Education Matters - News impacting schools, teachers and students
  •      

Abbott's School Plan Sham

The education union has launched an advertising blitz warning voters not to trust Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s ‘sham’ promise to match Labor when it comes to schools funding.

The Australian Education Union has placed the ads in major papers across the country, claiming voters have a ‘stark and important’ choice to make this election about the future of schools.

The ads claim an Abbott government would invest $2.8 billion in schools over four years to compared to Labor’s pledged $10 billion over six years.

After months of insisting the current funding model wasn’t broken, the coalition this month vowed to honour and match the school funding agreements entered into under Labor’s Better Schools plan.

Mr Abbott said as far as school fund was concerned, he and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd were ‘on a unity ticket’.

The AUE’s president Angelo Gavrielatos rubbished the claim, and warned parents not to be misled by Mr Abbott’s efforts to take education off the election agenda.

‘This is no unity ticket on schools funding,’ he said in a statement on Wednesday.

‘Overall, the Coalition plan for extra schools funding comes up $7 billion short.’

The union is particularly concerned by the coalition’s plan to cut short the six-year deals already signed by federal Labor and the NSW, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania and South Australian governments.

Meanwhile, the Australian Salary Packaging Industry Association has also run full-page ads against the Rudd government’s changes to the fringe benefits tax.

It says the changes mean the cost of living for thousands would increase and there’d be job losses in associated industries.

]]>

Abbott’s School Plan Sham

The education union has launched an advertising blitz warning voters not to trust Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s ‘sham’ promise to match Labor when it comes to schools funding.

The Australian Education Union has placed the ads in major papers across the country, claiming voters have a ‘stark and important’ choice to make this election about the future of schools.

The ads claim an Abbott government would invest $2.8 billion in schools over four years to compared to Labor’s pledged $10 billion over six years.

After months of insisting the current funding model wasn’t broken, the coalition this month vowed to honour and match the school funding agreements entered into under Labor’s Better Schools plan.

Mr Abbott said as far as school fund was concerned, he and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd were ‘on a unity ticket’.

The AUE’s president Angelo Gavrielatos rubbished the claim, and warned parents not to be misled by Mr Abbott’s efforts to take education off the election agenda.

‘This is no unity ticket on schools funding,’ he said in a statement on Wednesday.

‘Overall, the Coalition plan for extra schools funding comes up $7 billion short.’

The union is particularly concerned by the coalition’s plan to cut short the six-year deals already signed by federal Labor and the NSW, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania and South Australian governments.

Meanwhile, the Australian Salary Packaging Industry Association has also run full-page ads against the Rudd government’s changes to the fringe benefits tax.

It says the changes mean the cost of living for thousands would increase and there’d be job losses in associated industries.

Australia Costly For Foreign Students

Australia has topped the US and Britain as the most expensive country in the world for foreign students, an international report has found.

But the falling currency and improved visa processes could soon see a resurgence in numbers.

The report comes amid concern among education groups that Australia is losing its competitive edge in attracting international students. They want the next government to review Australia’s visa system and ”aggressively promote” Australian education overseas.

The average cost of university fees and living expenses in Australia was $US38,000 ($41,700) a year for international students, HSBC research found. In the US, costs were $US35,000 a year while students in Britain paid $US30,000.

The total number of international students enrolled in Australia has fallen almost 20 per cent since the peak of 472,214 in 2010, data from federal government agency Australian Education International showed.

”While Australia has continued to enjoy higher economic growth than other Western markets over the past five years, this has also led to a higher Australian dollar, which has placed a strain on the price competitiveness of our export sectors, including education,” HSBC’s head of retail banking and wealth management in Australia Graham Heunis said.

International Education Association of Australia executive director Phil Honeywood said Australia had one of the ”most expensive, slow and inflexible” visa systems in the world. International education returned $15 billion a year to the economy and employed more than 100,000 people, he said.

But the sector lacked a ”strong government champion” and support offered to other industries, including tourism, mining and manufacturing.

The education groups, which include representatives from the TAFE and private sectors, said public and private education providers were burdened with a ”multitude of costs associated with regulation”.

The Council of International Students Australia’s immediate past president, Aleem Nizari, said working visas for foreign students who had finished their degrees remained a pressing issue. He said many employers were also confused about the post-study work visa. The lack of clarity made it difficult for graduates to gain work experience before returning home. 

UniSA On Path To Learning Excellence

EMPLOYING 100 extra professors, creating a birth to year 12 school and introducing three more regional campuses are a part of an ambitious new, five-year action plan for the state’s biggest university.

University of South Australia Vice-chancellor, Professor David Lloyd, said the new plan – which sought input from 8000 current and past students, staff and the business community online – was “ambitious but achievable”.

The revolutionary plan aims to make the institution Australia’s “university of enterprise” which would position it among the nation’s best.

