What's going on in the education sector?

What's going on in the education sector?

This article may be out of date. Please refer to the Good Universities Guide blog for the latest updates in the tertiary sector.

There’s always something happening in the education sector, but how can you keep up? We’ve covered some of the latest stories, providing quick snapshot summaries to help you understand what’s been going on and how it may affect you.

  • Research from the Foundation for Young Australians has revealed that almost two thirds of Australian students are training for jobs that won’t exist or are set to change drastically over the next 10 to 15 years. The report stresses the importance of training for jobs of the future and highlights three economic drivers that will change the way we work: automation, globalisation and collaboration.

  • A trade skills shortage is on the horizon, with half the nation’s young apprentices dropping out of training. Data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research shows that 56 per cent of apprentices who began training in 2010 had finished working in their trade four years later. It also found that a third of construction workers and 15 per cent of hairdressers pulled out of their apprenticeships within the first year.
  • The federal government launched a pilot of its literacy and numeracy test for pre-service teachers in August, with a further round to be held later this month. The test is designed to assess pre-service teachers on aspects of their personal literacy and numeracy skills, using a combination of multiple-choice and constructed response questions. If you’re heading into a teaching degree or getting ready to finish up, you can expect to sit the test from 2016.
  • In further news on numeracy, research has found that around 20 per cent of Australian students don't reach basic proficiency in mathematics. This has seen many adults head back to the classroom to sharpen up on maths skills that they didn' grasp at school. An Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development survey also found that while Australia ranks fourth for literacy out of 23 countries, it slides to 13th place for numeracy.

  • You’ll know by now that work experience is crucial. As well as providing insight into potential occupations, it also gives you the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the workplace. But should students pay to get their foot in the door? A South Australian law firm is currently being investigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman over its two-year placements for junior lawyers — at a cost of $22,000. Many in the law community have spoken up about the risks of this business model, including the Australian Law Students’ Association’s Marie Iskander, who labelled the pay-for-a-job program unethical.

  • Australian unis continue to perform well in global rankings, which has been proven in the August release of the Academic Ranking of World Universities for 2015. The ranking, which features 20 Australian universities, placed four in the global top 100 — the University of Melbourne (44), the Australian National University and the University of Queensland (77), and the University of Western Australia (87). This adds to impressive results in systems such as the Times Higher Education Rankings 2015 — released earlier this year — which saw the University of Melbourne (33), the Australian National University (45), the University of Sydney (60), the University of Queensland (65) and Monash University (83) featured in the top 100.

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