With all the rain, I wondered what was happening to dam levels in NSW. Most of the dams are now full, a very different position from a few years ago. Crop losses from drought have been replaced by crop losses from rain. Food prices will rise as consequence.
In the meantime, the locust plague continues in south-eastern Australia. Such is life.
It is a little while since I did an update on education issues.
In the Australian, Justine Ferrari reports that a meeting of State and Commonwealth education ministers has endorsed the content of the first stage of the national curriculum English, maths, science and historyfor years K to 10. However, education ministers also agreed that :
further "refining and adjusting" of the curriculum would continue next year after NSW and Western Australia argued it was not yet ready to be implemented.
The problems that NSW has had with elements of the curriculum were widely reported, those of WA less so. The minsters' decision therefore represents a compromise.
The launch of the reworked My School website was postponed at the last minute after accounting firm Deloitte found problems with the accuracy of financial data. A new launch date has yet to be set.
The decline in international student numbers continues.
New international student commencements dropped 9.5 per cent, or more than 32,000 students, as at the end of October. Total enrolments in Australia were down 1.4 per cent at 599,795 students. The English language college sector, which feeds both higher education and VET, remains the worst hit with enrolments down 18 per cent and commencements down 22.3 per cent.
In a related story, Bernard Lane reports that In 2009-10, onshore grants of higher education visas rose by 16.6 per cent in stark contrast to a 24.8 per cent decline in offshore grants.
Onshore grants are made to students already studying here to, for example, undertake a new course. This appears to be cushioning the sharp decline in offshore applications.
Watching all this is like watching a slow flood. The sun is shining, but you know that the water is coming. Universities continue to complain about aspects of the visa changes that turned off the tap.
Initially, many in the university sector thought that the universities would be able ride it out, with the worst pain falling on the vocational sector. I doubted that at the time. Now cut backs have begun in the university sector. I don't think anybody really knows just how bad the final results will be as the pipeline empties.
The casualisation of the university workforce continues. Now we can put a number on it.
In the economy as a whole, the proportion of "permanent" workers has dropped below 50 per cent, something that I have been writing on because it has profound behavioural effects. It explains, for example, while retail sales are not growing. Casual workers spend differently because of uncertainty.
The casual proportion is higher in universities. At 67,000, casual academics account for 60 per cent of the total. They have become the cannon fodder of the university system.
I want to finish this brief round-up with a heartfelt plug for The Australian.
Every Wednesday, the paper has a higher education section. I don't know when this began. I first started reading it in 1982. Other papers have copied it, but The Australian remains the leader because of the depth and continuity of its reporting.
The key articles remain on-line and freely available. You will find them here. If you just browse this on a fairly regular basis, you will get a good feel for what is happening, one that extends to the education sector in general.
In a comment Julie, a new visitor, asked about the sources for some of my material. I gave links for the immediate stories, but not links for past posts. I haven't attempted a full list across my blogs, just a pot pouri in date order.
I was going to break it up be subject, but a lot of posts cross. It is a long list, and I am still missing some that I will add later. However, it does give a feel.
A little later.
There is too much here to be really useful to Julie, and I still have training plus some other posts to add. I will complete as a separate post later. Still, it probably gives a taste.
Its quite interesting looking back.
- Wednesday, November 08, 2006, Australian Education 2016 - Looking Back
- Friday, November 10, 2006, People Management in Professional Services - a training primer
- Sunday, December 17, 2006, RANZCO Setting the Standard - Developing Ophthalmic Competencies
- Sunday, December 17, 2006, Case Study: Potential use of Blogs as a communications device within specialist medical colleges
- Thursday, November 09, 2006, Special Feature - Is Training Snake Oil?
- Thursday, January 04, 2007, Gripes about Australian Education - 1
- Friday, January 05, 2007, Gripes About Australian Education - 2
- Saturday, January 06, 2007, HSC, UAI and Education - a further note
- January 07, 2007, Drought, Higher Education and Mental Traps
- Thursday, January 11, 2007, Australia's Universities - a personal Mea Culpa
- Friday, January 12, 2007, Creation and Use of Case Studies
- Tuesday, January 16, 2007, Education, Measurement and Performance - an aide memoire
- Sunday, February 25, 2007, Problems with Performance Pay
- Monday, March 12, 2007, A New Way of Ranking Universities by Student Experience
- Monday, May 07, 2007, Commercialisation, Science and Academic Standards
- Tuesday, May 15, 2007, The Australian Education Debate - - of international significance?
