Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

Edition 566, 11 August 2014

In Focus
What's On
International Engagement
Domestic Policy
Domestic Policy Matters
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In Focus

Monday, August 11 2014

Hi Everyone,

Firstly let me provide some good news to all those who are part of, or are looking to join, ACPET’s Australian Student Tuition Assurance Scheme (ASTAS). We have been successful in negotiating a new insurance arrangement which is not only an improved service it is also considerably cheaper than previous arrangements. All the details have not yet been finalised and we will further modify arrangements to simplify the application process in the coming months.

We have however been able to offer all members who have been waiting for renewal notices for their Fee Help and VET-Fee Help ASTAS, a 20% premium reduction. Notices will be going out in the next week.

There are still some details to be sorted out in regard to ACPET’s ASTAS for members needing to cover the fees paid in advance to meet ASQA’s requirements.

Another piece of good news for members is that ACPET will be providing a regular summary of news coverage of issues of strategic importance. This will be provided in the member only section of the website. I am hoping this will commence in the coming week. I will advise you when it has been loaded. An example of the sort of information and links that will be provided include the below quote from

“TASMANIAN Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie has signalled the Coalition will have a fight on its hands in the Senate over proposed changes to university funding.”

This highlights the extent of the challenge facing the private Higher Education providers in supporting the Government’s push to reform Higher Education funding arrangements.

On the policy agenda this week has been the debate about the need to provide some structure around English Languag programs. There are two main areas in which courses are offered. One is ELICOS and the other is as part of a vocational program. It appears that the two areas have been blurring lately and ASQA has changed its stance on providing advice in this area as a result of legal opinion. The number of English courses is also growing.

NEAS has led a debate about the future of English programs and ensuring quality outcomes for students. There would appear to be significant support for a more structured approach. One of the areas of debate is whether that structure should take the form of a Training Package or whether a training framework would be a more appropriate approach.

ACPET’s approach to date has been to support the training framework approach. We have been advocating that training providers should be very clear when advertising English programs about the purpose. Are students going to receive a program that is aimed at improving English language skills for study at higher education institutes, is it for purely social English skills or is it part of a preparation for work?

ACPET’s position is evolving and we need input from members who deliver English programs to ensure we are representing the collective views of members. Please provide any thoughts to me at, or to

Just a quick weather update. Perth is experiencing some amazing winter weather with fine days around 23 degrees. If you needed any further encouragement to sign up for the Annual Conference in Perth and Fremantle, the beach is just magic at the moment. Hope to see you all in WA at the end of August.

Larry Davies


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