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Newsletter | 30 April 2012    
 

In this edition

  • States raise the stakes in visa streamlining
     
  • Common problems in private colleges and training institutions
     
  • TDA to lead TVET workshop in Kenya
     
  • TAFE proposed to take lead role under Minerals Councils’ new Associate Degree plan
     
  • Delegations visiting TDA
     
  • Foundation Skills Training Package – draft content available for feedback
     
  • Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey
     
  • ASQA to review delegation powers
     
  • Propell® workshops to help teachers and students prepare for the TOEFL iBT® test
     
  • Benchmark workforce development study – The State University of New York system
     
  • Advance notice of Austrade education exhibitions
 

Feature story

REMINDER

TDA AGM – Adelaide
10.00am, Friday 11 May 2012
Adelaide (TAFE SA South Office)

TDA Conference – save the date

The 2012 TDA Conference will be held in Perth, from 6-7 September.

For more information, click.

 


States raise the stakes in visa streamlining

The NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, has made it clear NSW expects the recent COAG announcement on extending visa streamlining to benefit public and private providers in the near future.

The Federal Immigration review of student visas, still before Minister Hon Chris Bowen, may bring into line with universities how students may gain improved access to study at TAFE. This may rely on a new risk framework agreement, within the 5,001 VET RTO sector.

Under the proposed arrangements, the reform into VET student visas would seek to increase the number of international students studying at NSW VET institutions, to address the state’s skills shortages.

Read the full story, here.

A joint submission by the NSW and Victorian governments on the student visa review has just been posted on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website.


Common problems in private colleges and training institutions

A series of recurring consumer complaints about some private colleges and training institutions has prompted the Consumer Action Law Centre to publish a guide about common problems, how to avoid them and where to get help.

The most common complaints related to the standard of teaching, the cost of courses, and unfair treatment, especially in relation to contracts, payments and refunds.

The complaints relate to a range of areas, from hairdressing to IT, and have largely come from international students.

Click here to read the full guide.


TDA to lead TVET workshop in Kenya

Later this week TDA’s Director of International Engagement, Peter Holden, will lead a three day workshop in Mombasa, Kenya for senior government officials from five Commonwealth countries.

The workshop builds on an initial TDA research project commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat which analysed the vocational training systems in Bangladesh, Gambia, Kenya, Jamaica and PNG.

Peter will also attend a conference convened by the Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa.

More updates next week.


TAFE proposed to take lead role under Minerals Councils’ new Associate Degree plan

The Australian Financial Review has reported that TAFE will play a key role in plans led by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) to launch associate degrees in mining and geosciences.

Media reports indicated four institutions would participate in the new course roll-out, including TAFE South Australia, Polytechnic West, University of Southern Queensland and CQUniversity.

MCA reportedly received $700,000 in Federal Workforce Innovation funding for the Minerals Industry National Associate Degree program. 

Click here to read the full story.


Delegations visiting TDA

Three high level delegations are visiting TDA this week:

  • The Beijing College of Finance & Commerce, which will sign an MoU with TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute;
  • Asha Khemka, Principal, West Nottinghamshire College and Jean Hardy MBE, Chair of Governors, West Nottinghamshire College; and
  • A 16-person delegation from Taiwan led by their Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training.  What is slightly different about the Taiwanese delegation is that it consists of only two official representatives, while the remainder will be representatives of companies that have excelled in training quality standards. The team at AEI’s Taiwan office is coordinating the visit and has done a great job in briefing the delegates and organising their itinerary.

Foundation Skills Training Package – draft content available for feedback

Draft material for Innovation & Business Skills Australia’s (IBSA's) Foundation Skills Training Package is now available for public feedback.

The Foundation Skills Training Package is being designed to support the foundation skills development needs of learners pursuing vocational pathways at all levels. The training package has potential for use with a wide range of learners in many different contexts, and so IBSA would value feedback from all VET stakeholders.

Drafts can be viewed on IBSA's Feedback Hub. Feedback is required by Friday 18th May 2012.

For more information visit the Foundation Skills Training Package Project Page.


Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey

Teachers, tutors and lecturers are invited to participate in the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALLS) survey, in which they are required to anonymously rate a student, whose literacy and/or numeracy levels are most familiar to them, against statements and sample tasks aligned with the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) and ALLS programs.

Both the ALLS and ACSF have five performance levels and it’s sometimes assumed that these levels are equivalent. But are they? The National Centre for Vocational Education Research, together with Victoria University and Educational Measurement Solutions are running a short online survey to find out whether the levels are equivalent.

Every completed survey goes in to the running to win one of six Apple iPads.

Click here to enter the survey.

For more information, view the flyer here.


ASQA to review delegation powers

The National VET regulator, Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), is undertaking a review of the delegated powers it extends to other bodies as part of the task of registering training providers and accrediting courses.

At the time of the establishment of ASQA last July, it was agreed that delegation arrangements established by former regulators would continue for one year, during which time a review of the delegations would be conducted. 

