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Newsletter | 28 April 2014

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In this edition  


Minister Pyne set to back Kemp-Norton review on tertiary reform and TAFE and private college funding for degrees – AFR Education exclusive

The Australian Financial Review’s Education Editor, Tim Dodd, today reports that Education Minister Christopher Pyne will use a speech later today in London to signal broad support for an overhaul of tertiary university funding, as proposed by the Kemp-Norton review.

The funding reforms would mean students choosing TAFE or private colleges for higher education and ‘vocational degree’ study would also be entitled to Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) funding and HECS places.  To support universities, Kemp-Norton recommended wider funding access for delivery of sub-bachelor degrees.  

AFR Education welcomed the decision by Minister Pyne, but said reforms should extend to deregulation of university fees, a key recommendation of the Group of Eight. This may further ease cost pressures from tertiary funding reform.

TAFE Directors Australia had urged tertiary funding reform in a submission to the Kemp-Norton review, and welcomed the recommendations. 


Tertiary education advisory council named

Federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne has appointed members of the newly established Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Advisory Council.

The Council will be headed by Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney, Chair of NCVER, and former Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The Minister said the Council will advise TEQSA and the Minister on all aspects of ‘minimising regulatory intervention relating to Australian higher education, consistent with ensuring accountability for quality’.

“Easing the burden of unnecessary regulation while upholding quality is a practical expression of the Government’s respect for university autonomy and our support for the competition that drives the excellence, diversity and innovation that we need.

“I am also looking forward to the forthcoming consultation on the Higher Education Standards Panel’s draft Standards, publication of which is expected soon,” the Minister said.

See more on the TEQSA Advisory Council.


Call for comment on higher education standards

The Higher Education Standards Panel has invited comment on proposed revisions to the current Higher Education Standards Framework.

The Panel’s third Call for Comment and Background Paper, as well as the Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework are now available on the Higher Education Standards website.

The closing date for comments is Friday 27 June. A stakeholder information session for clarification and initial feedback is proposed for 14 May. See details here.

Anyone wanting further information on the Proposed Higher Education Standards Framework or the consultation process, or who wishes to be added to the Panel’s distribution list, is welcome to contact: info@HEstandards.gov.au


Why do we value universities but shun the trades?

A recent blog by Group Training Australia CEO, Jim Barron posed the question of whether vocational education and training gets a raw deal from corporate Australia.

“Most Australians would have been delighted to see news of Westpac’s extraordinary generosity with its $100 million endowment to help fund scholarships for the best and brightest in the university sector,” he wrote.

“But what a pity that there is no equivalent in the area of technical and vocational education.

“It is wonderful to see some of our biggest corporations and wealthy individuals assisting the university sector. I simply wish donors would recognise some of the exceptional students in our TAFEs and colleges undertaking trades skills, who are among the best in the world,” Mr Barron said.

Read the blog.


WA selects team for WorldSkills

Sixty apprentices and trainees have been selected to represent Western Australia in the WorldSkills national competition to be held in Perth in September.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Kim Hames said Team WA comprises 60 members, including eight students who will take part in VET in Schools categories.

“This is a great opportunity that will challenge these young people to achieve their best in their respective trade and skill areas and be recognised for their ability on a national stage.”

The Australian WorldSkills competition will be held in Perth from September 18-20, and is expected to attract more than 500 participants. The 43rd WorldSkills International Competition will be held in Brazil in 2015.

See more.


Diary Dates

Thought Leaders
VET Development Centre and TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 28 April (Sydney) and 29 April (Melbourne) 2014
LOCATION: Novotel Sydney Central & Rydges Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australian Council for Educational Research
National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference 2014

DATE: 1-2 May 2014
LOCATION: Rendezvous Grand Hotel, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here.

Edu TECH
National Congress and Expo

DATE: 3-5 June 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for information.

Office for Learning and Teaching
National Conference

DATE: 10-11 June 2014
LOCATION: Dockside Pavilion, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
DETAILS: See more.

'No Frills' - 23rd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference
DATE: 9-11 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here.

Victorian TAFE Association
2014 State Conference

DATE: 17-18 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here.

TDA National Conference 2014
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 1-2 September 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 11-12 September 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Teaching & Learning Conference 2014
VET Development Centre

DATE: 4-5 September 2014
LOCATION: RACV Club Torquay, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

VETnetwork Australia 2014
Biennial National Conference

DATE: 17-19 September 2014
LOCATION: Darwin Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian International Education Conference
Inventing the Future

DATE: 7-10 October 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 12-14 November 2014
LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
DETAILS: Click here for more information.