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International HE Strategy Step in the Right Direction
COPHE CEO Adrian McComb, who was at the launch of the strategy in Launceston on Saturday 30 April, said a co-ordinated, national approach was long overdue so this was a step in the right direction.
Action on HE Debt Will Also Help Private Providers
As outlined in The Australian's March 30 editorial Time to act on tertiary debt, a curb on growth in the HE loan program’s outstanding debt which is now $42.3 billion is critical. COPHE members expectation of equality of treatment of our students is highly unlikely whilst the current system is unsustainable, therefore COPHE supports calls for the latest road map for tertiary education debt repair to be taken seriously.
AFR: Little known Marcus Oldham College tops all universities in student satisfaction
COPHE Member Marcus Oldham College has beaten all of Australia's universities in student satisfaction according to the Government's website designed to help students choose higher education courses.
AQF Opens Door to More Masters Flexibility
The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) has announced a simplification of the previously complex Volume of Learning (VoL) specification for Masters degrees, effective 1 June 2014. The new description allows more flexibility and professional discretion, and is more consistent with the descriptions for other qualifications.
Budget 2016 – COPHE Response
The Higher Education budget release, in a rather new twist, turned out to essentially be the release of a policy discussion paper on the Government’s view of the key issues. Responses are due by 25th July.
Budget Improves Equity and Choice in Higher Education
The Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE) has welcomed the Federal Government’s moves to make higher education more equitable, increasing opportunities and choice for all students through policy changes revealed in the 2014-2015 Budget. COPHE CEO Adrian McComb said: “An Australian Government has finally recognised students as smart consumers. With commonwealth support freed to follow student choice beyond the nearest public university, this Government is making it possible for more students to choose an institution which best meets their varying needs. This improves choice, equity and diversity in the higher education sector and especially for the one in ten students who have already chosen to study in a private college, private university or TAFE.
Budget package undermines its own ideals: private colleges
As published in The Australian, May 10, 2017. In a letter to Scott Morrison, Council of Private Higher Education chief executive Simon Finn said the present arrangements — which saddled private students with a 25 per cent loan fee — forced people to pay extra for courses with the highest satisfaction ratings. Mr Finn said it was not too late to wrap student loans into a single scheme.
Congratulations Avondale - First to Reach Self-Accreditation Milestone
COPHE member Avondale College of Higher Education has become the first Australian non-university higher education provider to be granted full self-accrediting authority by TEQSA. Acting Chief Commissioner of TEQSA, Professor Nick Saunders said that this milestone was a good example of regulator and sector working together to ensure quality.
COPHE Board Member Wins Excellence Award
COPHE Board Member, UOW College General Manager Julie Renwick has been awarded the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) Excellence in Leadership Award 2016.
COPHE Fully Supports Min Pyne's Latest Plan
COPHE (the Council for Private Higher Education) fully supports Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s latest move to help the Higher Education and Research Reform Bill pass through the Senate.
COPHE's new address is: Suite 59, Level 5, 47 Neridah Street, Chatswood 2067
COPHE Member Wins WA Export Award
The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) has won the 2015 Western Australian Industry and Export Award in the Education and Training category.
COPHE Urges Budget Reform to End Unfair Fee
COPHE has written to all Cabinet Ministers urging the federal budget deliver equity for students through a single income contingent loan scheme. COPHE seeks removal of the 25% loan fee which is unfairly applied to students who choose to study with a Higher Education provider that is not a public university.
COPHE Voices at Senate HE Hearing
The Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014 is currently being reviewed by the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee. COPHE was represented at the Committee's hearings in Brisbane by Chair Dr Don Owers, CEO Adrian McComb and four student volunteers from member institutions.
COPHE Welcomes Moves to Promote Innovation
A message from COPHE CEO Adrian McComb, who was sceptical about the Turnbull Government's National Innovation and Science Agenda prior to the announcement and now, after catching a glimpse of how the measures can work together, he considers the portfolio of policies to be "brilliant".
COPHE Endorses Kemp/Norton Report into Review of the Demand Driven Funding System
The Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE) has welcomed Dr David Kemp and Mr Andrew Norton’s insightful review of the demand-driven funding system which has given the Government the opportunity to revitalise Australia’s higher education system. COPHE CEO Adrian McComb said the 17 recommendations will promote equity, choice and diversity, especially the recommendations that all higher education providers should be able to offer Commonwealth supported places, for a single coherent loan scheme, to extending the demand driven system to pathways programs, to extending access to OS HELP and to improve post-graduate opportunities.
COPHE Continues to Call for Higher Education Reforms
The Higher Education reform legislation was defeated in the Senate on Tuesday March 17, which to state the obvious, was a disappointment. Nevertheless, it is not all over - An Update for COPHE Members
Don’t delay expansion to privates: HE expert Andrew Norton
The dangers of universities overcharging will increase if private colleges are locked out of the demand-driven system for another three years, HE policy expert Andrew Norton has said.
Drive for Equity in HE Must Continue
The Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE) has applauded the Federal Government’s continued pursuit of higher education reforms despite the second rejection of the Bill in the Senate.
