Education Talking Points | 09/03/2017

In today’s talking points: Aussie universities agree to set Indigenous enrollment “quotas” in national first; Universities Australia celebrates 10th anniversary; Overseas opportunities in China for Aussie TAFE students; Study abroad agencies in China no longer need provincial licensing.

1.Aussie universities agree to set Indigenous enrollment “quotas” in national first

It is the first time that Australian universities have agreed to set quota targets for admitting Indigenous students into tertiary education in an effort to “close the gap” of Indigenous disadvantage. This strategy is agreed to by the nation’s tertiary education committee, Universities Australia. It includes goals to ensure Indigenous Australians are enrolling in university degrees at a rate 50 percent higher than non-Indigenous Australians, to achieve equal retention rates (reduce dropouts) by 2025, and to achieve equal degree completion rates by 2028. According to Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson, lifting retention and degree completion rates would be a challenge that universities around the country are willing to grapple with. Based on statistics, Indigenous Australians currently make up 1.6 percent of all Australian university enrollments despite making up 2.7 percent of the “working age” population.

Read more at Xinhua

2.Universities Australia celebrates 10th anniversary

Universities Australia recently celebrated its 10th anniversary during an annual conference held in Canberra. The organization which comprises 39 university bodies celebrated by releasing a film about its history. Belinda Robinson, UA Chief Executive took the time to reflect on changes throughout the years and the developments on forefront of education in the organization and on a global scale. She emphasized the growing number of young people aged 25-34 with a bachelor’s degree. Education Minister, Simon Birmingham also spoke highly of the work of the organization and in particular the sharp increase on international students choosing to come to Australia and the revenue growth in 2016. International education is now one of Australia’s third largest exports.

Read more at The Pie News

3.Overseas opportunities in China for Aussie TAFE students

TAFE Western students in New South Wales have had a great opportunity to participate in an Outbound Mobility Program. This program provided 50 subsidized spots after the organization secured funding from the Federal Government’s Endeavour Mobility Grants Scheme Program. This program invited students from a wide range of fields to apply, namely, Management, Welfare, Children’s Services, and Society and Culture. Mr Polak from TAFE Western said, “We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer these exhilarating, once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities to TAFE Western students in Western NSW”. The last two years has seen a steady increase in the number of subsidized spots in the program. In 2016, 40 students went to China, and in 2015 only 20. This increase is surely a sign of good things to come. Mr Polak believed that these trips not only provided the students with great new learning opportunities, but also the chance to soak up a new culture. The feedback of these programs from previous students has been exceptional.

Read More at TafeWestern

4.Study abroad agencies in China no longer need provincial licensing

Provincial licensing for study abroad agencies has recently been abolished. The State Council announced that study abroad agencies no longer need to have a license from provincial authorities in order to operate. Previously, provincial authorities set their own regulations on education agencies, for instance a minimum registered capital that they would need to fulfill before obtaining their license. Businesses still require a general business license to operate. Despite this new move, the Ministry of Education and the State Administration of Industry and Commerce have stressed that this does not mean rules will be relaxed and they intend to enhance their supervision of these agencies and punish any violation of the law. The market is currently dominated by larger brands however this new standard may enable smaller, newer businesses to emerge. However with more agencies potentially entering the market, it may become more difficult for parents to discern which are reputable.

Read more at The Pie News