Category Archives: Education

TREVOR COBBOLD. Morrison puts more nails in the coffin of Gonski.

The Gonski funding model was systematically dismantled by the Abbott and Turnbull Governments and it was almost dead and buried by the end of Turnbull’s reign. The Morrison Government has put more nails in the Gonski coffin with a new … Continue reading

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PETER VARGHESE. Australian Universities and China. Part 2 of 2

 My remarks today are very much a personal perspective, drawing on my past engagement with China as a foreign policy practitioner and informed by my current role, but it is not an official University of Queensland position. Today I wish … Continue reading

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PETER VARGHESE. Australian Universities and China. Part 1 of 2

 My remarks today are very much a personal perspective, drawing on my past engagement with China as a foreign policy practitioner and informed by my current role, but it is not an official University of Queensland position. Today I wish … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Education, International Affairs | 2 Comments

ALISON ELLIOTT. Making the preschool promise a reality

The recently announced promise of preschool education funding for 3 year olds has the potential to improve developmental and education outcomes for young children, but with chronic teacher shortages in early learning centres, delivering new preschool programs will be a … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Ruddock review kicks up a storm

If short term reactions are any guide it seems that many of those who submitted to the Ruddock review into religious protections might have some cause for regret. While it is early days, it is likely to throw a timely … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. When will students get their money back?

How many students have been the victims of the VET FEE-HELP rorts?  The Government doesn’t know the answer to this question, nor how much it may cost to waive such debts.  New legislation being introduced to Federal Parliament seeks to … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Of academic freedom and institutional integrity: A Canadian prequel to the ANU rejection of the Ramsay Centre millions

At the University Chancellors’ 11th national conference in Adelaide on 4 October, the Australian National University Chancellor Gareth Evans delivered the inaugural Chancellor’s Oration. One section of his speech dealt with the imperative to defend university autonomy.

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JOHN MENADUE. We all owe a lot to great teachers.

Recently I chatted with a friend about how much we all owe to some teachers and mentors. So I decided to share, with a few minor changes, what I wrote about twenty years ago about two teachers to whom I … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. State Govts Evade Commitments to Public Schools

Public schools have suffered a double blow in the last fortnight. The Morrison Government announced a $4.6 billion appeasement deal for private schools with no increase for public schools. Last week The Guardian exposed how Labor and Coalition state governments … Continue reading

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JOHN THOMPSON. Private schools don’t pay rates and taxes.

While most attention is focussed on the level and distribution of funds paid directly to non-government schools by the Commonwealth Government, little attention is given to the very substantial financial concessions and benefits that the private school system obtains from … Continue reading

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. An Inquiry is needed into the ACT Catholic school system.

The ACT should be an ideal location for operating a Catholic school system – a land of milk and honey.

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GRATTAN INSTITUTE Special deals for special interests -Catholic School funding

How lobbyists work to advantage Catholic schools at the expense of state schools .

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. Coalition recycles old nonsense with business-as-usual schools deal (the Guardian, 22.09.18)

The prime minister’s announcement of an extra $4.6bn in funding over the next decade for private schools makes no sense.

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TREVOR COBBOLD. Have Kids Stopped Trying on PISA and NAPLAN?

A much-ignored aspect of school results in Australia over the past decade or more is the sharp contrast between declining or stagnating scores on international and national tests for Years 9 and 10 and solid improvements in Year 12 results. … Continue reading

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. Latest OECD Education report should spark a reality check.

According to the OECD’s 2018 Education at a Glance report, one measure that places Australia in an extreme position internationally is its high proportion of private funding across the primary, secondary and tertiary education sectors. And Australia is certainly out … Continue reading

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VIC ROWLANDS. The Education funding battle and public education.

When then minister Simon Birmingham accepted the recommendations of the Gonski 2 Education funding model it was a courageous attempt to redress the mistakes of the past. His replacement post Turnbull by Dan Tehan sent a message that the traditional … Continue reading

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GEOFF GALLOP. What does it mean to be educated?

In the Campion Lecture at St Aloysius College, Sydney, on 15 August 2018, Geoff Gallop, former Premier of WA,  spoke about the post-truth world and the importance of understanding the role of education in our society. He said in conclusion: … Continue reading

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. Tempora mutantur…

Times change, but the Australian system of planning and funding schools is in a time warp, being held back by vested interests from keeping pace with the demands upon it.

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Whither Political Science?: Not dead but on life support – a response to Roger Scott.

In a recent post Roger Scott asks an appropriate question but it’s anachronistic – like asking why doesn’t Elvis do live concert anymore? Political Science was always a bastard, left-handed, red-haired child of the turn to scientism by the social … Continue reading

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. The schools funding saga wends on its way and everything changes while everything stays the same.

The recent by-elections suggest that when it comes to the politics of schools funding, everything stays the same while everything changes.  

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CHRIS BONNOR. Catholic schools’ funding: here we go again.

I have a great idea to fix the drought. Give farmers drought relief, extend it to better-endowed areas with access to water – and continue it long after the rain returns. The farmers I know would be horrified if this … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Religion and Faith | 6 Comments

SUSAN RYAN. The Irish teaching orders in Australia.

For over a century many children, particularly from poorer families, in cities and country areas, and indeed a good number of indigenous children, got a sound basic education in schools established throughout Australia by the Irish orders. As well, students … Continue reading

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CHRISTINA HO AND CHRIS BONNOR. ‘Hubs of concentrated advantage’: selective schools need a rethink

In the debate about selective schools personal stories and beliefs can drown out evidence, especially when that evidence challenges the status quo. So we hear plenty of anecdotes about the successes of selective school students, but relatively few about the … Continue reading

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ROBYN MOLONEY. Learning languages early is key to making Australia more multilingual (The Conversation 3/7/2018)

Simon Birmingham recently announced the government will invest an additional A$11.8 million in a successful preschool language learning program. Some 300 languages are spoken in Australia. In the Greater Sydney area alone, nearly 40% of households speak a language other than English and many children of … Continue reading

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JULIE SONNERMANN. Kids of migrant families do better at school – and we should think about why

 Children of migrant families in Australia consistently outperform their more established peers at school. And new analysis using NAPLAN data shows schools with lots of migrant-background students not only achieve at higher levels, but they have higher growth over time … Continue reading

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LINDA SIMON. Falling enrolments in TAFE! How can this be?

The latest NCVER report shows that TAFE enrolments 2016-17 have fallen by 6.5% and government-funded VET programs by 5.9%, with the greatest fall in NSW of 6.8%.  This blog is a commentary on some of the reasons why this has … Continue reading

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CLIVE KESSLER. “Western Civilization” in our universities: Killed off by its latter-day champions.

Who killed off the “Western Tradition” in our Universities? Its current neo-liberal champions and those who share their crocodile tears.

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ROGER SCOTT. “Paying the piper but hating the tune”

The ANU has touched off a debate which has ramifications across the whole university system, or at least that section of it with prestige high enough to attract philanthropists with deep pockets.

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PETER DAY. Beware the Push-Me-Pull-You Syndrome in our Universities.

Thanks to Isaac Newton we know that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And while Newton’s 3rd Law specifically relates to objects and motion; it can equally apply to the spheres of culture and politics.

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ALLAN PATIENCE: The serious under-development of Papua New Guinea’s university system

There is a crisis in Papua New Guinea’s university system. Universities are devastatingly under-resourced and under-performing. The bizarre persecution of PNG University of Technology’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr Albert Schram, also points to a disastrous governance breakdown at university council level. Can … Continue reading

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