Category Archives: Education

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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Proposed University Funding is Policy Ideological Vandalism

Minister Tehan’s targeted university funding proposal is part of an ongoing government plan to destroy the ‘hotbeds of left-wing ideological fervour’ seen as centred in arts and social science faculties.

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Government fails to value the humanities, ignoring the realities

The Government’s decision to more than double the cost  of most humanities degrees is ignorant, cowardly and even malicious. A government that feels a need to constrain critical thinking must give us great cause for concern.

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Google is not always the best answer

Google has become the default casual research tool for most people, albeit  a sometimes dangerous one for students with AI plagiarism software widely used in universities. Yet  print editions of various reference texts are still of greater value and utility … Continue reading

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Universities and jobs – the Government’s changes are neither fair nor sensible

The Government’s proposed changes to the fee structures for university degrees are not fair, and contrary to the Government’s assertion, nor do these changes respond to the needs of the labour market.

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Hacking humanities is a disaster

The decision last week to more than double the cost of humanities degrees, as announced by Dan Tehan, the Minister for Education, is a sign of the times and, as such, is appalling.

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University rankings and the rise and fall of international education

University rankings helped recruitment of international students to finance increased research. With student numbers dropping, now is the time to put less emphasis on rankings and reduce concern about the risks of relying too heavily on international students.

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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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