Category Archives: Education

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

SUSAN RYAN. Skills retraining still more miss than hit.

Like car manufacturers who, despite decades of notice, still left many workers stranded, NAB’s more sudden announcement underlines the fact that massive redundancies are not only a feature of “old” industries.

Posted in Economy, Education | 1 Comment

DON EDGAR AND PATRICIA EDGAR. University reforms needed for the longevity economy.

Tinkering at the edges of university financing and student loan repayments ignores the tsunami of social change that is the real challenge for Australia’s future higher education system. Nick Xenophon is right to call for a full-scale inquiry into higher … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. Axing access and equity in VET!

The axing of TAFE NSW Outreach programs as part of a current restructure process, highlights the importance of these programs to individuals and the community.  It also raises the issue as to VET’s role in delivering access and equity programs … Continue reading

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MERRIDEN VARRALL. Chinese student furore reveals Australia’s poor integration strategy

Why does Australia encourage international — including Chinese — students to study within its borders? Australian universities are about teaching and learning, but they need to be properly resourced to do so, so one reason for encouraging foreign students is … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. Should VET be contestable?

The introduction of contestability into training markets is often cited as a prime example of the failures of privatisation. However, the totality of the evidence is rarely examined in support of this allegation. This article aims to fill this gap. … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. A rare opportunity to fix schools

A little news item can tell a big story. This week the Guardian reported on a survey that revealed that Australian parents want schools to teach more social skills. It raises many questions: whose job it is anyway, what will … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. Elite Melbourne Private Schools to Get Big Funding Windfalls

Several wealthy Melbourne private schools are set to get large windfall gains from the Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding model after revisions to their assessed student need. Many of the schools will get increases of $1-$3.2 million between 2018 and … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. What has happened to enrolments in the TAFE sector?-The creeping commercialisation of education.

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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EVAN WILLIAMS. University education: the monster in the room.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone lacking a rewarding occupation must be in want of a degree. A university education is not only a good in itself, but an indispensable passport to a satisfying career and a secure … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Gonski is back, but who noticed?

The Government has called for submissions into the “Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools” – aka the “second Gonski  review”.  Gonski was about money and equity, this review is about what schools should do.

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JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN. University challenge: Asia in the scales of global knowledge.

The Times Higher Educational Supplement (THES) has published its 2018 World University Rankings. Rankings are rankings are rankings. They are not Holy Writ! Still they can be interesting fodder for drawing some interpretations and implications. I admit I may be … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. NAPLAN has just turned ten. So what?

NAPLAN is not unlike some kids I have known: conceived in haste as a result of a rush of blood, a bit of an erratic upbringing (from a variety of guardians), confusion as to purpose in life and fervent hopes … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Australian business in Asia – ‘pale, male and stale’. (Repost from 8 August 2016)

A recent report on ‘Australia’s Diaspora Advantage: Realising the potential for building transnational business networks with Asia’  reveals that social class and racism, either conscious or unconscious, still excludes many Australians of Asian origin from many Australian institutions and particularly … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. A crisis approach to reform in the VET sector

Many of us who write about vocational education and training (VET) are asked not to use the word ‘crisis’ as it undermines confidence in the system.  Unfortunately it will take a lot more than a change of language to restore … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Has the Gonski dust settled?

Many claims have been made about the Turnbull Government’s Gonski breakthrough. It seemed to grant the wishes of advocates for greater equity and efficacy in the funding of schools – so much so that I had to re-cast the recommendations … Continue reading

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Chris Bonnor Vale Bernie Shepherd

Every profession has them: those people with an extraordinary range of interests and talents who change the lives of others and sometimes the profession itself. Bernie Shepherd, who has just lost his battle against cancer, was one of these. He … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR AND BERNIE SHEPHERD. PART ONE: Losing the game? Do we now have another chance to lift school equity and achievement?

  Amidst this week’s flurry of activity over the ‘Gonski’ legislation we seem to have forgotten serious problems, both old and new. In this first of two parts Chris Bonnor and Bernie Shepherd consider the problems we still need to … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR AND BERNIE SHEPHERD. PART TWO: Losing the game? Do we now have another chance to lift school equity and achievement?

Amidst this week’s flurry of activity over the ‘Gonski’ legislation we seem to have forgotten serious problems, both old and new. In this first of two parts Chris Bonnor and Bernie Shepherd consider the problems we still need to solve. … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. Gonski 2.0 is a Fiasco

The Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding plan is a fiasco. Public schools will remain under-funded and there will be a massive increase in over-funding of private schools. The Education Amendment Bill before the Parliament to implement Gonski 2.0 should be … Continue reading

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. Schools Funding: unearthing the facts

The objections raised by Catholic leaders to the Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding model raise as many questions about the governance and operation of the Catholic school system as about Gonski 2.0. One of these questions is: who pays for … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN. Gonski in An Age of Budget Repair

School funding is a very complex issue in Australia. It’s now a poisonous political cocktail. David Gonski who had been the poster boy for Julia Gillard’s bold education reforms has now been showcased by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Education … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Miners, taxation and donations. (Repost 17/10/2013)

In my blog of June 3 “the Miners Lament”, I pointed out that the large foreign owned  mining companies in Australia may yet regret that they rejected out of hand the Resources Super Profits Tax that the Rudd Government proposed. … Continue reading

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. The  Tangled  Education Web. Part 2 of 2: The Catholic Story

‘Sector-blind’ does not mean turning a blind eye to the shortcomings of any sector in distributing public funding received from government. 

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