Category Archives: Education

TREVOR COBBOLD. Australia’s education system is nearly the most unequal in the developed world.

Australia prides itself on its egalitarian ethos, but it is a myth in education. Not only do we have one of the most segregated school systems in the OECD and the world, but a report just published by the United … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. Australia has one of the most socially segregated schools systems in the world.

A new OECD report shows that Australia has one of the most segregated school systems in the OECD and in the world. It also shows that Australia had the equal largest increase in social segregation in the OECD and the … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR. Discrimination recriminations in the debate about private schools.

Debates about discrimination in schools need to go much further, argues Chris Bonnor

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BRUCE THOM. University Research Under Veto.

Veto action on certain successful Australian Research Council research proposals together with a proposal to establish a “national interest” test by federal Ministers for Education reflect poorly on the independence and integrity of university research and research training.

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RICHARD HOLDEN. The best way to boost the economy is to improve the lives of deprived students. (The Conversation 25.10.2018)

What if we had an opportunity to double the size of the tourism industry, or to quadruple the size of the beef industry, or to boost the economy by more than any of the presently proposed tax switches?  What if we … Continue reading

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CARMEN LAWRENCE. Waste in the Commonwealth/State divide in education

In the seemingly never ending debate about the best way to fund our schools, relatively little consideration is given to the effects of the declining influence of state governments and the increasing exercise of power by the Commonwealth.  However, in … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. Disadvantaged schools miss out in access to teachers.

The large gaps in student achievement between advantaged and disadvantaged schools in Australia are well known. What is less well known is that government teacher policies are compounding the gaps by discriminating against disadvantaged schools in their access to teaching … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Education, Religion and Faith | 8 Comments

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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