Category Archives: Education

Dan Tehan, BA (Hons): Biting the educational hand that fed him

Someone recently observed that Education Minister Dan Tehan is “as dumb as Peter Dutton”. Tehan’s latest foray into higher education policy certainly puts him in the same class as Dutton as a hoary wielder of a sledgehammer when it comes … Continue reading

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University reforms pose bigger problems than many realise.

Much of the controversy about the government’s university package, just announced, has centred on its impact on the arts and humanities. But the problems are much deeper, affecting other faculties and indeed universities’ viability.

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It’s time to reform Australia’s higher education system.

The drying up of international student numbers because of the coronavirus border closures, plus the Coalition government’s indifference (indeed, hostility) to universities, is undermining morale right across the country’s higher education sector.

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Kids are back at school, but some have fallen well behind

The Grattan Institute wants help for disadvantaged students left stranded by the switch to remote learning during the pandemic. Around $1 billion would fund the small-group tutoring needed. Is it going to happen? 

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The Crisis in the Overseas Student Industry: How should Government respond?

The Australian Population Research Insitute, Research Report, June 2020.

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Universities as businesses: a cultural disaster

Australian universities are in crisis. Under pressure to corporatise, they have become over-dependent on income from overseas students. The pandemic has exposed the fatal flaws in this model, sparking fresh debate. The outcome is critical to the culture of society … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. Turnbull Exposes Rorting of School Funding by Catholic Church

In his recently published memoirs, Malcolm Turnbull thoroughly exposes the hypocrisy of Catholic education authorities in diverting taxpayer funding intended for poor schools to subsidise rich inner-city schools. In doing so, he exposed his own hypocrisy by allowing them to … Continue reading

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MICHAEL FURTADO. Why Quentin Dempster, Malcolm Turnbull and John Warhurst are wrong about Catholic School Funding

We are at an historic moment of apocalyptic threat to the survival of the Australian Catholic Church, the Catholic Bishops say. Among the institutions facing their greatest threat are Australia’s Catholic Schools. Here’s what’s happening.

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LINDA SIMON. VET system a dud? I don’t think so.

The VET system has again been criticised by the Government, this time by the Prime Minister in his recent address to the National Press Club, when he referred to it as a ‘dud’ system.

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DAVID SHEARMAN. After Covid-19 the ‘New Normal’ must have ‘Real Universities’ acting on the Climate Crisis

The Market Forces UniSuper divest campaign details continuing UniSuper investments in fossil fuels despite many concerns expressed by academics and despite the progressive climate change crisis. Do the Universities have responsibilities?

Posted in Education, Environment and climate | 3 Comments

FRANCESCA BEDDIE. Tertiary education after COVID-19: part two

Are we finally seeing the end of the Dawkins era? If so, what next?

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GWILYM CROUCHER and WILLIAM LOCKE. A post-coronavirus pandemic world for Australian higher education: Part 2

The pandemic is magnifying existing pressures for universities but is also providing new possibilities. How universities respond will determine their future

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GWILYM CROUCHER and WILLIAM LOCKE. A post-coronavirus pandemic world for Australian higher education: Part 1

The pandemic is magnifying existing pressures for universities but is also providing new possibilities. How universities respond will determine their future.

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RIVKA T. WITENBERG Promoting Tolerance and Acceptance through Education

The role of education is to encourage moral and socially moral/ethical individuals who develop a robust sense of fairness, justice and empathy which will influence tolerance and acceptance.

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FRANCESCA BEDDIE. Tertiary education after COVID-19. Part 1

One thing COVID-19 has done is shatter laborious bureaucratic reform processes that so often breed inertia rather than change. I marvel at how quickly education systems have adapted to the lockdown.

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TONY SMITH. Promoting ignorance over education.

True education is open minded and open ended. It is the antithesis of propaganda and works to free minds, not control them. The federal government has a minister who lacks any understanding of basic educational principles.

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LEANNE SMITH. What Matters to Australia’s Young Citizens?

If we want our children to have a stake in our democracy and our society, we have to treat them as valued citizens and engage with their concerns. Not because of the leaders they might one day be, in our … Continue reading

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. Learning the value of teachers’ work

The shock of dealing with the realities of the coronavirus pandemic has  forced our prime minister to realise that schools are fundamental to our democracy and that teachers are on the front line of society and should be valued accordingly.

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CHRIS BONNOR. This virus might lead to education reform.

Education reform is well overdue. As the need to act with speed has seen governments jettison rusted-on assumptions and ideologies in areas such as employment, health and welfare – can school education be next? After all, there are just as … Continue reading

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PATRICIA EDGAR. Education and Entertainment after COVID-19

COVID-19 has let the genie out of the bottle. Education and entertainment will not return to their traditional forms.

Posted in Education, Media | 2 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: Defending TAFE is a winner for NSW Labor

Created by the Whitlam Government, TAFE tuition was free, offered trade and technical training to a generation of young men and women and upgraded education and career opportunity to all those who wanted it.

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CHRIS BONNOR. Two very wicked problems in school funding

Australia certainly isn’t short of policy headaches, but one promises to be of migraine proportions: our school funding regime has reached new heights of absurdity and needs urgent review.

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CHRIS BONNOR. The pendulum swings (yet again) for NSW schools

One thing we used to tell beginning teachers was to never punish the whole class because a few students were misbehaving.

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. What the blaze(r)s!!!

If you search for St. Kevin on the internet, you will find that the references to this Irish saint are vastly outnumbered by references to the Australian boys school that bears his name and that has been dragging that name … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. SMH Schools Summit flies many kites

If you want a headline or two, put on a big event. That has just worked for the SMH with its current Schools Summit.

Posted in Education, Politics | 6 Comments

KERRY BROWN and EMMA LUO. Degrees of espionage(Chatham House/The World today 13.2.2020)

Fears are rising in countries…that China is wielding undue influence through its supposed infiltration of universities and institutions and by its spying on companies and government.

Posted in Education, Politics, World Affairs | 6 Comments

TREVOR COBBOLD. New Figures Show Huge Funding Increases for Private Schools & Cuts to Public Schools

New figures show that government (Commonwealth and State) funding increases massively favoured private schools over public schools between 2009-10 and 2017-18.

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TREVOR COBBOLD. Disadvantaged Schools in Australia Are Far Less Resourced than Advantaged Schools

Data from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2018 show that Australia allocates more and better quality teacher and physical resources to high socio-economic status (SES) secondary schools than to low SES schools. The gaps are amongst … Continue reading

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TOM GREENWELL. Less choice, less affordability: the private school subsidy paradox

It’s become an annual ritual: the media reports on private school fee rises, then the various school spokespeople dig out last year’s talking points and it’s on again…until next year. But there is more – and it goes back a … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. OECD Says 3 in 4 Australian Students Do Not Try on PISA Tests

The hand-wringing over the continuing decline in Australia’s PISA results misses the issue of whether students try their best on the tests. The OECD’s report on PISA 2018 shows that about three in four Australian students and two-thirds of students … Continue reading

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