Universities Australia, the peak body for Australia’s 39 universities, has called for parliamentarians to maintain what it describes as “the positive nature of recent debates on higher education” in the forthcoming debate on the Demand Driven Funding System Bill that was introduced to the House of Representatives last month.

Universities Australia Chair, Professor Glyn Davis, said that the passage of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) legislation had been “a special example where all sides of Parliament have worked together, in collaboration with the sector, with a focus on the same goal: enhancing the contribution that can be made by the universities in Australia."

"We applaud the Parliament's efforts in working together, and with the sector, to ensure the legislation meets our national needs. Media coverage has been modest, yet this is a major reform and one that positions Australia much better for dealing with its future through quality training of graduates and quality research for the nation. We now look forward to working closely with the new national regulator,” Professor Davis said.

The Australian Employment Covenant, an initiative launched by mining entrepreneur, Andrew Forrest, claims it has passed its target of finding 50,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians, but is calling for increased government commitment to training to enable the jobs to be filled.

The Victorian Liberal State Government has threatened to break with the Federal Government over key aspects of languages education, refusing to relinquish control over “critical areas” to the Federal Government.

The Australia India Institute and the Victorian State Government have launched  the Doctorial Scholarship Program to allow ten of India’s “best and brightest” PhD students to study in Victoria.

The Australian Learning & Teaching Council (ALTC) has announced 22 “Early Career” achievers as part of its 2011 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

The Federal Government has confirmed that over $138 million in Commonwealth reward funding will be awarded to the country's states that achieved Smarter Schools National Partnership for Literacy and Numeracy program standards.

The Federal Government has welcomed the passage of the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency Bill 2011 that will see the formation of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

The Education Network of Australia (EDNA) is to be decommissioned, with dismantling to commence 30 June and to be finalized by 30 September.

The Melbourne Business School (MBS) will drive change and improvements to management practices in small to medium businesses under the Federal Government’s Leadership 21 program.

The Australian National University (ANU) has ranked in the top 12 universities worldwide in arts and humanities according to the 2011 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject.

A symposium on the health effects of temporary employment on workers has been held by Deakin University, finding that those on temporary or labour hire roles were more vulnerable to poor OHS standards than their full time counterparts.

The Federal Government has announced a $6.1 million program designed to create new engineering education pathways in satellite tracking and movement and accuracy of weather predictions.

Training proposals for construction workers, drillers, electrical technicians and mining workers will be among those considered for funding under the first round of the $200 million Critical Skills Investment Fund.

The Federal Government has announced the opening of the $1.3 million Trade Training Centre (TTC) in Sydney's South, allowing access of around 350 students to vocational training facilities.

Figures for international student enrolments in Australia for the year to April 2011 have shown a 9.3% decline on the same period in 2010, according to figures released by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. 

 The Tasmanian Government has announced cuts to a range of education and skills initiatves in the state budget in a bid to save $190 million over the next four years.

The South Australian 2011-12 operating budget for education will increase from $2.53 billion last financial year to $2.66 billion in this year’s State Budget, with $9.5 million over four years to support the establishment of an independent authority to implement new national early childhood education quality standards, which take effect next year.

Queensland's State School Investment Program has received a $50 million boost in the  Queensland State Budget, bringing the total allocation to $134.8 million in 2011-12.

The Queensland Government will aim to help more than 24,000 Queensland job-seekers into work with a $104.5 million investment in the 2011-2012 State Budget for the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

Employment, Skills and Mining Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the funding would provide jobs and training to people facing significant barriers to finding work.

“There’s no doubt that heavy investment in the mining and resource sectors is putting pressure on our workforce,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative is aimed at helping people who can work, but who face significant barriers when it comes to entering the workforce.

“It’s a $104.5 million investment to get all hands on deck. We’ve helped more than 24,000 people this financial year and I’m pleased to say that help is going to continue.

“Participants get jobs and training in fields like construction, horticulture, retail, hospitality, administration, community services and aged care so they can join the workforce and increase the pool of skilled workers available to industry.

“Many of these projects are also aimed at flood and cyclone recovery so the community is not only receiving a boost in terms of jobs and skills, it’s also benefiting from vital recovery work.”

British political economist Professor Richard Higgott has been appointed by Murdoch University as its sixth Vice Chancellor and President.

Indigenous education plan released

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