Institute students are packing their bags and flying to Singapore for the YOUth in Service, Inspiring CommUNITY International Student Seminar at the Institute of Technical Education in Singapore.

The students, who are studying aged care, children’s services, community services, disability services or nursing at Challenger, were selected to be ambassadors for Western Australia at the global conference in June. The conference also includes participants from Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Students will be presenting on the theme Selfless Samaritans: Caring for the Underprivileged.

Read more.

E-learning made easy

The Queensland VET Development Centre has unveiled a range of cost-effective professional learning activities available June–August.

Among them, a ‘no nonsense’ hands-on mentored course designed to put e-skills into VET teaching, learning and assessment practice.

‘Getting started in e-learning’ will help , participants:

  • gain a clear understanding of e-learning terms and practice
  • understand the opportunities presented by using different approaches and technologies in their training delivery
  • develop a detailed e-learning training delivery plan
  • be connected to a community of peers also developing e-learning skills for training in Queensland

See the Getting started in e-learning flyer.

See the full QVDC Professional Learning Program.

TDA corporate affiliates:

Diary Dates

NCVER ‘No Frills’ Conference

DATE: 10-12 July
LOCATION: Sunshine Coast TAFE, Mooloolaba campus
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Getting started in e-learning
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 22 July-26 August
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australasian Association for Institutional Research Special Interest Groups

DATE: 21-23 August
LOCATION: Fairmont Resort, Blue Mountains
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TedX: This Way Up
Northern Sydney Institute

DATE: 28 August
LOCATION: Cameraygal Building, the Northern Sydney Institute, St Leonards Campus
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TDA Annual Conference 2013 TDA Annual Conference 2013 - "TAFE Redefined"
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 2-3 September 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

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 Council for Adult Literacy Conference
DATE: 30 September - 2 October
LOCATION: University of Technology, Sydney
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.

conVerge13 - E-learning Conference

DATE: 21-22 November
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Training Awards
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

DATE: 22 November
DETAILS: Click here for further information.