TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 6 June 2011


Federal, State Ministers and Opposition to feature at TDA Conference

Federal and State Ministers and Shadow Ministers have accepted invitations to present at the 2011 TDA National Conference, to be held in Sydney 4-6 September.

The Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, NSW Minister for Education, will officially open the National Conference, and presenting their policy positions will be:

  • The Hon Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
  • The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Shadow Minister for Employment Participation

The TDA National Conference is a highlight on the education and training calendar, and is a ‘not-to-be-missed’ event for TAFE and industry leaders.

Early-bird registrations close 6 July. For more information, or to register, click here.

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Federal approval allows TDA to widen reach of tuition assurance

Ministerial approval for a new chapter for Tuition Assurance in Australia will enable membership of the TDA Tuition Assurance Scheme from major non-university tertiary institutions – covering public and private higher education (HE) and vocational education and training (VET) providers.

Last week the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, signed off official approval for the TDA Tuition Assurance Scheme (TAS).

Under Federal legislation, non-university higher education and VET institutions are required to register for certification for tuition assurance if the provider wishes its fee-paying Australian students to access the FEE HELP student loans scheme. Up until now, the Australian market has been a virtual monopoly with one private scheme approved for the wider HE and VET Australian education provider industry.

“TDA is pleased to have gained federal support allowing for competition and choice in the non-university marketplace,” said TDA CEO, Martin Riordan.

Click here to view a media release from TDA.

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Emerging leaders opportunity – TDA National Conference

The Emerging Leaders program at this year’s TDA National Conference will provide rising stars within TAFE Institutes with opportunities for professional development and networking.

The Emerging Leaders program allows participants to connect with other s from around the country and learn from senior VET leaders from Australia and overseas.

TDA members are encouraged to nominate their Institute’s most promising emerging leaders. Nominations close 17 June.  An invitation and program of events is attached.

Please send nominations to the conference organiser, Jane Yeoman, by email or on 02 49842554.

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New appointments for imminent regulator

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (AQSA) has announced appointments in preparation for its operation, beginning 1 July.

Acting as Interim Chief Commissioner for the first three months will be Mr Chris Robinson, former Chief Executive Officer of the Department of Education and Children’s Services, South Australia, and Deputy Director-General of the Department of Employment and Training, Queensland.

Subject to appointment by the Governor-General, Dr Di Orr will be undertaking the role of Acting Commissioner from 1 July. Dr Orr has already been working on the establishment of ASQA, and will provide important continuity and expertise to its first months of operation.

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New broadband funding to deliver online learning

Following the termination of the National VET Broadband in the Federal Budget, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced an alternate $21.7 million of funding for a four year National Broadband Network (NBN) Enabled Education and Skills Services Program, aimed to support the development of online and interactive education and training projects.

The mainstream NBN program will support the delivery of online learning through video and web conferencing platforms for education, training and skills development, and has the potential to deliver high quality, accessible and sustainable online tools to TAFEs, universities, workplaces and homes.

Click here for more information.

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LH Martin review

The LH Martin Institute has released the findings of a review into its progress and future development.

The review recommends a continuation of LH Martin’s public forums and industry collaborations, and the implementation of a rolling program of meetings with heads of tertiary institutions within Australia. It also recommends that the organisation work with industry to articulate the public benefit of its work.

For more on the review click here.

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Memo TAFE Institutes -- 2012 Fulbright VET Scholarship applications open

Applications are now open for the 2012 Australian American Fulbright VET Scholarship.

The Fulbright VET Scholarships provide a unique opportunity to undertake research across U.S. community colleges and university system.

Applications are open to postgraduates, postdoctoral, professionals and senior scholars. The VET Scholarship requires study in the United States for a minimum of three months.

Click here for more information.

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Audit highlights systemic problems with student visa program

A performance audit of the student visa program by the Australian National Audit Office has highlighted several systemic problems with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s (DIAC’s) management of the program, and its relationship with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).

The most glaring problem is the backlog of non-compliance notices (see an article from The Australian here). The audit also raised concerns over the methodology and application of assessment levels, the auditing and evaluation of the eVisa facility, visa processing times, and the need for a higher level cooperative agreement between DIAC and DEEWR.

While recognising recent organisational changes by DIAC and DEEWR, and the challenge of balancing the integrity of the program with supporting the growth of international education, the audit highlights a fundamental issue still to be addressed, by not only DIAC, but all stakeholders – “define the meaning of sustainable growth for the future direction of the program”.

The full report can be read here.

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Abu Dhabi ‘reviewer’ opportunities

The Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute is currently recruiting reviewers for diploma programs in areas including:

  • Technical Drawing
  • Fashion Design
  • Jewellery Design
  • Technical Laboratory Analysis
  • Biomedical Equipment Services
  • Medical Laboratory Analysis
  • Media Technology
  • IT Systems (Field and Network Support)

Reviewers receive business class travel, 5 star hotel accommodations, a per diem, and $600 per day honorarium for a 4 day review.  The ideal candidate would have had prior accreditation experience or experience developing a curriculum.  Good writing skills are essential.

Click here to view the Institute’s website, or contact Rolin Sidwell for more information. 

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Free interactive workshops - Good Practice in Offshore VET

The National Quality Council is launching its recently published Good Practice Guide for Offshore VET Delivery by offering RTOs the opportunity to attend free interactive workshop sessions.

The sessions will be held in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide from 16-27 June.

Participants will gain an understanding of the key challenges and issues faced when delivering VET offshore, and will be given practical solutions and measures to address or overcome them.

Click here for more information.

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National VET enrolments strong in 2010

There were 1.8 million students enrolled in the public vocational education and training (VET) system in 2010, up 5.4% from 2009.

Research by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), Students and courses 2010 – preliminary data, provides a snapshot of training activity taken from the annual collection of student enrolments.

New South Wales recorded the largest increase in student numbers in 2010 with 33,000 more students, followed by Victoria with 25,700 more students.

Click here for more information.

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Diary Dates

Higher Education on the Edge
DATE: 4-7 July, 2011
LOCATION: Radisson Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

20th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference (No Frills)
DATE: 13-15 July, 2011
LOCATION: North Coast TAFE, Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Inaugural Regional Higher Education Forum
DATE: 2-3 August, 2011
LOCATION: Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: More information soon

2011 National VET Conference
DATE: 4-5 August, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 10 August, 2011
LOCATION: Four Season’s Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 5-6 September, 2011
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: More information here

2011 Conference
DATE: 11-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

AUSTAFE National Conference
2020 Vision
DATE: 12-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for more information

ePortfolios Australia Conference 2011
DATE: 17-18 October, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Looking ahead - Group Training National Conference
DATE: 19-21 October, 2011
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Australasian Association for Institutional Research Forum “Let the sunshine in”
DATE: 9-11 November, 2011
LOCATION: Sea World Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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