Category Archives: Education

Busted higher education policy demands a reset

The corporatist/managerialist paradigm introduced in the 1990s, with its heavy focus on financial performance metrics, is being rejected by students, staff, business and the broader community.  The corporatisation of public higher education, and the substantial wealth it has created, has made … Continue reading

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To those that have more will be given: Education resource gaps in Australia

New evidence shows that education resource gaps between disadvantaged and advantaged schools in Australia are among the largest in the OECD and the world. This is a shameful record for a country that regards itself as egalitarian.

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Universities belong to the whole community: why we should fund the humanities

Universities exist for the benefit of the whole community, including those who will never have the privilege of studying at one. Everyone benefits from thriving humanities departments – but these departments can’t fund themselves.

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Private school funding model is deeply flawed

The Morrison Government’s funding model for private schools introduced earlier this year is littered with flaws and will result in massive over-funding of schools. It should be replaced by a new approach.

Posted in Education | Tagged | 3 Comments

Lobbyland: How the lobbies hijacked school education

In all areas of public policy there are groups that engage in advocacy and lobbying to influence public opinion and to advance their special interests. These groups have been obvious and successful over half a century of increasingly privatised school … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Lobbyland | 3 Comments

Universities can help Australia’s economic recovery, but that’s all at risk if the ‘job-ready graduates’ bill passes (The Conversation Sep 24, 2020)

Our universities actively helped with reconstruction after two world wars and supported recoveries in recent recessions. The Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme of 1944 – 1951 was set up to offer academic training to men and women who had served with the Australian … Continue reading

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No one wins in a race to the bottom on national security: Let the Chinese academics back in (The China Story Sep 15, 2020)

If politicians don’t change course, the deterioration of Australia’s relationship with China will go hand in hand with the erosion of our civil liberties.

Posted in China, Education | Tagged | 2 Comments

If that’s the worst that ever happens to you…

If we want our young people to grow up resilient it is surely unwise to give any encouragement to the idea that not having a school formal to mark the end of their schooldays is a major tragedy.

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Part 2: Society bears costs of education policy ‘crimes’

In most other countries it would be hard for a government to persuade an electorate it was dealing with widespread economic hardship while it was funding private schools with resources beyond the dreams of avarice.

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Blessed are the rich … Catholic schools

The ABC news report ‘How the Catholic school system takes from the poor to give to the rich’ is a significant and telling revelation of how Catholic school authorities have used public funding to play rich favourites among their schools. … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 8 Comments

Part 1: Education policies over the decades have intensified socio-economic segregation

As prime minister, John Howard, along with his education minister David Kemp, drove the push to privatise schooling in line with their political philosophy.

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Rorting of school funding

When State Aid was introduced 50 years ago it was intended to help poor Catholic schools in the poorest socio-economic areas: no one thought it would ever become a rort.

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How market forces are failing us in opting out to private and for-profit child care

It is extraordinary that about 70% of our long day care services are now run by for-profit operators when we know that the for-profit sector generally delivers lower quality education care.

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TAFE has been drained of funds for poorly performing and dodgy private providers

What a  difference there is between the public vocational education and training provider, TAFE, and private for-profit training providers.

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Universities at the crossroads – will town trump gown?

University mergers proposed for SA may be the wrong answer to the wrong question. We have let universities become captured by commercial interests and corporate culture. Now Covid has wrecked their business model. It is time to reclaim them for … Continue reading

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The perils of pedagogy

The government hates social scientists and our views often do little to improve the mental well-being of students. Should we shut up to protect our self-interest and keep our version of the truth from our students to protect them?

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Why do LNP Governments hate the arts and universities?

LNP Governments’ vindictive attitudes to the arts are obvious from the widespread cutbacks they have imposed on the sector. Ditto universities which have been forced to rely on overseas students to make up funding shortfalls and are then attacked for … Continue reading

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University Failures and Canberra parsimony.

Cynical, short-sighted and gutless – everything a proper university should eschew. But perhaps the teachers have been taking lessons from their political masters. If so, both deserve a fail.

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The Bureaucratisation of Public Education in Australia

Public school systems in Australia have seen an enormous increase in bureaucracy since the turn of the century. So-called school reforms promised less bureaucratic control but have instead intensified bureaucracy at all levels – central and regional offices, schools and … Continue reading

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Why studying humanities is more important than ever to counter one-sided debates trend

In the age of science, technology and the obsession with faster living, studying humanities at university continue to decline. However, I believe it’s not the end for this “dying” discipline because critical thinking skills is needed more than ever to … Continue reading

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Childcare subsidies. I was wrong – childcare should be subsidised

In a recent post I listed a range of points which had me convinced that childcare should not be subsidised by the community. Christopher Budd (CB) kindly took the time to counter each of my points in turn, and I … Continue reading

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Catholic School Systems Required to be More Transparent About How They Use Taxpayer Funds

Catholic school systems have been diverting taxpayer funding for schools in poor areas to schools in wealthy inner suburbs for years. Many official and other reports have documented this unethical and unchristian practice. It may at last be about to … Continue reading

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Childcare – why should it be subsidised at all?

Increased subsidisation of childcare seems to be the received wisdom these days, so perhaps I am the only one in step. But please tell me again why other members of the community should pay to subsidise those parents who want … Continue reading

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Humanities Fightback:  CASSH Skills VS STEM.

Just how do Universities respond to Minister Tehan’s diabolical plan to neuter the brainpower of the next generation through engineering their debt burden by more than doubling fees for Humanities Degrees?

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Public Schools Face a Funding Crisis While Private Schools Are in Clover

Government funding increases continue to massively favour private schools over public schools according to new figures published by the Australian Curriculum, Reporting and Assessment Authority (ACARA).

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University research and teaching – is the nexus broken?

Emphasis in higher education funding overlooks the fundamental nexus between teaching and research. Academics are driven by their training and inclination to pursue research questions.

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Higher education reform: use and abuse of Menzies

Announcing his plans for university reform on 19 June, the minister for education, Dan Tehan, did as many of his predecessors have done. He invoked Robert Menzies.

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Taking university funding from bad to worse

“A new rule of politics seems to be that no matter how badly the pollies have stuffed up some area of government responsibility, they can always make it worse.” This was the opening salvo to Ross Gittins’s recent opinion piece … Continue reading

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In the Australia-China relationship, name calling won’t help.

It is easy for governments to disguise their inability to manage the complex Australia-China relationship by resorting to finger-pointing and name-calling. Continue reading

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Knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Universities are not, and must never be, walled citadels – protected enclaves sheltering from the societies that surround and nurture them.

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