TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 3 May 2010


Delay to skills list fuelling student uncertainty


The government has announced a delay in releasing the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) to replace the Migration Occupations in Demand List. Due for release last Friday, the new SOL will now be released during May, a move which will add to uncertainty for students and providers.


TDA will communicate with Federal Immigration (DIAC) that further delays will adversely impact student enrolments and TAFE Institute business operations.


International student data for March 2010 reveals a slight decrease in commencements for VET compared to same period last year. VET commencements were down 1.6 per cent in the year to March to 43,123 according to Australian Education International data.


Meanwhile VET enrolments in the year to March were up 6.9 per cent to 154,173 - something that many TAFE Institutes might find contrary to their own experience. The TAFE sector believes that the real impact of recent adverse publicity, the strong Australian dollar and private college closures will not be fully realised until later this year.


To see the latest statistics on student enrolments click here.


To see a report on the student visa issue in The Australian click here.


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VET student identity number looming


Commonwealth and state education and training ministers have taken the first steps in developing a unique identity number to be given to all students across the VET system.


Progress on the unique student identifier was one of the key issues discussed by the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE) in Melbourne last week. The identifier will be provided to each VET student to enable progress to be tracked through their learning career.


The VET student identifier was first suggested at COAG and follows steps to implement a similar system for all school students, to become part of the My School programme.


The MCTEE Communiqué says it agreed on the “scope and principles” to be considered in developing the identifier for VET.


To read the full MCTEE Communiqué click here.


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University-TAFE partnership delivering in degrees


The first intake of students has commenced their studies under a unique partnership between Victorian TAFE Institutes and Deakin University, which will deliver university degrees through TAFE campuses.


The Deakin at Your Doorstep project will deliver a two-year Associate Degree of Arts, Business and Sciences at Deakin’s Warrnambool Campus and on the campuses of three TAFE partners in regional Victoria: Sunraysia at Swan Hill, East Gippsland at Bairnsdale and Chisholm at Dandenong.


The project is funded by an $8.2 million grant from the Australian Government’s Diversity and Structural Adjustment Fund, designed to maximise the chance of success for people unfamiliar with higher education.


The first 75 students commenced the program in March, with students linking via state-of-the-art video conference technology. Lectures are delivered from Deakin’s Warrnambool Campus and learning support tutors work with students at the TAFE campuses.


To read more click here.


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Demand for TAFE a hot issue in Western Australia


Thousands of people are being turned away from TAFE in WA each year due to a lack of funding and resources, claims the Australian Education Union (AEU).


The union says that a survey of staff shows that student demand is above the national average, with 65 per cent of teachers and managers reporting an increase in the last two years. But 56 per cent of teachers and managers said they had to turn away students, with engineering the worst affected.


However, the Minister for Training, the Hon Peter Collier has disputed the findings, saying that the government has injected $7.4 million into the TAFE system as part of its stimulus measures, and enrollments have increased by more than 10 per cent.


To see the AEU media release click here.


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Changes to student visa processes


The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, issued a media release on 28 April regarding Student Integrity Measures which have been implemented since August 2009.  This includes those measures which commenced on 1 January 2010 and 27 March 2010.


As a result, information about the Student Integrity Measures introduced on 27 March 2010 can now be given full public dissemination.


A copy of the Minister's Media Release can be found here.


The following key web pages have been updated to reflect all of the changes to date.  Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all of the changes, but indicates the pages that have recently been updated with significant content changes.


What’s new for Students and Sponsored Training

Visas, Immigration & Refugees

What’s new for Education Providers

Visas and Citizenship

Agents’ Gateway

Agents’ News & Information

Student Visa Integrity Measures


A fact sheethas also been uploaded onto the website under "What's New for Students and Sponsored Training"


For information about the changes or other student visa enquiries, please contact the Student visa Helpdesk (studentvisa@immi.gov.au).


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A further perspective on the new tertiary education regulatory environment


Speaking at the 8thAnnual Higher Education Summit, Stephen Conway, Managing Director TAFE SA- Adelaide South and TDA Board member provided a further perspective on the new tertiary education regulatory environment. (See TDA Newsletter 27 April for Pam Caven’s presentation on The National VET Regulator).


In his panel presentation Stephen Conway raised a series of questions including: “Will an integrated quality and standards tertiary body work? How should it operate?” Will the changes result in more bureaucracy, inconsistent and complex processes and higher costs? What will be the implementation challenges?


To read Stephen Conway’s presentation, click here.


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Urgent responses sought on Green Skills Agreement


Member input is urgently sought into the draft plan of the Green Skills Agreement Implementation Group (GSAIG) - made up of government, industry and peak bodies, including TDA. This plan sets out a framework to enable the VET workforce to provide high quality instruction in skills for sustainability, as well as qualifications and products that meet high green standards.


TDA’s representative on the Action Group is Dr Garry McDonald from Swinburne University of Technology. We would like to hear members’ observations and case studies so that he can best represent the TAFE perspective. To view the draft plan click here.


TDA members are asked to send their responses to pcaven@tda.edu.auby 5 May. 


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National Career Development Week

National Career Development Week (NCDW) will host a series of national events from 17 to 23 May. The initiative is organisedby the Career Industry Council of Australia and funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).

It aims to celebrate the hundreds of careers events that run throughout the year, and encourages people to develop the skills to better manage their careers.

Organisers of careers events across Australia at any time of the year are encouraged to register their events on the NCDW website. All registered events are included on the event search database and receive free resources, support materials and merchandise.

To register an event clickhere. For more information clickhere.

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Training package professional development workshops


The TAE 10 Training & Education Training Package is currently going through the final stages towards endorsement. Innovation & Business Skills Australia in conjunction with Precision Consultancy are holding a series of workshops around Australia to discuss aspects including content, assessment practices, qualification structures, and new units.


For more information click here.


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Finding the best fit for skills


Skills Australia will appear before the House of Representatives Employment Committee inquiry into skills shortages being experienced in some parts of regional Australia. The public hearing will be on May 13 at Parliament House, Canberra.


Written submissions are welcomed. For more information click here.


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Final day to participate in VET teaching survey


TDA members are reminded that today is the final day to participate in an important research project on the quality of VET teaching. It is being conducted by Associate Professor Leesa Wheelahan at the L.H. Martin Institute, University of Melbourne and is funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and managed by the Australian College of Educators.


It is focused on VET teacher qualifications and continuing professional development, the impact teaching has on the quality of the VET student experience and student outcomes, and how this can be evaluated.


It involves a 20-30 minute survey which can be undertaken here.


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Diary Dates

Victorian TAFE in the Tertiary Landscape
DATE: 6-7 May 2010
LOCATION: Novotel Forest Resort, Creswick
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 17-23 May 2010
LOCATION: Events in all states and territories.
DETAILS: Click here for more information

19th National 'No Frills Research Conference
DATE: 7-9 July 2010
LOCATION: Central Institute of Technology, East Perth Campus, Perth
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2010 National Conference
DATE: 13-14 September 2010
DETAILS: Details will be available soon

Work Integrated Learning (WIL): Responding to Challenges
DATE: 30 September - 1 October 2010
LOCATION: Curtin University of Technology, Perth
DETAILS: Click here for more information



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