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Newsletter | 30 January 2012    

In this edition

  • Onshore ‘churn’ masks continued decline in VET student visa approvals
  • HECS architect supports student fee loans for VET
  • TDA to launch Blog
  • Opportunity to contribute to White Paper on ‘Australia in the Asian Century’  
  • TAFE given green light to offer post-grad degrees in Victoria
  • New FAQs explain registration arrangements
  • TDA seeking representative for Centrelink Group
  • National workshops for assessors
  • No Frills 2012 – call for papers

Feature story

The first edition of TDA’s China Bulletin was distributed last week.

If you missed a copy click here.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the China Bulletin email: memberservices@

Onshore ‘churn’ masks continued decline in VET student visa approvals

New data from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) indicates a continuing fall in the number of overseas students applying to study a VET course in Australia.

For the 2011 calendar year, 15,579 offshore students were granted VET study visas compared with 18,169 in 2010 - a decline of 2,590 students.

The full extent of the decline was masked by a steep rise in the number of international students already in Australia being granted VET study visas. In 2011, 59,991 onshore students were granted VET study visas compared with 48,430 visa grants in 2010 - a rise of 11,561 students.

Overall, the total number of international students studying in Australia declined from 291,204 in December 2010 to 254,686 in December 2011. For more information, click here.

HECS architect supports student fee loans for VET

The architect of the HECS system, Bruce Chapman, has supported the Federal Government’s plans to create a HECS-style arrangement for VET students.

The Prime Minister announced the plan in The Australian, saying: “… University students can study now and pay back their course costs when they get a well-paying job, but students getting high-level vocational skills, including trade and technical skills, cannot. We will ensure these students have the same right to borrow so they can study, to get a loan they can pay back from increased earnings.”

Mr Chapman said the plan, although good in principle, would need to be carefully managed to avoid rorts from private providers.

Following the Prime Minister’s statement, no further information has been announced about the plan.

Click here to view the article.

TDA to launch Blog

TDA will this week launch a new Blog on its website.

This will canvass important issues for the VET and TAFE sector and will feature the opinions of TDA, TAFE and industry leadership.

Keep an eye out for the new TDA Blog at www.tda.edu.au.

Opportunity to contribute to White Paper on ‘Australia in the Asian Century’  

Submissions have been invited for the development of a White Paper on ‘Australia in the Asian Century’.

Led by Dr Ken Henry, the White Paper aims to provide a comprehensive review of economic and strategic change in Asia and its implications and opportunities for Australia. An issues paper was released in December and submissions are due by 26 February. For more information click here.

TDA will be making a submission on behalf of its members and contributions should be directed to Peter Holden at the TDA Secretariat.

TAFE given green light to offer post-grad degrees in Victoria

Victorian TAFEs offering higher education courses can now deliver post-graduate courses following the removal of restrictions by Higher Education and Skills Minister, Peter Hall.

The Minister said TAFE would need to play a greater role in higher education if Bradley targets and industry needs are to be met.

However, former Chair of TDA and CEO of Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, Bruce Mackenzie, has told The Australian that Commonwealth higher education protocols will continue to hinder TAFEs efforts to branch further into the higher education system.

Read an article from The Australian here.

New FAQs explain registration arrangements

Australian Education International (AEI) has issued 'Frequently Asked Questions’ related to changes to the designated authority arrangements under the Education Services for Overseas Students legislative framework.

The document helps to explain which authority is responsible for registrations of courses for overseas students in VET, higher education, school and private provider institutions.

For more information, click here.

TDA seeking representative for Centrelink Group

TDA is seeking nominations for a representative for the Centrelink National Student Services Partnership Group.  

TDA has been ably represented on this group for the past three years by Jackie Wenner, Director, CIT Vocational College, however due to other commitments Jackie has now resigned from the group.

Ms Wenner has advised that it would be helpful if the TDA representative worked in a student services/student advice capacity and had knowledge of the impact that procedures around benefits, concessions have on TAFE students, and what problems need addressing for these students. Jackie also advised that the group is quite open to hearing about, and addressing issues that impact on, TAFE students.

It meets approximately three times a year in Canberra and TDA understands that travel costs will be covered for attendance. Ms Wenner is happy to discuss any aspect of the work of the group with prospective nominees.

Nominations should be forwarded to pcaven@tda.edu.au.

National workshops for assessors

Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA) is partnering with Velg Training, to present professional development workshops nationally for trainers and assessors to assist them in maintaining the currency of their trainer and assessor competence.

For more information, click here.

No Frills 2012 – Call for papers

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), in conjunction with TAFE SA, is holding its 21st National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’ in July this year.

To be held in Adelaide for the first time, this special anniversary event will include renowned national and international speakers, as well as VET practitioners or early career VET researchers in keeping with the ‘No Frills’ tradition.

This is a great opportunity for practitioners and researchers to share their research and knowledge through presentations, pre-conference professional development workshops, or refereed papers. All presentations must be based on sound evidence-based research rather than descriptive or opinion-based work.

Details about abstract requirements and submission details are available here. The call for papers closes 10 February 2012.

Diary Dates

Quality in the Making
DATE: 27-28 February, 2012
LOCATION: Sofitel Hotel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information

What’s new on the Horizon, incorporating Project Management
DATE: 29-30 March, 2012
LOCATION: Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 12-13 April, 2012
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Click here to submit an extract.

TAFE - Leading Skills Enrichment
DATE: 17-18 May, 2012
LOCATION: Hilton on the Park, 196 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne 3002
DETAILS: More information will become available in February.