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Newsletter | 9 November 2015

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In this edition  


Completion rate for VET FEE-HELP students just 21%

Less than a quarter of students who access VET FEE-HELP complete their course, according to new research from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The average completion rate for students who access the income contingent loans is 21%.

“There is considerable variation in the likelihood of an eligible student completing their course across providers, ranging from 96% to 1%,” the report says

“Between 2012 and 2014, the number of providers approved to offer VET FEE-HELP doubled, with the number of VET FEE-HELP assisted students more than tripling over the same period.  

“Most of this growth has come from the private provider, full-fee-paying market,” the report says

Those most likely to complete their training are students who study internally (or via a mixed mode), those who are employed and study at diploma level.

Those students least likely to complete study externally, are not employed and are undertaking a course at advanced diploma level.

See more.

Vocational education key to regional wealth – World Bank North & South East Asia forum

The World Bank conducted its 2015 North Asia regional forum last week in Korea, reinforcing benefits of new models required to expand vocational education as a sustainable way for economies to boost economic growth.

Harry Patrinos, Practice Manager of the World Bank’s education bureau in Washington DC, headed presentations, with economic return in investment for economies which invested to sustain vocational education. Yidan Wang, Senior Education Specialist, World Bank Washington, convened the meeting in Seoul, hosted by the Republic of Korea’s vocational research agency, Krevet.   

Martin Riordan, CEO of TAFE Directors Australia, was one of four expert speakers, outlining strategies in Australia to expand vocational education.

Martin spoke on how the role of TAFE as a quality leader in the market emerged as a key issue under the new VET reform model, and importance of TAFE in Australia’s qualifications delivered into both VET in Schools (VETiS), and increasingly higher education.

The presentation also included detail on Australia’s econometric model on vocational education investment, which TDA had commissioned under an Australian government initiative.

World Bank and regional leaders of technical and vocational education, at the regional forum in Seoul.

China’s move to promote applied technology universities takes another leap forward

The China Ministry of Education’s policy of encouraging 600 of their 2,000 universities to become applied technology or polytechnic universities was a major feature of a polytechnic universities partnership conference in Shanghai last week.

SSPU Polytechnic University Shanghai was one of a number of South East China universities to be merged in the 1980s to form one of the original polytechnic university models, creating direct links with industry, mainly in engineering.  It hosted Global Partners Week. The forum and network events shared approaches being adopted by China’s domestic and north Asia regional applied universities, to widen applied technology university practice.

Headed by SSPU President Professor Tao Yu, the Global Partners Week showcased models for participating with industry, trends in student services and ever-widening para professional qualifications. TAFE Queensland which has been a longstanding partner of SSPU Shanghai for vocational education, was featured for its four diploma courses which continue to be offered at their outer Pudong campus.

Professor Yu, and SSPU’s Head of Development and Planning, Associate Professor Yu Leilin, invited Martin Riordan, CEO of TDA, who had completed his sabbatical research at SSPU Shanghai on new China applied technology university models, as a guest at the official China forum.

TAFE Queensland lecturers Jeffrey Bartlett and Wendy Thomas, SSPU Shanghai Polytechnic University President Professor Tao Yu, Associate Professor Yu Leilin, Sean Rooney, and Martin Riordan. Sean Rooney, TAFE Queensland lecturer in Diploma of Event Management, with his SSPU Shanghai students who managed a study project the Global Partners Week special concert.

Federal opposition to propose VET ombudsman to target private colleges

The federal opposition will today put forward a plan to crack down on unscrupulous private training providers, which includes an industry-funded VET ombudsman.

It will also move to have the Department of Education write to prospective students clearly outlining the debt they will incur.

The Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Kim Carr and the Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, Sharon Bird said they will also look at options to cap tuition fee levels for courses covered by VET FEE-HELP and lower the lifetime limit on VET FEE-HELP student loans.

“Today, Labor calls on the Turnbull Government to join with Labor to put these stronger measures in place to stop these shonks and sharks and to protect vulnerable students,” they said.

TDA/AVETRA innovation scholarship now open

TDA and AVETRA are pleased to announce that the ‘TDA/AVETRA Innovation Scholarship’ for 2016 is now open.

The Scholarship, now in its third year, provides $6,000 for an individual or group of TAFE professionals to research innovative ways to work with industry or community to meet skill needs. The aim is to build innovation and applied research capability in the TAFE sector.

The 2014 winner, David McLean from RMIT, explored training models to support micro-business start-ups in the community services and health industries. His report, ‘Meeting client demand for health service providers: a service design approach’ is available on TDA website. 

The 2015 winner, Peter Hurley from Bendigo Kangan TAFE, is investigating how TAFE can improve unemployment rates through innovative labour market programs. His report will be presented at AVETRA’s annual conference in Sydney next April.

The closing date for the 2016 scholarship applications is 11 March, 2016.

Applications from new researchers and those that contain co-sponsorship contributions by TAFE institutions or by industry are strongly encouraged.

For more information, visit TDA and AVETRA websites or contact Melinda Waters at TDA on 02 9217 4951 mwaters@tda.edu.au

TDA’s Jessica Davis to join UNESCO

TDA’s International Manager, Jessica Davis, has accepted a position with UNESCO to undertake a TVET Africa project at the organisation’s headquarters in Paris.

This is a wonderful opportunity and Jessica is wholeheartedly congratulated by everyone at TDA. All those who work with her know how well suited she will be for this exciting role.

TDA will recruit a replacement in the new year and wishes Jessica every success in her new endeavour.

NSW funds pre-apprenticeship program

The NSW government has funded a $10 million scheme to encourage free “try before you buy” pre-traineeship and pre-apprenticeship courses for school leavers.

The Minister for Skills John Barilaro said the scheme will fund 2,000 places from 2016.

The skills development package will also include:

  • 200,000 fee-free scholarships with priority for people living in, or on the waiting list for, social housing;
  • A cap on traineeship fees of $1,000;
  • $25 million to deliver 25,000 scholarships to students enrolling in STEM related vocational qualifications;
  • $10 million to create 2,000 job places that will support the delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme; and,
  • Free vocational education and training for people with a disability.

William Angliss introduces hotel and resort management degree

William Angliss Institute has launched a new Bachelor of Resort and Hotel Management to cater for a career in the international resorts and hotel industry.

Commencing in 2016, the three-year, full-time course will cover resort and hotel operations management, economics and revenue management, customer service and human resources.

The focus is on delivering a combination of academic knowledge and practical skills to help students develop critical thinking, management capabilities, and professional skills in the sector.

Associate Director, Higher Education and Quality, Dr Paul Whitelaw said the degree offers hands on exposure to current industry programs and simulation software combined with strong industry engagement.

Aviation workforce study open for response

Organisations engaged in aviation training may be interested in taking part in a survey that will look at the state of the aviation workforce.

The Transport and Logistics industry Skills Council (TLISC) has been contracted by the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development to undertake the study.

It will focus on areas including skills shortages, emerging skills capacity, labour supply, and various aspects of training.

The survey is open until this Friday. It will take about 5-10 minutes and is completely anonymous.

More information.

Diary Dates

2015 Australian Training Awards
DATE: 19 November 2015
DETAILS: www.australiantrainingawards.gov.au

NCVER Research Forum
VET’s role in re-skilling displaced workers

DATE: 19 November 2015
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Victoria
DETAILS: Find out more.

HERDSA (Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia)
The Shape of Higher Education

DATE: 4-7 July 2016
LOCATION: Fremantle
DETAILS: More information

Corporate Affiliates