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Newsletter | 3 June 2013

In this edition

TAFE and universities join to form new network

A new network of tertiary institutions including TAFE and universities is seeking to harness the best of vocational and higher education.

The Australian Polytechnic Network (APN) is being founded by the University of Canberra, Melbourne’s Holmesglen Institute, Northern Sydney Institute, South Western Sydney Institute and Brisbane’s Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE.

The announcement follows the decision by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, the Hon Craig Emerson, to approve Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) for delivery of University of Canberra degrees at the network member campuses from 2014.

The CSPs to be made available in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are within the load growth profile used for last year’s $26 million Structural Adjustment Fund grant to the University of Canberra and so do not have budget implications for the Commonwealth beyond those already anticipated, but they enable UC to acquire national reach.

Holmesglen Chief Executive Bruce Mackenzie said there is now a sustainable model for evolving this network, to provide greater opportunities for more Australian students.

“This is a way forward for higher education in Australia – a system that spans boundaries to provide degrees and courses in a range of locations drawing on the strengths of the members.”

TDA Deputy Chair and Director of the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE, Kaylene Harth, said there was a strong case for extending CSPs to the new network as a means of broadening access to ensure that Australia is well positioned to reach its participation and qualifications targets.

“This venture between some of the largest and most successful TAFE Institutes and the University of Canberra will demonstrate the important contribution that TAFE can make to increasing productivity for all Australians,” Ms Harth said.

See the APN media release.

TDA conference workshops announced

Five pre-conference workshops will feature on Sunday 1 September ahead of the TDA National Conference in Melbourne 2-3 September.

The workshops are a special feature of the conference program, which has just been released.

The conference, ‘TAFE Redefined’, will examine the implications for technical and further education in the new era of market competitiveness. The workshop topics are:

  • International roundtable: What does a higher education strategy look like?
  • Leadership dialogue on green growth, sustainability and innovation
  • Competitive TAFE
  • So you want to be a CEO?
  • TAFE researchers forum – conversation between theory and practice

The workshops will be held at Southbank Institute of Technology.

See the TDA conference program.

See the conference website.

House of Representatives reports into international education

Two significant reviews of international education have just been released:

  1. The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment conducted a review of international education support and collaboration, including a roundtable on international education on 3 April 2012. While the recommendations from the review focus on improving information for students on transport, accommodation and health services, the Committee adds its voice to the need for regular and on-going discussions with all stakeholders on the future sustainability and possibilities for international education. The full report can be read here and the official Hansard transcript of the roundtable can be read here.
  1. The Advisory Report on the Higher Education Support Amendment (Asian Century) Bill 2013 recommends the extension of eligibility for OS HELP assistance to non-CSP students. Such an extension would have a significant benefit for all students studying degree programs at TAFE institutes and TDA will actively promote such an extension.  The report can be read here.

Extending streamlined visa processing  - anytime soon

Further to the item above, TDA notes the recorded comment in the House of Representatives review (page 12, 2.22)  from Dr Wendy Southern representing DIAC on extending streamlined visa processing to low risk immigration providers: ‘it is a work in progress but we are hoping to finalise it soon’. Dated 14 February 2013.

Students to rate the training system

Over the next few months, more than 300 000 students will be asked to rate their experiences at a TAFE institute, private training or adult and community education provider as part of the 2013 Student Outcomes Survey.

Managed by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), the annual survey provides information on vocational education and training (VET) students’ employment outcomes and satisfaction with their training.

The survey is conducted on behalf of the Australian, state and territory governments. The results will be published in December on the NCVER website.

For more information, see here.

Pressure on Victorian TAFEs outlined in Auditor-General’s report

The financial pressures on the TAFE system in Victoria have been outlined in the latest report of the Victorian Auditor -General.

It says TAFEs collectively generated a surplus of $58.5 million in 2012, down 39 % on 2011 as a result of increased employee costs due to structured redundancy programs.

