Monday, September 05, 2011

School funding, higher education, Treasury round-up & the law

In the end I didn't post yesterday. I didn't feel like it!   

I am working on the next Greek travel post. In the meantime, a few snippets.

The Gonski review of the funding of Australian schools has released four commissioned research reports for public comment. I have only a a chance to do a very quick review, but there is some interesting material there.

The Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Work Place Relations has released 2010 statistics for Australian higher education. For newspaper coverage here

Change keeps rumbling along in Australian higher education.

Back in October 2010 at the request of fellow blogger Thomas, I wrote a post (UNE's strategic positioning) looking at UNE's strategic alliances and especially UNE's relationship with the University of Sydney. Under the Sydney alliance, UNE would use its school entry program to recruit students from lower socio-economic backgrounds who could then go on to Sydney University should they choose after successfully completing first year at UNE. 

In August, the two universities announced details for the first year intake to commence in 2012. The release said in part:     

Under the ‘Alternative Entry Pathway’ opportunity, which will be offered jointly by the partner universities, current Year 12 students from more than 60 eligible high schools in Sydney and on the NSW coast (full list available at can apply to study the first year of selected degrees on campus at the University of New England. In year two of their degree students can transition to the University of Sydney, provided they have made satisfactory progress in their first year of study in approved majors and units at the University of New England.

One side effect of the deal is to further advantage students from the broader New England in terms of university access, something I discussed last back in 2007 in Drought, Higher Education and Mental Traps.

UNE has also announced a deal with international education services provider Pearson. I quote from the release:

The partnership entails world-standard delivery and marketing of UNE online courses throughout the nation and overseas. It is the first partnership of its kind in the tertiary sector outside the United States.

It will provide a guaranteed revenue stream for the University and is expected to increase external student numbers each year.

Through the partnership with the University, Pearson will make its online systems and marketing expertise available to enhance the way UNE delivers its distance education course material.

I am still trying to get my mind round the patterns of dynamic change in Australian higher education in general and their impact on New England's universities in particular. However, I am also interested in the emphasis on technology and on-line education. It is far from clear to me that we have the best working model.

On 3 September 2011, the Australian Treasury released its latest economic round up. Again, I haven't had time to absorb it properly, but it contains some interesting material including an analysis of the performance of the Australian economy during the global financial crisis. The Department places greater weight on the impact of the stimulus package than the Opposition would allow.

In June there was a brief discussion on the meaning of law (Whigs, law & the concept of progress, Has The Law (caps) lost meaning?) Noric Dilanchian has now drawn my attention to a US legal blog, Inside the Law School Scam, that takes a very jaundiced view on the law and its teaching. It's worth a read for those interested.

Well, that's all for now, folks. 

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