Spending by Chines students fell by over 3% to $3.9 billion last year as Australia’s international education industry shrank to $15 billion.
China represented about 25% of total spending by foreign students. Taking into account tuition fees and living expenses, according to the Government agency, Australian Education International.
Although still the No.1 services export, Australia’s inbound education industry earned $700 million less in 2012 than the previous year. It still remains well below the 2009 peak of $17.6 billion. However experts believe that the inbound education market is near its bottom and poised for a recovery, which will be led by higher education. Mainly due to the fact that it offers a more streamlined visa processing and post study work rights.
Population scholar Peter McDonald has said that ‘ Australia is witnessing a dramatic increase in older workers as better-educated employees enter the labour market and take up physically undemanding jobs and reach their 60’s still with dependent children’.
In April of this year, almost 64 per cent of men aged 60-64 were in the labour force compared with 45 per cent in April 2000. In the same period, the participation of women in the same age group, grew from quarter to half.
A vast untapped pool of skilled Indian migrants could be used to teach Hindi in Australian schools and universities, according to a new report.
The report, published by Australia India Institute, a Melbourne based think tank, argues for the inclusion of Hindi in the Australian school curriculum, saying that it should be an essential part of the Commonwealth’s Asia policy.
Tighter screening checks are set to be introduced for those wanting to work in South Australian schools. Education Minister, Jennifer Rankine has said that people who have committed any of a wide range of offences will automatically be excluded from becoming teachers. While others may be banned on other grounds.
Currently people wanting to become a teacher have a criminal history check, but it is up to the Teachers Registration Board, whether they are registered. At present there are no offences that are prescribed as excluding someone from becoming a teacher. However a ‘prescribed offences list’ is to be established which would exclude people from teaching, while another list will presume exclusion, but appeals would be permitted.
South Australia is close to signing on to the Federal Government’s schools funding scheme, with Premier Jay Weatherill putting his support firmly behind the Gonski model. But as negotiations continue, the Labor leader is yet to commit the state to the plan.
Hoping to meet a June 30 deadline, the Premier declined to outline his concerns, but stated that he was ‘absolutely’ satisfied that South Australia would receive more money under the Gonski funding model.
NSW is so far, the only state to have signed on to the proposal. Which will provide an extra $14.5 billion in total over the next six years, plus indexation.
Australian Education Union members have overwhelmingly endorsed the in-principle deal brokered with the Victorian State Government, last month.
All of the 27 regions voted in favour of the deal, which the AEU says will see Victorian public education staff receive salary increases of up to 20.5% over three years and ten months. An AEU spokesperson said the process to ratify the agreement was now complete, with 78% of votes cast in support of the in-principle agreement. The decision will also impact on teachers at Catholic schools, whose wages are tied to those in state schools.
AEU president Meredith Peace said, last month, that the in-principle deal was a significant win which will see Victorian teachers at the top of the pay scale to become the second highest paid in Australia, after Western Australia.