Edition 621, 14 September 2015
Monday, September 14 2015
NMU 14 September
Good morning everyone. Rod is currently overseas preparing for a big birthday I believe. For those who missed his contribution to last week’s NMU, I apologise. A small technical hitch but the article is available here.
I had the pleasure of being joined by Matt Traynor from our Queensland office in meeting with the 38 APTISI representatives of the Association of Indonesian Private Higher Education Institutions who visited Western Australia at the start of last week. It was a great opportunity to exchange ideas and show them some of the terrific work of ACPET members in WA.
We started the day with a visit to the Australian School of Management. Andrew Crevald represented ACPET at an MOU signing. Prof Dr Edy Suandi Hamid M.Ec. signed on behalf of APTISI and his signature was witnessed by the Indonesian Consul General to WA.
We were very lucky to have Lachlan Lawton, a student at Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and son of one of our State Committee members, Sue Lawton, attend the signing and sing the national anthems of both countries. I believe the Indonesian delegates were most appreciative.
The delegation enjoyed the tour of ASM and the subsequent visits to Marr Mooditj College and Notre Dame University. The discussion of bush tucker and some of the cultural diversity issues at Marr Mooditj appeared of particular interest to the delegates.
The Indonesian delegates expressed a genuine desire to work together and are bringing another delegation to Melbourne and Sydney in the last week of September. They are also keen to meet up with Australian delegates on Minister Robb’s mission in November and to have discussions as part of their conference in January.
As with all such MOUs the challenge is now to turn the good intent into tangible outcomes and to build a truly productive relationship for both sides.
Australian Student Tuition Assurance Scheme (ASTAS)
A large part of my week was spent dealing with issues around our ASTAS products. It has become very obvious that many members of the Schemes do not fully understand how it works.
Despite repeated requests for members to advise the ACPET office of any significant changes to their delivery in either scope of courses or student numbers and thus exposure we find ourselves discovering almost by accident huge changes to delivery without the appropriate Assurance cover.
The alarming thing about this is that members will not have the appropriate cover and thus should not be delivering programs and enrolling students.
If members do not comply with our requests they should not offer courses requiring Tuition Assurance Protection.
I will be writing to all ASTAS members again this week. Please do not disregard the correspondence, it could cost you a significant part of your business.
The new simplified student visa framework
I know that sounds like an oxymoron, a Government policy and simplification but at least on the surface it is a great step forward.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection website has been updated with information about the new simplified international student visa framework (SSVF). The SSVF is expected to be implemented by mid-2016, subject to the regulatory change process.
Information for education providers and students about the SSVF is available at the following links:
- Australian education providers - https://www.border.gov.au/Educationproviders/Pages/education-providers.aspx
- Students - https://www.border.gov.au/StudyinginAustralia/Pages/student-individuals.aspx
More information will be published on the department’s website at www.border.gov.au as it becomes available.
The Week Ahead
As usual the week ahead presents a number of challenges for ACPET and you as members. Certainly getting the balance right with regard to our ASTAS products will be critical for the future of this valuable service to members. We are constantly reminding ourselves that we are not a regulator or arm of Government but we still need to have sufficient processes in place to ensure we do not expose members to unacceptable risk and ensure the quality of our membership and services.
I am looking forward to the week and hope you all have productive and enjoyable ones.