Edition 719, 21 August 2017
Well this week is only short….
Monday, August 21 2017
The coming week for us of course will be dominated by the ACPET conference.
I have already described to you the reform agenda that we will be contemplating, not just of Tertiary Education but of ACPET itself.
With both the APIEF and the Conference taking on the issues that matter, I am very interested in what may eventuate.
The celebration of the 25-year anniversary should also be a great experience. A chance for us to sit back and ‘enjoy the moment’ with some of the leaders that made such a difference over the period.
In other news, the dates for submissions to the NVETR Act have now closed. Having experienced the tumultuous times in the sector over the last two years, I for one do advocate for a regulator that is fit for purpose and has the appropriate powers to both reward outstanding performance with less burdensome red tape, while closely monitoring and intervening where required.
A key to any regulatory reforms will be the ready availability of performance and outcome data that will enable regulators to more quickly identify poor performance and take action. It defies logic that current national data polices prevent the sharing of this data. Equally there needs to be easier access to this data so that students are able to make the best possible choices about their course of study and provider.
Another key outcome of the review must also be a more nuanced regulatory approach that acknowledges, recognises and rewards quality providers. I’m not convinced that the recent approach of ‘doubling down’ on regulation in response to some of the concerns with VET FEE-HELP is sustainable or in the best interests of students and industry. Good providers who simply ‘walk away’ in response to an increasing regulatory burden would be a real loss.
I look forward to the outcomes, of course together with the review by Professor Valerie Braithwaite.
This process will also feature at the conference.
In Higher Education we don’t seem any closer to resolution of the reform package that is before the Senate. The report of the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee has been finalised, though it failed to even mention the inequity of students of private colleges being forced to pay a 25% fee, whereas their University counterparts do not.
More work to do here!
We also have our eye on reforms in international education. A policy panel at APIEF will discuss these in more detail, but worth mentioning is a comprehensive review of the ESOS National Code, occurring over a long period. Also in the late stages of consideration are proposed changes to ELICOS standards, designed to bring greater consistency in the regulation of English language courses. ACPET and many members made submissions, and hopefully the outcomes of both reviews are imminent.
The simplified student visa framework (SSVF) is a key enabling feature of the inbound international student market and has been operating for over 12 months now. DIBP’s ‘status appraisal’ is soon underway to consider any emerging operational or integrity issues. We’ll be asking for members’ views when appropriate.
I said it would be short – I will save the rest for our conference.
I hope to get a chance to see you all.
Chief Executive Officer