The Federal Government has announced the release of  four new, independent research reports that will form part of the government's review into school funding.

The reports have been released for comment in a public consultation period by the by the Review of Funding for Schooling panel. The reports will assist the panel in developing its final recommendations to the Federal Government by the end of the year.

The four reports released today are:

  • An Allen Consulting Group report which considered the feasibility of a schooling resource standard – the baseline amount of money per student needed to achieve good educational results including loadings for disadvantaged students. The report found a schooling resource standard was feasible.
  • An Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) report on the existing processes for targeting funding to disadvantaged students. The report highlighted the current disjointed and complex nature of these arrangements.
  • A Deloitte Access Economics report into existing funding models for schooling in Australia. The report says that teacher quality, school autonomy and targeted funding for disadvantaged students are the most significant influences on results.
  • A Nous Group consortium report into schooling challenges and opportunities in Australia, which confirmed that while Australian schools perform well by international standards, there is variable performance between schools and within schooling sectors.

Victoria has opened its first new university for over 20 years after the Melbourne College of Divinity (MCD) the was granted approval to operate as a university by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)

The Federal Government has announced the formation of the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC), which will act as a standards setting body for the vocational education and training (VET) sector with an aim to improve quality and consistency of VET regulation throughout the country.

The Federal Government has announced a new reference group  to provide advice on the implementation of four higher education performance measurement instruments under the Australian Government’s $1.3 billion Advancing Quality in Higher Education initiative.

Difficulties navigating the quagmire of educational bureaucratic red tape has been cited as the main contributing factor to KAPLAN, the education arm of the Washington Post, deciding to pull out from its plans to establish a university in Adelaide.

The Federal Government has announced the formation of a panel of leading education and training experts that will advise the government on the National Trade Cadetship (NTC) and Indigenous Ranger Cadetship Initiatives.

A report published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows that a record 460,000 apprentices and trainees are currently in training.

Northern Territory’s Royal Darwin Hospital has been accredited at the same standard as a number of the country’s leading teaching hospitals.

Nationals Senator for New South Wales Fiona Nash has called on Federal Minister for Tertiary Education Chris Evans to introduce reform to youth allowance to ensure that people are properly determined to have worked enough to deem them independent.

The Australian Quality Assurance Agency (AUQA) has published its final audit report of the University of New South Wales (UNSW), finding that the institution had improved substantially over the recent years.

The Western Australian Government has opened the South West Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre aimed at training and building the workforce opportunities for the 12,300 working age Aboriginals living in the state’s south-west.

A report published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows that a record 460,000 apprentices and trainees are currently in training.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has called for an emergency intervention by the Commonwealth to help the ‘ailing international education sector’ when the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meets.

A new report from the OECD has found that the education reforms introduced by the Federal Government through the National Education Agreement have improved transparency and accountability of the school system, but significant work remains to generate improvements at the classroom level.

The Group of Eight (Go8) has opened applications for its 2012 European Fellowships that will be open to early career researchers from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, and, for the first time in the program’s history, Russia.

Dr Carol Nicoll has been appointed Chief Commissioner of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). Dr Nicoll is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. She has held senior positions in the Commonwealth’s Education Department and was also the Australian Minister-Counsellor for Education, Science and Training in Europe.

Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University has published its annual Academic Ranking of World Universities (AWRU), finding that American and British universities continue to dominate global rankings of tertiary education quality.  

The Deakin University Council has announced the reappointment of Chancellor, Mr David Morgan, for a third term and three senior appointments to the University Executive.

Australian Laureate Fellowships worth over $44 million have been awarded to 17 Australian and overseas researchers.

UniSuper’s CEO, Terry McCredden, has been awarded the Fund Executive of the Year award after “demonstrating exceptional leadership in the areas of advice, investment management, risk management”.

The Group of Eight universities have released a policy paper commenting on the Federal Government’s Higher Education Support Act Amendment (Demand-Driven System and Other Measures) Bill, currently before Parliament, which will uncap the supply of Commonwealth supported places (CSPs) in universities, as recommended by the Bradley Review.

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