- Saturday, May 19, 2007, Hockey, Year 12 and the Purpose of Education
- Tuesday, June 05, 2007, Change in Australian Higher Education - UNSW's Singapore Problems
- Saturday, November 03, 2007, Saturday Morning Musings - Student Unions and other assorted topics
- Wednesday, November 28, 2007, Australian Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey 2006
- Wednesday, January 09, 2008, Developing a Training Course
- Monday, March 10, 2008, Funding Australia's private schools
- Friday, August 22, 2008, Problems with teacher accreditation
- Wednesday, November 05, 2008, Australia's confusions over education vs training
- Wednesday, September 03, 2008, Mechanistic management and Mr Rudd's education revolution
- Sunday, March 08, 2009, Sunday Essay - Julia Gillard's proposals for Australian higher education
- Wednesday, March 11, 2009, Julia Gillard's proposals for Australian Vocational Education and Training
- Tuesday, April 21, 2009 Refugees, trouble at UNE
- Tuesday, June 09, 2009, Harris Park, Indian Students and the latest Sydney troubles
- Wednesday, June 10, 2009, Indian Students Australia - the real lessons
- Tuesday, July 14, 2009. Education Targets and Australia's Universities - delivery problems for the Rudd Government
- Tuesday, August 18, 2009, Are Australia's universities tied in Government knots?
- Wednesday, August 19, 2009, Aboriginal spirituality and religious education in NSW public schools Wednesday, August 26, 2009, Staff performance measurement in Australia's universities
- Thursday, August 27, 2009, Indonesian Government downgrades certain Australian degrees to diploma status
- Monday, October 05, 2009, Use and abuse of socio-economic rankings in public policy
- Monday, October 19, 2009, Australian higher education - the Qualifications Framework, Indian Students and Rudd Government problems in service delivery
- Monday, March 23, 2009, Problems with words and measurements
- Tuesday, January 05, 2010, Death of Nitan Garg and the Indian connection
- Thursday, January 07, 2010, Moree's gain, Indian students and social change in Australia, changes in Australian higher education
- Friday, January 08, 2010, Problem ownership and Indian students - it's time to draw the line
- Thursday, January 28, 2010, Australia's new My School web site goes live - more or less
- Friday, January 29, 2010, Media reactions to the My School web site
- Saturday, January 30, 2010, Saturday Morning Musings - yet more on the My School web site
- Monday, February 01, 2010, My School - the very model of a modern Major-General
- Thursday, February 04, 2010, Family history, Indian students and climate change
- Friday, February 05, 2010, Will My School destroy NAPLAN?
- Tuesday, February 09, 2010, Education and Australian skilled migration: a policy catastrophe?
- Wednesday, February 17, 2010, Where ignorance is bliss
- Wednesday, February 24, 2010, Systemic failures in health and other services
- Tuesday March 2, 2010 Australia's new draft national curricula
- Wednesday, March 17, 2010, Snippets on Australian education
- Friday, April 23, 2010, Student union fees and the costs of ideology
- Thursday, April 29, 2010, Problems with measurement in education.
- Thursday, May 06, 2010, Lessons from the national school build program
- Sunday, May 30, 2010, Sunday Essay - the university experience
- Wednesday, June 02, 2010, Measuring regional disadvantage in higher education
- Wednesday, June 09, 2010, Problems with the word regional
- Wednesday, June 23, 2010, Internet censorship, Indian students, higher education and the Telstra deal
- Wednesday, July 07, 2010, Fluidity in higher education
- Wednesday, July 28, 2010, Are the wheels starting to come off in Australian higher education?
- Friday, July 30, 2010, Threads - death of Jon Cleary, higher education, the Gruen Nation, Will Owen
- Friday, October 15, 2010 The Games, overseas students, Murray-Darling protests.
- Wednesday, October 20, 2010 UNE's strategic positioning
- Monday, October 25, 2010 Skepticlawyer and the humanities
- Saturday, November 06, 2010, Digital Intelligence
- Sunday, November 14, 2010, Is Julia Gillard going the way of Kevin Rudd? Reference to the troubles being faced.
- Thursday, December 09, 2010, Education round-up - this post