“Changes to funding mean that TAFEs are now more reliant on student tuition fees for generating a major portion of their operating revenue. Overall student fee revenue was consistent with 2011, with a $7.1 million decrease in international student fees offset by a $7.7 million increase in domestic student fees.”

“The sector's financial sustainability risk is deteriorating, with 10 of the 14 TAFEs assessed as medium risk in 2012, compared with seven in 2011,” the report says.

See the Auditor-General’s report.

UK research shows the economic benefits of apprenticeships

A report by the English think tank, Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) has completed economic modelling on wage and economic outcomes of those completing apprenticeships.

Apprenticeship completions between 2012/13 and 2021/22 are expected to contribute £3.4 billion in productivity gains to the UK economy.

In 2012/13, gaining an apprenticeship raised an employee’s gross productivity by an average of £214 per week. The report found that the number of apprenticeship completions in the post-GFC UK economy has risen from 110,000 in 2007/08 to 260,000 in 2012/13.

See here for the report, ‘Productivity Matters: The impact of Apprenticeships on the UK economy’.

Comment invited on higher education standards

The Higher Education Standards Panel is inviting comment on proposed revisions to the current Higher Education Standards Framework.

The Panel’s second Call for Comment and Discussion Paper, and Draft Standards for Research, Research Training and Learning Outcomes (Research Training) are now available on the Higher Education Standards website.

For further information, contact: info@HEstandards.gov.au

The closing date for comments is Wednesday 10 July. 

Review to cut university red tape

Complaints from universities about red tape and compliance have been heeded, with the Tertiary Education Minister, the Hon Craig Emerson announcing a review.

The review will concentrate on maintaining higher education quality and transparency, while minimising red tape and ensure more funding is “directed at student tuition rather than administration”.

See the Minister’s media release.

See a media release from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

See an article in The Australian.

Exciting employment opportunities in the Pacific

Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) is currently seeking interest from qualified trainers in the fields of Fitting and Machining, Automotive, and Diesel Fitting. 

An incentive to release staff on LWOP may be applicable for current employers. Interested TAFE Institutes should contact Jennie Dehn, Director Corporate Services: jennie.dehn@aptc.edu.au or Sarah Kendall, HR Coordinator: sarah.kendall@aptc.edu.au

See flyer for more information.

Tony Adams funding open

The International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) has announced the opening of applications for funding through The Tony Adams Fund.

The fund aims to continue the work of Professor Tony Adams, who was a revered leader and mentor to many people working in international education. He was also IEAA’s Foundation President.

Applications are open to individuals from Australia and overseas in the following categories:

  • Professional Development - open to academic and administrative staff working in international education who wish to pursue further professional development in internationalisation of education. Grants are available for up to $1,500.
  • Research in International Education - available to those undertaking research or doctoral studies in internationalisation of education. It provides funding up to $3,000 for a research project or $1,500 for each year of a doctoral study, up to three years.

Applications close 31 July. See here for more information.

Workforce planning standard underway

Standards Australia’s national committee on Human Resources is currently working to produce a standard on Workforce Planning, and invites participation from industry bodies.

Face to face meetings are held every 2-3 months, with remote access via web conference available. The next meeting is scheduled for 13 June at the Standards Australia office.

For more information see the project outline or contact John Beal, Project Manager, Operations:  Joan.Beal@standards.org.au

Diary Dates

EduTECH Tertiary Technology Leaders Conference
DATE: 3-5 June
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

VET Leaders Lunch
VET Development Centre

DATE: 6 June
LOCATION: Shangri-la Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Getting started in e-learning
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 17 June – 26 August
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australasian Adult and Community Education Conference
Adult Learning Australia & ACE Aotearoa in New Zealand

DATE: 18-20 June
LOCATION: Comfort and Quality Inn, Cuba St, Wellington, New Zealand
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

NCVER ‘No Frills’ Conference

DATE: 10-12 July
LOCATION: Sunshine Coast TAFE, Mooloolaba campus
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.

TDA corporate affiliates: