Education Talking Points | 01/08/18

In today’s talking points: Federal government should take over Tafe and vocational education, KPMG says; What foreign investors are learning about China’s education sector; China brings 10,000 teachers out of retirement and back to work; Student expectations of higher education

Federal government should take over Tafe and vocational education, KPMG says

Advisory firm KPMG has released a blueprint suggesting that the federal government completely takes over tertiary education, including Tafe colleges run by the state. The blueprint details a $2.4 billion proposal to restore the demand-driven system and create a standardised national system of accredited courses, which would effectively reverse recent changes made by the Coalition government including a two-year freeze on Commonwealth grants and restrictions on student loans for vocational education. The report also says the loans provided to tertiary students should be income contingent, with annual and lifetime borrowing limits set in alignment with expected benefits of degrees and other qualifications.

Read more: The Guardian

What foreign investors are learning about China’s education sector

In China, schools offering a Western-style education are becoming a must-have for affluent parents. The rising wealth of China has increased demand for English-language education designed to aid children in gaining admission to quality, internationally-renowned universities in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia, with around 60% of students enrolled being Chinese citizens. Investors have taken notice of this, and have been exploring less mainstream real-estate sectors such as education in search for higher profits than what they would traditionally get with more conventional offerings. Noeleen Goh, the National Director- Alternatives, Asia Pacific at JLL, adds that the interest is only going to  keep growing, and that it is a new opportunity for investors.

Read more: JLL Investor

China brings 10,000 teachers out of retirement and back to work 

Retired primary and secondary teachers, considered “outstanding” in their field, will return to work for one year in rural and remote Chinese schools. Under its “Silver Age Lecture Plan” Beijing aims to alleviate poverty in the countryside by increasing the standard of teachers at local schools.The campaign has received mixed responses. Whilst some welcome these retired teachers and their decades of experience and skill, others are sceptical of the plan’s logistics. Supply and demand is the main concern. With the number of rural teachers in China declining steadily each year, some argue that even 10,000 teachers won’t suffice in filling vacancies in hundreds of thousands of rural and remote classrooms. 

Read more: South China Morning Post

Student expectations of higher education

A recent report conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has found that a shift has been observed in students’ expectations of their future educational paths. While 63% of school students had expectations of enrolling in universities in 2003, only 54% students expressed the same expectations in 2015.  Despite this kind of decline, data shows that the amount of students intending to finish Year 12 or a Certificate IV rose from 23% in 2003 to 35% in 2015. The PISA study collected data on students’ educational expectations (what they believe they will realistically study) rather than their aspirations (what they wish to study).

Read more: Teacher Magazine