TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 7 November 2011

TDA welcomes funding clarity for diploma courses

TAFE Directors Australia has welcomed clarity from the Federal Government regarding Commonwealth funding of diploma and advanced diploma courses at universities, which threatened to undermine the vocational education and training sector.

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon. Chris Evans, made the announcement following TDA advice that some thousands of students were increasingly being enrolled by universities into the same qualifications, yet registered as Higher Education courses, incurring increased and differential federal funding.

Senator Evans made clear in his media statement however, that the announcement would not be uniform, but rather subject to annual allocations agreed between the Government and each university.

See the full media release from TDA here. See Minister Evan’s media release here.

View an article in The Australian here.

[Return to top]

NSW Premier joins call for visa alignment of TAFE with universities

The NSW Premier, the Hon Barry O’Farrell MP, has criticised the Federal Government for unnecessarily hindering the TAFE Institute network by failing to align international student visa classifications to university classifications.

On the eve of Premier O’Farrell leading NSW education and business leaders in a mission to India, he has joined an earlier call by Victorian Premier the Hon Ted Baillieu MLA, seeking a fairer visa classification system. This was identified by TAFE Directors Australia as being discriminatory in what it terms the “disastrous” Review of International Education by former NSW Labor Minister Michael Knight.

Premier O’Farrell told today’s Sydney Morning Herald: “Clearly [TAFE is] different to some of the fly-by-nighters… that got us into trouble with the Indian students. We’re talking to the Federal Government. They need to relax the visa arrangements as much for reputable institutes like TAFE as they have for universities.”

Click here read the full article.

[Return to top]

China leadership programs in full swing

TDA had the pleasure of hosting 23 delegates from China last week for a three day workshop on quality assurance and the Australian VET system.

The group included senior officials from provinces and municipalities as well as the China Ministry of Education. Presenters included Skills Australia CEO, Robin Shreeve, Services Skills Australia General Manager, Kit McMahon, and one of DEEWR’s Assistant Directors from its International Cooperation Branch, Brett Pattinson.

TAFE NSW also provided great support with site visits to five Sydney Institute campuses, and presentations from DEC International, Western Sydney Institute and the TAFE Strategic Directorate.

This week TDA will welcome 20 college presidents and directors from vocational institutes and polytechnics throughout China. They are commencing a four week leadership program sponsored by the China Education Association for International Exchange and managed by TDA.

[Return to top]

States begin ASQA regulation arrangements

Legislation to transition vocational education and training regulatory powers is currently being considered by the South Australian, Tasmanian and Queensland parliaments.

South Australia anticipates that referral of regulatory powers will occur in December. Tasmania expects to refer its powers in January, and Queensland is also anticipated to refer its powers during 2012.

To view an ASQA Update click here.

[Return to top]

Contestability to be debated at Sydney Forum, 14 November

Pam Christie, Deputy Director-General of TAFE and Community Education, NSW

Pam Christie, Deputy Director-General of TAFE and Community Education, NSW, has been confirmed as an additional speaker for the Thought Leaders Forum to be held in Sydney, on 14 November.

The forum, organised jointly by TDA and the TAFE Development Centre (Victoria), will look at the issue of contestability and will also feature David Williams, Victorian TAFE Association, and Pat Forward, Australian Education Union.

TDA Emerging Leaders, TAFE management and staff, and departmental officials are invited to attend forum. Click here to view the invitation. The event will consider the issue of ‘contestability’ and the impact that reforms have had on the TAFE system in Victoria and other states that have undertaken the change.

The seminar will run from 4-6pm (not from 3pm as previously advertised), with networking and refreshments from 6-7pm. 

This is a free event but registrations are required - If you would like to attend, please RSVP to, Susanna Palermo, via email: spalermo@tdc.vic.edu.au or ph: 03 9250 6011.


[Return to top]

More apprentice mentoring needed

Better apprentice support in the final years of training will increase completion rates, particularly in small businesses, according the a new report commissioned by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and funded by the federal government.

The report was launched by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon Chris Evans.

It says there is a need for more investment in mentoring programs to help retain apprentices in their final years.

Click here to view the report.

[Return to top]

Queensland TAFE Institute joins with US company for English testing

Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE has formed a partnership with the US-based English Language Services (ELS) to provide an on-campus English testing (ELICOS) centre at its Mt Gravatt campus in Brisbane.

To find out more about this partnership and other ELS initiatives in Australia, click here.

[Return to top]

Excellence award goes to Victorian TAFE International

TDA congratulates Victorian TAFE International (VTI) which won a national best practice/innovation award in international education for its document Best Practice in Education Agent Management.

The award was accepted by Stephen Fyffe of Victoria University (representing the Board of VTI) at the recent Australian International Education Conference in Adelaide. The award recognises the work of an individual or team who have contributed to international education through a groundbreaking development.

The VTI document is available on its VTI website.

[Return to top]

VET workforce capability discussion paper released

Innovation Business Skills Australia has released a Discussion Paper to support the development of a capability framework for the VET workforce.

The paper will be used in a number of national consultation workshops due to be held during the last week of November and into December.

Feedback on the paper can be submitted online by 16 December, either by emailing comments to Rob Bluer or by commenting on the IBSA Feedback Hub.

For further information, please contact the Project Personnel, Rob Bluer at robert@ibsa.org.au or Ali Wilson at ali@ibsa.org.au.

[Return to top]

VET pathways collaboration

The Queensland Department of Education and Training, along with a group of education providers and peak bodies, has launched a new website to support increased pathways and linkages between the three key stakeholders – industry, VET and higher education.

The website is part of Integrated Articulation and Credit Transfer Project (IACT) which aims to identify the targeted skills industry requires of graduates and create appropriate VET and higher education pathways.

Click here for more information.

[Return to top]

Discount available for VET reform conference

The organisers of the ‘Reinvigorating a Quality Apprenticeships & Traineeships System’ Conference in Melbourne are offering TDA members a 10% discount on registration.

The conference will address:

  • How to strengthen school linkages and other pathways
  • Methods for accurately measuring practical demonstration of skills via effective assessment models
  • Building a quality accreditation system by overcoming system fragmentation
  • Strategies for designing flexible and robust course structure

Click here to register. TDA members can quote CC*TDA to receive the discount.

[Return to top]

Diary Dates

DATE: 8-9 November, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 9-10 November, 2011
LOCATION: William Angliss Conference Centre, 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

Grounds for Learning Workshop
DATE: 14-16 November, 2011
LOCATION: Monash University, Clayton Campus, VICTORIA
DETAILS: Click here for more information

‘For innovation’
DATE: 18 November, 2011
LOCATION: The Glasshouse, Port Macquarie
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 25 November, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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

[Return to top]

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the TDA Newsletter click here.