Education and Higher Education Opportunities in the Federal Budget 2014 #budget2014

Across Education, Employment, Higher Education, Industry, Regions and Research, Skills, VET and Workforce Development there are numerous opportunities for employers, industry, regions and providers.

This article outlines the workforce programs and initiatives that have been kept, deleted, reduced, consolidated and created in an analysis of the Budget 2014.

With Education the theme is refocus on the core, who is responsible for education (the states and territories) and explore the further take-up of foreign languages.

Much controversy is drawn from deregulation of Higher Education including highlighting export market opportunities as this is perhaps seen as more important economically than the domestic market.

New workforce initiatives that the Federal Budget 2014 offers, have to be considered in light of the consolidation of numerous programs and cutting of many existing funds.

Education

Kept (redirected or boosted)

  • Australian Government Quality Teacher Programme – $4.9 million over 2 years

Deleted (savings or not proceeding)

  • Centre for Quality Teaching and Learning – $21 million by not proceeding with the Better Schools – National Plan for School Improvement – Centre for Quality Teaching and Learning

Reduced (savings or transferred)

  • Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority – $2.6 million/annum from 2017-18
  • Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership – $19.9 million over 5 years with a refocus on core priorities

Created (new, expanded or re-established)

  • Improving the take-up of foreign languages for Foundation to Year 10 curricula by Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority – $1.8 million

Higher Education

In the Budget papers, university graduate income level are compared to year 12 completers demonstrating a million dollar difference in lifetime income but what about VET qualifications completers?

Kept (redirected or boosted)

  • Higher Education Loan Programme

Deleted (savings or not proceeding)

  • Higher Education Reward Funding – $121.1 million
  • HECS-HELP benefit will end from 2015-16

Reduced (savings or transferred)

  • Expand the demand driven for higher education courses from 1 January 2016 – $1.1 billion over 3 years by sharing costs.  Access to subsidies provided through the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) will be extended to higher education courses at the diploma, advanced diploma, associate degree and bachelor degree level where the higher education provider is registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency and the course has been accredited.
  • Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) – $31.1 million saving by focusing on core activities as a regulator.

Consolidated

  • Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programme into a single Access and Participation Fund – retention of a $582.7 million to support higher education providers to improve access for people from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Created (new, expanded or re-established)

  • Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching – 3 National Higher Education Surveys on the experience, graduate outcomes and employer satisfaction – $not for publication as subject to a tender process

Written by Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner at Workforce BluePrint and VET Strategist at WPAA.

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