Category Archives: Education

JOHN MENADUE. The banking royal commission confirms our worst fears about many business executives and crony capitalism

There was a revealing heading in an article a while back by Ross Gittins, the economics editor of the SMH, ‘Faster growth demands better chief executives’. He concluded his article by pointing to the need for business leadership to seize … Continue reading

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TIM SOUTPHOMMASANE. Australian business and other organisations persistently fall short on cultural diversity.

Australia is widely celebrated as a multicultural triumph, but any such success remains incomplete. There remains significant under-representation of cultural diversity in the senior leadership of Australian organisations. Our society does not yet appear to be making the most of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Education, Human Rights | 3 Comments

LYNDSAY CONNORS. Where did the money come from for the recent Robocalling in Batman?

In the recent Batman by-election, the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) headed by Executive Director, Stephen Elder, contacted voters directly through so-called  Robocalling to urge them to vote Labor. Since then, I have been asking myself two questions.  Why … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Is it time to shut Goulburn’s Catholic School doors … again?

For those who don’t have a life and follow the school funding saga, the recent spat over Catholic school funding won’t come as any great surprise. Labor’s proposed extra $250 million commitment has attracted criticism, most recently from The Australian … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR and LYNDSAY CONNORS A school funding horror story: special deals are back

Almost a year ago we thought that peace had been declared in the school funding wars. True, the Turnbull government’s ‘Gonski’ school funding changes fall well short on many fronts but the government did try to bury the special deals … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. The Arms Race Between Elite Sydney Private Schools is Fuelled by Govt Over-Funding.

New figures show that the arms race in ostentatious facilities between elite private schools in Sydney is being fuelled by more than $170 million a year in government over-funding. Over-funding frees up private income from hefty fees and donations to … Continue reading

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DAVID ZYNGIER. Spending more on private schools doesn’t guarantee success!

It is often claimed as fact that private schools outperform public schools. New analysis of MySchool data and 2017 Victorian Certificate of Education year 12 results shows that public schools with similar Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) rankings or … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. NSW Public Schools Benefit Under Gonski 1.0

New school funding figures show that public schools were the main beneficiaries of the Gonski 1.0 funding plan in NSW. Public schools received a funding increase nearly double that for private schools and it reversed the previous trend of large … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONOR. The elite schools’ arms race goes nuclear

Yes, it was Sunday and the news is usually more sensational than during the week. But the extravagant building plans of some ‘elite’ schools, revealed in the Sun Herald, were certainly eye-opening. According to the report, two of these schools … Continue reading

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COLIN STEELE. Who Owns Australian Research?

Who owns the results of Australian research? Certainly, not Australian researchers, as they, and their institutions, continue to give away publicly funded research to multinational publishers. As a result, Australian research is largely locked up behind expensive multinational publishing firewalls, constituting a form of … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Indigenous education: closing – and opening – the gaps.

The reports and narratives around the strategy to close the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians are quite well-known, if only because they don’t change much from year to year. With the possible exception of education, not many targets are … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. Joyce’s schooling is the real scandal

It is unhelpful to judge Barnaby in the way the prime minister Malcolm Turnbull did on Thursday. It’s better to focus on a critique of the culture. His leadership of the Nationals may be no longer tenable, but the best … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Politics | 6 Comments

PETER BUCKSKIN. Closing the gap on Indigenous education must start with commitment and respect.

There were angry rumblings at last week’s meeting of Indigenous leaders and the Prime Minister and in the Close the Gap Campaign Steering Committee Report. They will get significantly louder with today’s release of the 10th Annual Closing the Gap Report. 

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PAUL RODAN. Colleges of Advanced Education.

Roger Scott’s trilogy on the state of higher education raised a number of important issues, several of which might have led me to the keyboard, but his observations about the former colleges of advanced education (CAEs) seem particularly worthy of … Continue reading

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DON AITKIN. Whose universities are they, anyway?

Roger Scott’s extended rebuttal of Ross Gittins’s excoriation of ‘money-grubbing’ universities, and the publication of three books about the recent past and possible future of higher education, suggest that all is not well in academe. While all has never, at … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. ACT private schools have the mother of all special deals.

The Turnbull Government promised to eliminate all special deals for private schools under its Gonski 2.0 funding plan. However, new data released through Senate Estimates reveal that the $58 million adjustment fund for ACT private schools announced last year is … Continue reading

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ROGER SCOTT. Postscript on Australian universities: ‘are we near the Kodak moment’? Part 3

In March 2017, under a headline ‘Digital disruption lowers costs of pricy masters degrees’ the Australian Financial Review reported: A round of price-cutting has broken out in the market for high-priced masters degrees with four Australian universities offering students a … Continue reading

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ROGER SCOTT. Response to Gittins on higher education – Part 1.

‘Ross Gittins says We’ve turned our unis into aimless, money-grubbing exploiters of students (Canberra Times, 17 September 2017] What is there to say about Gittins’ comments, I was asked by John Menadue.  How valid are his general contentions and how valid are … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. What has happened to enrolments in the TAFE sector?-The creeping commercialisation of education.- A REPOST from October 6 2017

Enrolments in the TAFE sector have dropped in many qualifications. Tracing the reasons for this change at a time when Australia needs more skilled technicians and paraprofessionals is complex.  They appear to be tied to the overall changes in funding … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR AND CHRISTINA HO. Selective school decisions coming back to haunt us.

Almost alone in Australia, New South Wales has been expanding its number of selective schools, accompanied each time by arguments about the need to increase choice and cater for the gifted and talented. And each time we are left with … Continue reading

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ROGER SCOTT. 1987 and the “Dawkins Revolution”.

This is part 2 of my response to an invitation to share my memories linked to the release of Cabinet papers from 1987. Here I will focus on the tertiary education reforms instituted by federal Education Minister John Dawkins.

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TREVOR COBOLD. Govt. Failure to Ensure Private School Systems Distribute Funding According to Need Will Continue Under Gonski 2.0

A recent report by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has slammed the Commonwealth Government for failing to ensure its funding of private school systems is distributed according to need and for not knowing how private school systems distribute their … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Schools: will we ever join the dots?

I have this little website, Edmediawatch, which monitors media reports about schools. It is a long-running repository of policies, decisions, research and commentary. I even have an ‘Edu-fact check’ section which uses a variety of f-words to pass judgment on … Continue reading

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PETER GOSS. How to achieve excellence in Australian schools: a story from the classroom

A new Gonski review is examining how to achieve educational excellence for Australia’s 3.8 million school students. The success of the review will ultimately depend on whether its recommendations lead to better practice in the classroom. And the best way … Continue reading

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FRAN MARTIN. Overstating Chinese influence in Australian universities

Both Australia’s national government and its security agency ASIO have expressed concerns over the influence that the Chinese government exerts on Chinese student groups studying at Australian universities. They have also accused Beijing of using those groups to spy on … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Education, International Affairs | 3 Comments

FRANCESCA BEDDIE. The way ahead for VET

The Productivity Commission’s five-year review, Shifting the Dial, recommends reforms in vocational education and training (VET). These are based on ‘the key premise…that skills formation is one of the central pillars for productivity improvement, even if its benefits are not … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Wealthy parents flock to public schools

The results of the 2016 census are continuing to roll out. This time it is the turn of school education to grab the headlines, most recently with Fairfax telling us that wealthy families are turning away from elite private schools.

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CHRIS BONNOR. Labor’s National Schools Forum – Gonski 2.0 in a day?

Remember the newly elected Rudd Government’s 2020 Summit back in 2008? It was a high-profile gathering of a sympathetic audience to address pre-selected policy issues and options. Far from coming up with answers, the education sessions at the Summit managed … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. Productivity Commission shirks real problems in VET

The Productivity Commission has undertaken a five year review of Australia’s productivity performance, identifying skills and the VET sectors as an area of concern.  But have they got the answers?

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JOHN MENADUE. The growing social divide.

There are ominous signs that Australia is breaking up into different social tribes.  Our claimed egalitarianism and social mobility are under serious challenge.  A mixed society is the best guarantee of social cohesion and social improvement.  That social cohesion arising … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Education, Health, Housing, Politics | 4 Comments