Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

The New Narrative

Monday, September 28 2015

The first week of the Turnbull Government has seen some quick moves in the Higher Education space.

The new Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham has rapidly commenced searching for a way through the Senate impasse. There has already been some speculation that a tiered approach to the Higher Education Reforms may be seen as more palatable. This model would see the Government approaching the reforms in bite sized chunks.

Readers of NMU would recall the ACPET position has long been that the first step needs to be the removal of the current inequities in the sector. That would see the removal or reduction of the 25% administration loading that is currently charged to the students of Non-University Providers and the creation of a more level playing field where the students in Universities are charged the same level of administration fees.

The second element is of course the provision of CSPs to the sector. 

These two changes would see a big step forward for students and the beginning of enhanced competition for the sector. We look forward to the on-going debate.  The new Minister for Vocational Education and Skills the Hon Luke Hartsuyker is also hitting the ground running and is focussing on some of the critical issues in the sector. The failure of the South Australian Government to abide by the requirements of the National Partnership is one such priority. For our South Australian members, you can be assured that we continue to call for urgent intervention. A lack of action in this space would see the end to National collaboration on VET reform.

For Members interested in access to the Victorian Training Guarantee, please note that from 21 September the Department of Education and Training has opened the Expression of Interest for entry to the market. Documentation will need to be lodged by 16 October 2015.

Pleasingly, tougher new market entry requirements, based on the Victorian Review of Quality Assurance will feature in the process.

On the international front, last week I attended the official Luncheon in honour of His Excellency Mr Navdeep Suri, High Commissioner for India in Australia and Mrs Maninder Suri, together with the Deputy Premier of Queensland, the Hon Jackie Trad. Education featured heavily in the discussion and the Indian Government is striving to develop business relationships with Australian providers with capability to deliver in India.
We will continue to work with Austrade, State and Territory and Commonwealth Governments in pursuing this initiative. 

ACPET also appeared at the General Purpose Standing Committee inquiry into vocational education and training in New South Wales. The focus of the discussion was very much on the problems in the procurement process and the value of private education. There were strong views evident in the discussions, and we continue to argue that both public and quality private providers have important roles to play and that Governments must take responsibility for designing and managing their markets to assure a quality outcome.

On a lighter note this week sees ACPET’s Grand Final Breakfast at the MCG. It will be exciting to hear the former stars of the game, Hawthorn’s Robert ‘Dippa’ DiPierdomenico, Carlton legend Ken Hunter, Brisbane and Fitzroy champion Chris Johnson and Richmond’s Chris Naish.

There are still a few tickets left and as all proceeds go to charity, it is an event we all should support!

It will be very interesting to hear from the former greats about the current state of the game, and also the importance of education for young players.


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