Category Archives: Education

Public schools are as good as private schools

The widely held myth that private schools deliver better results than public schools has taken another blow. A new study of NAPLAN results shows that public schools do as well as private schools despite the large resource advantage of private … Continue reading

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Most viewed posts 2020: Private Schools: Blessed are the rich (Oct 14, 2020)

Last year Shore’s income was $87.54 million. It is a rich school for kids of rich parents. It is also a charity. Yes, just like Habitat Australia, in Mount Street, North Sydney, just down the road from the school, Shore … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Politics | 4 Comments

University degrees are not as valuable as they once were with the million dollar cheating industry.

For the last decade it seems,  employers, most unknowingly, have not been able to take for granted that a degree, even from the most highly ranked universities, ensures that the holder of that degree actually studied and passed the courses … Continue reading

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Asian language learning in Australia was a disgrace 40 years ago. It is now much worse.

An important issue we worked on in the Department (of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs) was foreign language learning. We set the pace in the early 1980s, with not many supporters. I felt quite lonely.

Posted in Asia, Education, Politics | 10 Comments

Higher Education Bill: Disrupting human potential

The “Higher Education Bill” is one of those policies that strike their targets but carry behind a tail of undeclared impact. Here my aim is to define some of its hidden problems and to show why this law is ill-advised … Continue reading

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The failing pursuit of school success in NSW

Yes, it was announced in a Sunday newspaper, but this is serious: The NSW Department of Education will intervene in public schools that fail to meet performance targets in priority areas such as HSC and NAPLAN results, and other measures … Continue reading

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Three cheers for health workers who care for patients, communities and the planet

During the Covid crisis doctors and heath care workers have been a ‘light on the hill’ for service and dedication to humanity. By September 2020 over 7000 around the world had died from Covid contracted at work.

Posted in Climate, Education, Health | 4 Comments

What does a Biden presidency mean for Australian post-secondary education?

President-elect Joe Biden’s anticipated quick alteration to American policy on climate change has received the greatest media attention in Australia because of its anticipated impact here, what about education? Although the election appeared to be a “policy free zone”, many … Continue reading

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Australian universities may come to regret the end of the Trump presidency

The share of Chinese students who have applied to study in Australia next year is 53 per cent of all international students compared to 27 per cent last year.

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Time To Release The Magic Pudding of International Education From The Covid-19 Freezer!

International education had become the quintessential Magic Pudding that not only kept regrowing no matter how much we feasted on it, but became bigger every year! At least, until Covid-19 put it into the freezer!

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Underlying tension between mission and money in our universities

The corporatisation of the Higher Education System is complete. It is no longer driven by the community of science but by money.  Public higher education institutions are run as “businesses” in a higher education industry where revenues account for approximately … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Education, Politics, Public Policy | 5 Comments

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.

Posted in Education, Politics | 2 Comments

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

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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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