The five-year blueprint, titled Crossing the Horizon, was officially approved yesterday and also includes plans to build three new regional campuses at yet to be revealed locations, new UniSA-branded accommodation sites and a new sports and cultural complex which would include a gym, pool and theatre which would be open to the public and known as the “Great Hall”.

It also plans to increase its international student cohort up from 24 per cent currently to 30 per cent in 2018 and expand its presence overseas, particularly in China.

The new plan also seeks to appoint more industry and professional leaders on its expert advisory boards, and create competitive internship or work experience opportunities for all students.

India’s Education Minister Visits UNSW

 A delegation of Indian education officials visiting the University of New South Wales has called for stronger research partnerships between Australian and Indian higher educational institutions.

“The progress we would like to make on this front is a greater exchange of faculty and students,” said India’s Minister for Human Resources Development Dr Pallam Raju during his meeting with UNSW executive today.

Dr Raju, whose portfolio covers all aspects of India’s schools and higher education policy, led the high-level delegation, which included senior government officials and 22 Vice-Chancellors.

He said the Indian government would be announcing in the next two months a new international program aimed at encouraging faculty exchanges to Australia, but he did not specify how much money had been earmarked for the program. 

There were related discussions about establishing jointly supervised PhD programs, where students could split their time between Australia and India and receive qualifications from both countries.

Dr Raju also said he was committed to continuing the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) beyond 2016, when the decade-long initiative finishes. The $64 million fund has supported more than 100 joint projects and workshops.

Australia’s Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr today announced $10 million in funding from the AISRF to support four new collaborative projects

“Since this is doing so well, we will definitely increase the funding,” said Dr Raju. “[Senator Carr] is committed to research and I think he sees the strength of this partnership and I’m certain that Australia will also increase the funding.”

According to UNSW’s Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Mark Hoffman, UNSW has had 13 projects funded by the AISRF over the last five years worth $3.3 million, “which is significantly more than any other University”.

“The beauty of the scheme is that it has catalysed very significant industry linkages. Last year UNSW got India corporates funding research to the tune of $1.8 million, which was actually more than any other country,” said Professor Hoffman.

Dr Raju also spoke about the need to improve educational capacity and quality within India in order to provide training to the country’s growing workforce. “We are talking about 500 million young people to be skilled by 2022,” he says.

UNSW’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Fred Hilmer acknowledged the challenge and said: “As one of Australia’s leading research universities, UNSW is optimistic about future opportunities to engage with India as it works toward this goal.”

UNSW was the only university in Sydney on the Indian delegation’s itinerary. UNSW maintains a positive profile in India, symbolised by the University’s Gandhi bust, donated by the Indian government in 2010, and its annual Gandhi oration.

India's Education Minister Visits UNSW

 A delegation of Indian education officials visiting the University of New South Wales has called for stronger research partnerships between Australian and Indian higher educational institutions.

“The progress we would like to make on this front is a greater exchange of faculty and students,” said India’s Minister for Human Resources Development Dr Pallam Raju during his meeting with UNSW executive today.

Dr Raju, whose portfolio covers all aspects of India’s schools and higher education policy, led the high-level delegation, which included senior government officials and 22 Vice-Chancellors.

He said the Indian government would be announcing in the next two months a new international program aimed at encouraging faculty exchanges to Australia, but he did not specify how much money had been earmarked for the program. 

There were related discussions about establishing jointly supervised PhD programs, where students could split their time between Australia and India and receive qualifications from both countries.

Dr Raju also said he was committed to continuing the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) beyond 2016, when the decade-long initiative finishes. The $64 million fund has supported more than 100 joint projects and workshops.

Australia’s Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr today announced $10 million in funding from the AISRF to support four new collaborative projects

“Since this is doing so well, we will definitely increase the funding,” said Dr Raju. “[Senator Carr] is committed to research and I think he sees the strength of this partnership and I’m certain that Australia will also increase the funding.”

According to UNSW’s Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Mark Hoffman, UNSW has had 13 projects funded by the AISRF over the last five years worth $3.3 million, “which is significantly more than any other University”.

“The beauty of the scheme is that it has catalysed very significant industry linkages. Last year UNSW got India corporates funding research to the tune of $1.8 million, which was actually more than any other country,” said Professor Hoffman.

Dr Raju also spoke about the need to improve educational capacity and quality within India in order to provide training to the country’s growing workforce. “We are talking about 500 million young people to be skilled by 2022,” he says.

UNSW’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Fred Hilmer acknowledged the challenge and said: “As one of Australia’s leading research universities, UNSW is optimistic about future opportunities to engage with India as it works toward this goal.”

UNSW was the only university in Sydney on the Indian delegation’s itinerary. UNSW maintains a positive profile in India, symbolised by the University’s Gandhi bust, donated by the Indian government in 2010, and its annual Gandhi oration.

]]>