In this edition

  • TAFE joins universities in support of national tertiary education inquiry
  • Planning for Melbourne World Congress on track
  • Speaker proposals close this week for the 2018 World Congress
  • Bendigo Kangan skills bus a show stopper at Victorian parliament
  • The Australian’s John Ross takes on a new role
  • UK government launches higher education review
  • ASQA recruiting regulatory officer
  • Diary

TAFE joins universities in support of national tertiary education inquiry

TDA has thrown its support behind a proposal from the federal opposition to embark on a national inquiry into the tertiary education sector.

TDA chief executive Craig Robertson said a well-funded network of TAFE across Australia operating in a post-school education system, in which universities and TAFE were on an equal footing, would need to be part of such a review.

“The Commonwealth and states share responsibility for vocational education and training but we don’t see signs of a joint commitment to modernising the system,” Robertson said.

Speaking on ABC TV News at Noon with Universities Australia CEO Belinda Robinson, he said “It’s not about favouring one pathway over another. Both universities and VET have enormous opportunities and need to operate in a coherent way if we are to deliver the best outcomes for students, workers and enterprises,” he said.

Listen to the ABC World Today ‘Push to examine higher education sector’ with Opposition education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek, chief executive of Universities Australia Belinda Robinson, and TDA chief executive Craig Robertson.

In today’s Financial Review, KPMG’s national sector leader for education, Stephen Parker says the current system is a stark binary with TAFEs and university at opposite ends. He says the higher education system is not equipped to meet the jobs of the future and TAFE is too starved of funds to fill the gap.

Today on Twitter, academic Professor Gavin Moodie called for Labor’s review to be headed by former prime minister Julia Gillard “who as minister steered the adoption of the Bradley review & has deep expertise in the policy & politics of tertiary ed review.”

Planning for Melbourne World Congress on track

Members of the board of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) checked in on planning and progress for the October WFCP Congress in Melbourne in October. Members of the WFCP Board recognised the level of preparation for the Congress and the calibre of the keynote speakers.  Over 60 proposals for speaking and presentation have been received from around the globe and nominations are rolling in for the Awards of Excellence to be announced at the Congress.

All countries are working hard to build their representation at the Congress.

The Congress presents all TAFEs and stakeholders of vocational education and training in Australia the opportunity to engage on issues of skills and training from a world-wide perspective. “The timing of the Congress couldn’t be better” Craig Robertson, CEO of TDA said, “given we in Australia are contemplating the future direction for the sector.”

“It’s crucial that TAFEs and Australian stakeholders play their role in the Congress, not only to showcase TAFE to the rest of the world but to be part of setting new directions for vocational education and training in Australia,” Mr Robertson said.

Proposals for speaking are still able to be received, until Wednesday this week, so it’s not too late (see story below).  If you have missed nominating for awards of excellence, please contact memberservices@tda.edu.au to discuss options to submit a nomination.

Left to right: John Henik, Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs, Kirkwood Community College, IOWA USA; Jen Bahen, Director International, TDA; Denise Amyot, President/CEO, Colleges and Institutes, Canada; Larry Rosia, President/CEO, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Canada; Phil Kerr, CEO, Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand; Craig Robertson, Chair WFCP Board, CEO TDA; Wayne Wheeler, Director International Programs and Services, American Association of Community Colleges; Tresanna Hassanally, Program Officer, WFCP; and Andrew Williamson, CEO, Victorian TAFE Association

Speaker proposals close this week for the 2018 World Congress

Is your institution demonstrating leading edge practice in preparing students for the changing world of work?

Are you forming innovative partnerships with industry?

Don’t miss your opportunity to take to the stage at of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) being held in Melbourne in October.

There are just three days remaining to lodge proposals for keynote speakers, breakout sessions and workshops.The theme ‘Preparing for the Skills Future, Now’ will include breakout sessions on the future for colleges and polytechnics, and the future for teaching and learning. A full list can be found on our website.

We are delighted with the level of interest to date, with over 60 submissions from around the globe. National and International experts from institutions in professional and technical education and training are ready to share their passions, experiences and ideas – please join them.

The deadline for the Call for Proposals is this Wednesday 28 February. Click here for information on how to submit a proposal.

Congress registration is also open. Click here to express interest, book an exhibition booth or register.

Bendigo Kangan skills bus a show stopper at Victorian parliament

Victorian MPs got a close-up look at Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute’s new mobile skills and jobs bus which had a prime spot in front of state parliament last week.

The mobile centres were established by the state government to provide a one-stop-shop for advice on employment, training or upskilling.

Kangan Institute CEO Trevor Schwenke was on hand with the Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney to promote the new service.

“Having a mobile Skills and Jobs Centre allows us to bring information and knowledge to people who need it. It is a logical expansion of our services to include those who otherwise may not have access to them,” Mr Schwenke said.

Since its launch last December, the Bendigo Kangan bus has delivered services to jobseekers and employers from Broadmeadows to Echuca. The institute also operates services at its Bendigo and Broadmeadows campuses, as well as a special kiosk at Broadmeadows shopping centre.

Kangan Institute CEO Trevor Schwenke and Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney outside Victoria’s parliament

The Australian’s John Ross takes on a new role

John Ross, former higher education and science writer with The Australian, begins a new role today as Asia Pacific editor of Times Higher Education.


THE, which publishes the influential World University Rankings, is expanding its media coverage of tertiary education worldwide. Ross will cover big picture issues around tertiary education policy, politics and practice, including vocational education.

Ross, who spent seven years at The Australian, brought a strong focus to the VET sector and covered a string of major policy issues across the states and Commonwealth.

The new higher education and science writer at The Australian is Sian Powell, a highly experienced journalist who has worked domestically and abroad with the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, including as the paper’s Jakarta correspondent.

UK government launches higher education review

The UK government has launched a wide-ranging review into higher education, aimed at breaking down some of the barriers between technical and academic choices – bearing some similarities with last week’s plan by Australian federal Labor (see story above).

Prime Minister Theresa May made it clear that the current secondary system is not working as well as it could be.

She warned against “outdated attitudes” that favour academic over technical qualifications and pledged to use the review to look at “the whole post-18 education sector in the round, breaking down false boundaries between further and higher education, to create a system which is truly joined up.”

The review will be supported by a panel of experts and headed by a former head of the Department for Education, Philip Augar.

See more

ASQA recruiting regulatory officer

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is recruiting for the position of Lead Regulatory Officer based in Brisbane.

Working as part of a team, the Lead Regulatory Officer will be required to analyse allocated complaints and regulatory matters and decide appropriate responses.

Applications close 6 March.

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
Sydney
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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