Last July, ASQA provided instruments of delegation, to amend scope of registration and accredit courses, to four TAFE Institutes in Victoria, the Canberra Institute of TAFE and the NSW TAFE Commission, incorporating all eleven NSW TAFE Institutes.

ASQA says it is committed to comprehensive consultation with all stakeholders to ensure the efficacy of the delegation model and to provide the opportunity to consider the future of the arrangements.


Propell® workshops to help teachers and students prepare for the TOEFL iBT® test

A recent decision by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has allowed students from around the world to use their TOEFL® test scores as part of their student visa application for Australia.

To prepare for the imminent growth of TOEFL test takers, Educational Testing Service (ETS) is hosting free Propell® Workshops to help teachers prepare their students to succeed on the TOEFL test.

ETS expert Emilie Pooler will be conducting two, four-hour workshops on instructional techniques and strategies and on using an integrated approach to teaching English-language skills. The workshops provide a comprehensive overview of the TOEFL test, a detailed review of the scoring guidelines for the Writing and Speaking sections, practice in scoring sample test-taker responses and discussion on practical applications to guide classroom instruction.

The workshops will be held in Melbourne on Tuesday, 8 May and in Sydney on Wednesday, 9 May. A separate item writing workshop for the TOEFL iBT® Speaking test will also be held in Sydney on Saturday, 12 May. All workshops are free to attend but registration is required. For an application form for any of the workshops, contact Katie Cook at kcook@etsglobal.org. Registrations close Wednesday, 2 May 2012.


Benchmark workforce development study – The State University of New York system

The recipient of the Australian American Fullbright VET Professional Scholarship, Mark Harris, has released a new study reviewing workforce development at the State University of New York.
Mr Harris’ research, produced in collaboration with the Queensland VET Development Centre, analyses faculty workforce development in the State University of New York Community College and Technology College system, across workforce planning, human resource management, and workforce capability development. It also looks at how organisational culture impacts on workforce development strategy and practice.

To read the report, click here. Visit Mark Harris’ website here.


Advance notice of Austrade education exhibitions

Two education exhibitions have been scheduled for October 2012; Taiwan from 6 to 9 October and Korea from 27 to 28 October.

Visit Austrade’s calendar of events for more details and registration for these and other international events.


Diary Dates

TDC
Thought Leaders: What is Industry Currency?
DATE: May 1, 2012
LOCATION: LH Martin Institute, University of Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here to view event invitation

WA TRAINING PROVIDERS FORUM
TAFE - Leading Skills Enrichment
DATE: 14-15 May, 2012
LOCATION: Burswood Entertainment Complex, Perth
DETAILS: More information available here.

VICTORIAN TAFE ASSOCIATION STATE CONFERENCE 2012
TAFE - Leading Skills Enrichment
DATE: 17-18 May, 2012
LOCATION: Hilton on the Park, 196 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne 3002
DETAILS: More information available here.

GROUP TRAINING ASSOCIATION OF NSW
Skills for NSW: high quality apprenticeships & traineeships
DATE: 31 May, 2012
LOCATION: SMC Conference Centre, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

AUSTAFE 2012 Study Tour to the European Union Date
DATE: 6 June 2012
DETAILS: For more information contact Louise Godwin at louise.godwin@tafensw.edu.au

TAFE NSW MANAGER'S CONFERENCE
DATE: 8 June, 2012
LOCATION: Waterview Convention Centre at Bi Centennial Park Homebush
DETAILS: Click here for an invitation. Click here for a registration form.

2012 VET Summit
An event for RTO Managers
DATE: 9 July, 2012
LOCATION: Kedron Wavell Services Club
DETAILS: Click here for more information

CISA – Council of International Students Australia
International Student Conference
DATE: 9-11 July, 2012
LOCATION: Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane
DETAILS: For more information see the draft program.

NCVER
21st National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference ‘No Frills’
DATE: 11-13 July 2012
LOCATION: Adelaide
DETAILS: Come celebrate, collaborate and connect at ‘No Frills’

NCVER
Intelligence Squared Australia (IQ2) – Live Debate
DATE: 11 July 2012
LOCATION: Adelaide Town Hall
DETAILS: Click here for more information

TEFMA
Leadership Development Program for Facilities Management
DATE: 15 - 18 July, 2012
LOCATION: HC Coombs Centre, Kirribilli, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

NATIONAL SKILLS WEEK
DATE: 27 August – 2 September
LOCATION: Various
DETAILS: Click here for more information

TDA NATIONAL CONFERENCE
DATE: 6 - 7 September 2012
LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia
DETAILS: Click here for more information

AUSTAFE 2012 NATIONAL Conference
TAFE on TARGET
DATE: 3-5 October 2012
LOCATION: Alice Springs NT, Kirribilli, Sydney
DETAILS: More information contact Lyle Mellors at lyle.mellors@cdu.edu.au

AUSTRALIAN TRAINING AWARDS
DATE: 16 November 2012
LOCATION: Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.