In this edition

  • Completion rates improve under revamped student loan scheme
  • TVET reform in Chile brings opportunity for Australian TAFEs
  • Global TVET leaders to feature at WFCP 2018 World Congress
  • Experts to examine equality in Australia’s tertiary education system
  • Extended deadline for submissions to the AVETRA VET practitioner research conference
  • College closure plays out in the courts
  • TasTAFE yet to be fully addressed in Tasmanian election, expert warns
  • Diary

Completion rates improve under revamped student loan scheme

The completion rate for units of study under the revamped VET student loan program has increased six percentage points to 81.4 per cent over the second half of 2017, according to the latest report card.

The federal government report shows progress on the VET Student Loans (VSL) program which replaced the  VET FEE-HELP (VFH) scheme in January 2017.

Because only a relatively small of students completed courses over the period, the report focuses on units of study, which rose from 75.2 per cent (January to June 2017) to 81.4 (July to December 2017).

A total of $114 million in student loans was paid to 144 registered training organisations, assisting 35,197 students in the latest six-month period.

Nine of the top 10 providers, by value of loans paid, were public providers (TAFEs and universities), while in terms of student numbers, all of the top ten providers were public.

The Diploma of Nursing was the highest ranking course, both in enrolments and value of loans. The Diploma of Business, once the most popular course under VFH is now in 7th place.

TVET reform in Chile brings opportunity for Australian TAFEs

A visit to Australian TAFEs by two rectors from Chile’s public polytechnics has highlighted the opportunity for Australian TAFEs to engage with like minded institutions in Chile. The visit also highlighted the focus that the Chilean Government has on the importance, and reform of, their vocational education and training system – a trend reflected in many of our global partners.

Mr Carlos Silva and Mr Manuel Farias Viguera have recently been appointed as rectors to Chile’s public Centros de Formacion Tecnica (CFTs). The Chilean Government passed legislation in 2016 to establish 15 public CFTs – institutions that will be regionally based and responsive to local industry and community needs to complement the existing private CFTs, which do not have the broad remit expected of a public institution.  Five rectors have been appointed, and construction has started on the first set of facilities. While each institution is expected to offer a broad range of qualifications, initial industry sectors will include mining, agriculture, tourism and hospitality, cybersecurity and electrical and mechanical engineering. All public CFTs are expected to commence by 2020.

The two rectors visited TAFEs in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane and met with TDA and TAFE leaders to explore ways to work together. Opportunities exist for TAFEs to support establishing the institutions (including governance, resourcing and technology), engaging with industry and developing a robust training workforce. TDA expects to welcome back seven rectors to our Congress in October, providing additional opportunities for TAFE engagement.

Rector Carlos Silva is engaged with industry sectors including Tourism and Hospitality, Metal Mechanic Assemblage and Maintenance, Animal Technology, Electronics and Electromechanical Maintenance and Cybersecurity.

Rector Manuel Farias Viguera is engaged with Agriculture, Construction, and Mining.

Rector Carlos Silva, TDA Chief Executive Craig Robertson and Rector Manuel Farias Viguera

Global TVET leaders to feature at WFCP 2018 World Congress

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) 2018 World Congress, hosted by TDA, will feature high-profile global speakers.

We are delighted to announce our first two global speakers, renowned education and training scholar, Dr David Finegold, and South African TVET expert, Professor Stephanie Allias. Dr David L. Finegold is a scholar and educational entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to education and training reform, designing high-performance organisations, and international comparisons of skill-creation systems and performance. Professor Stephanie Matseleng Allias is the SARCHi Research Chair of Skills Development at the Centre for Researching Education and Labour, in the School of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and Skills Adviser to the South African Government. Professor Allais’s research interests are in the sociology of education, policy, education and development, curriculum, and political economy of education, focused on relationships between education and work. See more.

We are also delighted to announce that Leigh Sales will return to TDA’s annual event, acting as MC for the 2018 World Congress.

Don’t miss your chance to contribute to this global conversation on the future of skills and training. The submission date for speaker proposals has been extended to 28 February. Interest in presenting at the Congress is high, with speaker proposals flooding in from Brazil, Canada, China, New Zealand, the US, the UK and Australia.

See for more information.

Experts to examine equality in Australia’s tertiary education system

A free seminar in Melbourne next week will feature education experts discussing the issue of inequality and fair access to tertiary education.

The Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education and KPMG are jointly hosting the seminar titled ‘How to achieve … an equitable tertiary education system’. Panel members are:

  • Andrew Norton, Higher Education Program director with the Grattan Institute
  • Andrew Harvey, Director of the Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research at La Trobe University
  • Dr Martin Doel, FETL Professor of Leadership in Further Education and Skills, University College London Institute of Education
  • Chaired by: Professor Kerri-Lee Krause Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at La Trobe University.

The seminar will take place Monday 26 February, 5:30pm – 7:45pm, Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Building, Swanston Street, Parkville Campus, The University of Melbourne.
It is free but registration is essential. See more.

Extended deadline for submissions to the AVETRA VET practitioner research conference

The inaugural AVETRA VET Practitioner Research Conference will be held 26-27 April at the VET Development Centre in Melbourne.

The conference is a unique opportunity for VET teachers, trainers and other professionals to present and learn about new research in VET.

Workshops, brief research ‘snapshots’ and full research presentations make up the program, along with an international keynote, José Luis Fernandez Maure, Head of International at TKNIKA (Institute of Innovation and Applied Research for Vocational Education and Training) in the Basque Country.

A new deadline of Monday, 26 February has been set for submitting an expression of interest for a research presentation. Access the EoI forms at the AVETRA website, or request a form through the conference email:

College closure plays out in the courts

The extraordinary details of the collapse of one of the country’s biggest private colleges has been unfolding in court and reported in The Australian.

The Australian Institute of Professional Education entered voluntary administration in October 2016, leaving approximately 15,000 students without qualifications.

A report in The Australian has detailed action by the ACCC and administrator Ferrier Hodgson in the NSW Supreme Court.

“DET figures show that just 5 per cent of the almost 9000 AIPE students who started in 2013 and 2014 had completed their ostensibly 12-18 month diploma courses within three years,” The Australian said.

“About 88 per cent had dropped out, with reports that thousands were never offered refunds of course fees averaging about $17,700, it says.

See ‘Failed college administrators following bewildering money trail’

TasTAFE yet to be fully addressed in Tasmanian election, expert warns

With less than a fortnight until the Tasmanian state election, an education expert has warned that neither major party has sought to address the state’s TAFE system.

University of Tasmania Professor Ian Hay has told The Examiner that neither the Liberal nor Labor parties had yet produced a comprehensive policy on their plans for TasTAFE.

“Part of the problem is TAFE still hasn’t settled down, there’s been a number of attempts to settle it down and it still hasn’t quite evolved,” Professor Hay said.

“I think TAFE is still trying to work out where it all fits within the new parameters of education in Australia.”

Professor Hay said politicians had done well in identifying and addressing early education issues in Tasmania, and providing greater resources to support universities, but there was a need to “re-energise the TAFE sector”.

“No government can let TAFE just drift along, it does really need to be looked at as a major component in the economy,” he said.

See more

Diary Dates

ASEAN Australia Education Dialogue
21-23 March 2018
Penang, Malaysia
More information

VET Practitioner Research Conference
AVETRA, VET Development Centre, and Victorian TAFE Assoc.
26-27 April 2018
More information

VET CEO Conference
Velg Training
18 May 2018
Hilton Brisbane
More information

Skills Show Australia 2018
WorldSkills Australia
2-4 June 2018
International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney
More information

Skills Pathway Expo
Velg Training
2 – 4 June 2018
International Convention Centre Sydney
More information

Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD)
National Conference

7- 8 June 2018
International Convention Centre, Sydney
More information

2018 Skills Conference
Apprentice Employment Network, NSW & ACT
14 June 2018
Dockside Darling Harbour, Sydney
More information

2018 UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme
25 June – 6 July 2018
Bonn, Germany
More information

QLD Schools VET Conference
Velg Training
10 August 2018
Hilton Brisbane
More information

No Frills – Skills for a global future
NCVER & New Zealand’s Ako Aotearoa and Industry Training Federation
15-17 August 2018
More information

Victorian TAFE Association State Conference
‘TAFE: Dynamic, Connected, Invigorated’
16-17 August 2018
RACV City Club, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne
More information coming soon

National Skills Week 2018
27 August – 2 September 2018
More information 

2018 VDC Teaching & Learning Conference
6 – 7 September 2018
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
More information

National VET Conference
Velg Training
13 – 14 September 2018
Adelaide Convention Centre
More information

2018 World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) World Congress (in conjunction with TDA National Conference)
8-10 October 2018
Melbourne Convention Centre
More information


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