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Newsletter | 6 July 2015

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In this edition  


TAFE domestic students dip while international students surge

The number of students attending TAFE and other government providers fell by 8.8% to 1.08 million in 2014, according to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The overall fall was made up of a 9.6% decline in government-funded students, and a 9% decline in domestic fee-for-service students, while there was a 13.3% increase in international full-fee-paying students.

Government-funded students at community education providers fell by 12.2%, but were up 8.4% at other registered providers.

The Assistant Minister for Education Senator Simon Birmingham said the Commonwealth provides around $1.8 billion direct to the states and territories to fund their subsidised training, as well as $1.7 billion in 2014 for student loans.

“Federal payments for VET to the states have been increasing, as has federal support for students through VET FEE-HELP,” Senator Birmingham said.

“This data demonstrates the importance of the states keeping up their end of the bargain to help maintain enrolments,” he said.

Vale Adrian Marron

Adrian Marron

The TAFE community has lost one of its outstanding figures, with the death on Saturday of former Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) Chief Executive and former TDA board member, Adrian Marron.

Adrian suffered a lengthy battle with cancer. He was always a vigorous and passionate supporter of TAFE and guided CIT through a significant period of reform.

He will be remembered across the TAFE sector, having also served as CEO of Wodonga Institute of TAFE and a director of TAFE in South Australia.

TDA extends its deepest sympathies to Adrian’s wife, family and friends.

Universities make bold discovery: Comment by TDA Acting CEO Malcolm White

From time to time words or phrases gain a fashionable status and become the topic of media articles and key themes at conferences.

Such is the fate of ‘Work Integrated Learning’ which has become the new mantra of the university sector in Australia; it cannot be mentioned enough.

Judging from reports, some Vice Chancellors are moving with alacrity to incorporate work integrated learning into programs to lift the work readiness of graduates, which according to employers and graduate employment statistics, is indeed in need of attention.

Perhaps the more perceptive university leaders also see it as a way of gaining a stronger foothold in the existing workforce student market which of course is far larger than the traditional career preparation cohort.

A few years ago a vice chancellor asked me to talk with academics about concepts that were being successfully employed at TAFE to co-opt employers as partners in teaching and learning. 

After the discussion I concluded that TAFE’s competitive advantage in this area could safely be measured in years if not decades.

However the carrot of uncapped Commonwealth subsidised places for sub degree programs has focused vice chancellors on the world of VET like never before. 

But without an internal university culture and history of working in the triangular relationship of teacher - student - employer, are they merely taking a walk by themselves?

Mark Burford departs Mitchell Institute

Mark Burford, the Executive Director of the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University (VU) has departed after two-and-a-half years at the helm of the think tank.

Professor Peter Dawkins, Vice-Chancellor of VU said Mark has led the institute from its inception in early 2013 to the highly regarded and influential organisation that it is today.

“Mark has decided to pursue other professional and business opportunities and take up a broader range of public policy work,” he said.

“Mark’s leadership at the Institute ends with eight policy papers released this year alone, a growing media profile, a host of successful partnerships and numerous public and private engagements with policy makers.”

It is understood Mark will move into consulting and business practice, and more active involvement in a family business venture centred on ecologically sustainable development.

Journalist John Ross recounts his heart attack survival

John Ross, second from left, with the group who came to his aid. Source: News Ltd.

Many in the TAFE sector will have been concerned at the news that respected higher education reporter, John Ross, from The Australian suffered a heart attack and is now recovering at home.

John has written a very personal and touching account of his ordeal and the remarkable group of strangers who came to his aid and helped to save his life.

On behalf of the TAFE community, TDA wishes John and his family all the best for his recovery.

Read John’s article, ‘Heart attack in Coogee: the strangers who saved my life’.

International education council meets in Canberra

The Coordinating Council for International Education, pictured below, met in Canberra, 18 June for the first of two roundtables with stakeholders from the sector, including TDA’s Acting CEO, Malcolm White.

The Council will oversee the finalisation of the national strategy for international education and the development of an implementation plan.

