Get Your Facts Right

Get Your Facts Right

Victoria Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall

Correcting The Record Again

Victor P Taffa

In an article in today’s Age it is suggested that Swinburne University will stop providing the Certificate I in Work Education as a result of funding changes the Victorian Coalition Government announced in the May State Budget.

As a result of those funding changes the Certificate I in Work Education now receives the highest hourly public subsidy of any vocational education course at $14 an hour, a 17 % increase on the previous non-TAFE funding level.

The public subsidy for this course at Swinburne University increased as a result of those budget changes. It did not decrease.

Swinburne University recently announced its 2020 vision to be the leading university in science, technology and innovation. The university is going through a process of reviewing all its course offerings in vocational and higher education to align them with that vision. As a result of Swinburne’s decision some courses will cease.

In the case of the Certificate I in Work Education, Swinburne University has indicated that it is working with other providers to ensure the course continues.

Swinburne, along with alternative providers Box Hill Institute, Chisholm Institute and Holmesglen have held information sessions at their Hawthorn, Wantirna and Lilydale campuses with affected students and their families.

Swinburne has reviewed the operation and offerings of a number of its campuses and has decided to consolidate much of its activity at the Hawthorn campus. While retaining its Wantirna and Croydon campuses, the university proposes to close the Lilydale and Prahran campuses.

The Coalition Government is working closely with communities in the Lilydale and Prahran areas to ensure high quality education continues to be provided after Swinburne has ceased operations.

The Coalition Government has committed an additional $1 Billion over the next four years to support a strong, sustainable, efficient and market-driven vocational education and training (VET) system.

The Coalition Government provides more money for training than any other State or Territory, and more subsidised training is taking place here than anywhere else.

The Coalition Government has increased funding for a range of courses aimed at supporting the needs of people with a disability.

Despite the politically motivated rhetoric from the Victorian TAFE Association, the education unions and others, the simple truth is that TAFEs do not provide the vast majority of training to students with a disability. TAFE enrolments of students with a disability have remained largely static while adult and community education (ACE) and private providers have grown to provide 56 % of all training to VET students with a disability.

Non-TAFE training providers, including ACE and others, have been delivering high quality courses to students with disabilities over many years with significantly less funding than their TAFE counterparts. As part of the Coalition Government’s changes all providers now receive the same level of funding for each course.