TAFE NSW Crows Nest site to become a new high school

The NSW Department of Education has purchased TAFE Northern Sydney Institute’s Crows Nest campus in an exchange that will see it become a new high school.

The Crows Nest site will cater for Year 11 and 12 students from the nearby Cammeraygal High School which opened earlier this year.

The NSW government says the near-$25 million proceeds from the sale will be re-invested in  TAFE NSW campuses at St Leonards, Ryde and Northern Beaches.

CHC & HLT training package workshops

The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) is hosting a series of professional development workshops to assist stakeholders to implement the new CHC and HLT Training Packages. These 4-hour workshops over August and September will:

  • Present the HLT and CHC Training Packages in the 2012 Standards for Training Packages design model
  • Identify key areas of change in the new qualifications, units and assessment requirements
  • Discuss frequently asked questions

See here for details on dates and locations, and to reserve your place.

Entries closing soon for 2015 Green Gown Awards  

There is less than a month until the deadline to enter the 2015 Green Gown Awards, which showcase sustainability practices at TAFE and other institutions.

The awards, run by Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS), are offered in 11 categories for institutions and individuals, with two new categories this year – Built Environment and The Leadership Award.

“The Green Gown Awards provide an excellent opportunity for educational institutions to show business, industry and the community just how seriously and innovatively they are addressing sustainability across all elements of core business,” said ACTS President Leanne Denby.

The Australasian winners will go up against the UK winners and French speaking Europe and Canada to win the coveted International title in three categories.

Applications close Wednesday 29 July.

See more.

Honda competition open to inventive TAFE students

Honda Australia is running an exciting competition to encourage the invention of new products powered by Honda engines.

It is open to individuals and groups of students from TAFE, universities as well as the general public. It is a great opportunity for TAFE students to use their talents to create innovative products which will help solve real word challenges.

Prizes include a trip to a Honda Manufacturing facility in Thailand, and two days working with a Honda application engineer to refine products.

The competition closes on 31 January 2016. Prize winners will be announced at an award ceremony in early 2016.

See www.hondainvention.com.au or email mwaters@tda.edu.au

See more.

International apprenticeship network sixth annual conference

The sixth International Network on Innovative Apprenticeship INAP conference is being held in Australia for the first time at Federation University Australia (FedUni), Ballarat, 1-2 September.

The theme is ‘Architectures for apprenticeship: Achieving economic and social goals’, and will address topics such as governance, school to work transition, youth employment, and the status of apprenticeship as a career path.

Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham will be speaking. Other speakers include Raymond Patel, MerSETA, South Africa; Paul Comyn, International Labour Organisation, Geneva and Stephen Billett, Griffith University, Australia.

The registration fee is kept low ($200, or $100 a day), so practitioners can attend. The conference is sponsored by the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training.

Find out more.

Diary Dates

24th National VET Research Conference

DATE: 6-8 July 2015
LOCATION: University of Western Sydney
DETAILS: More information.

Victorian TAFE Association
2015 State Conference - Leading Transformational Change

DATE: 16-17 July 2015
LOCATION: RACV Club, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2015 ACODE Learning Technologies Leadership Institute
DATE: 17-21 August 2015
LOCATION: Mantra at Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
DETAILS: More information

TAFE Managers Association 2015
DATE: 21 August 2015
LOCATION: Luna Park, Sydney
DETAILS: More information coming soon.

VET Development Centre
Teaching and Learning Conference

DATE: 3-4 September 2015
LOCATION: RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
DETAILS: More information.

TDA National Conference
DATE: 9-11 September 2015
LOCATION: Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart
DETAILS: More information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 17-18 September 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.

Australian International Education Conference 2015
International education: global, responsible, sustainable

DATE: 6 – 9 October 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.

2015 AUSTAFE National Conference
Bringing TAFE and VET to the Nation’s Capital

DATE: 28 – 30 October 2015
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Contact National President Jerome.DeRose@cit.edu.au

Corporate Affiliates