Equity in Subsidies Serves Students - Campus Review
Council of Private Higher Education CEO Adrian McComb writes that there is little justification for lower levels of Commonwealth support (Commonwealth Supported Place funding (CSP)) for private higher education providers. Even the Go8’s Private Higher Education Providers in Australia backgrounder (released on July 15) pointed out that in Australia today the distinction between public and private institutions is not easy to define - and some experts even say "obsolete".
Federal Government’s Higher Education Reforms Lack Equity
Joint media release from COPHE and ACPET in response to the Australian Government's announcement of its latest Higher Education Reform Package which it proposes to implement from 2018.
Fixing Misconceptions about Private Higher Education
As the debate about the reform of Higher Education continues, the context continues be skewed by those with a vested interest in preventing students at private providers from being treated fairly. Some regularly repeated misconceptions need to be addressed.The general public needs to be aware that the vocational education and training and the higher education sectors are regulated differently and work in a very different environment if we are to have an informed debate.
ABC's Four Corners Highlights Need for Effective Controls
ABC TV’s Four Corners program Degrees of Deception, April 20, although presenting a negative view based on very limited evidence, was a reminder that the higher education sector must focus on quality outcomes for students and must ensure effective controls are in place.
Govt must continue fight for reform
Retention by the Government of the Higher Education Reform Legislation from the 2014 budget is very important for the sector and must be brought forward again by Education Minister Christopher Pyne.
Govt QILT Survey Recognises High Levels of Student Satisfaction
For the first time, non-university providers have been included in the results of the recently released 2015 Student Experience Survey. The results are also available on The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website which provides prospective students with detailed information about Australian higher education.
Higher Education Reform Must Proceed
The Council of Private Higher Education is appealing for support for the Higher Education and Research Reform Bill. This is a package of legislation that is critical if Australia is to have a world-class higher education system. This Opinion piece from the Campus Review also comments on the HELP scheme, the proposed adjustments in levels of the Commonwealth Supported Places and university fees.
In Support of Private Colleges - McComb in The Aust
Adrian McComb, CEO of the Council of Private Higher Education, responds in The Australian Opinion section to the latest arguments in the debate following the release of the David Kemp and Andrew Norton report on the Review of the Demand Driven Funding system. He argues that critics of the report such as Universities Australia ignore the fact that universities already have thriving commercial relationships with the private higher education sector when it comes to the delivery of pathways programs. He said the sector needs to throw away self-interest and focus its attention on the needs of students.
Expert Case: Add For-Profit Providers to the Demand Driven System
Higher Education expert Andrew Norton, co-author with Dr David Kemp of the report into the review of the Demand Driven Funding system, has spoken out to defend private providers following some misinformed reactions to the report. He was particularly responding to comments from Universities Australia spokesman Professor Greg Craven. In his blog, Andrew Norton points out that historical experience does not back up claims that the ‘profit-motive’ leads to poor results in higher education.
Insights into Ensuring Ongoing Quality
The 2017 COPHE conference 'Quality, Compliance and Strategy for Private Higher Education Providers' was the first for new CEO, Simon Finn, who presented a program of useful strategic insights from experts in key areas of higher education.
Legislation Opens the Door to Equity and Opportunity
The Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE) welcomes Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014 which has passed the House of Representatives and is now being prepared to face a hostile Senate. The changes will greatly assist students enrolling with non-university institutions and introduce some equity into the higher education system for them.
New COPHE CEO signs MoU with TEQSA
Incoming Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE) Chief Executive, Mr Simon Finn, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia’s Higher Education regulator, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, CEO Mr Anthony McClaran.
New COPHE CEO Speaks Out For Students - The Australian
Article 'Publication of colleges’ negative findings could hurt students' is from the February 22 2017 issue of The Australian Digital Edition.
New Minister Values Choice and Diversity in Higher Education
Private higher education institutions were encouraged by the first speech about the sector by the new Education and Training Minister, Senator Simon Birmingham. He noted the value of the private and TAFE sectors to higher education in Australia and called for a world-class system that gave “fair access for students”. The speech was the keynote address to the Times Higher Education (THE) World Academic Summit at the University of Melbourne on October 1.
New Website to Empower Student Choice
COPHE Members have welcomed Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s announcement today of the launch of the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching — or QILT — website which replaces the MyUni website.
Non-university Higher Education Students ask Senators for a Fair Go
The group of nine students from very diverse fields were welcomed by Education Minister Christopher Pyne and senators including WA Senator Bridget McKenzie, who chaired the recent inquiry into the Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill. The students were united in their call for a fair go for future students like themselves. They asked for an end to the 25 per cent administration fee, which they have had to pay, but public university students do not. They also supported the proposed reform extending Government subsidies for fees to higher education students beyond just public universities. The meeting was organised jointly by the Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE) and TAFE Directors Australia (TDA).
Norton Report Provides Sensible Solution to HE Funding
The Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE) has publicly supported the latest Grattan Institute Higher Education report which calls for the introduction of a standard loan fee on all new tertiary education lending.
Private Colleges See Level Playing Field as Top Priority - Finn
A profile of COPHE CEO Simon Finn by John Ross, as published in The Australian, March 1 2017
QILT - Students Can Now Compare all Higher Education Providers Online for First Time
For the first time potential students searching for the institution that best meets their needs will be able to search for all the options – including private – thanks to the latest update on QILT - The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching website. This step was made possible when non-university providers were included in the results of the 2015 Student Experience Survey for the first time. COPHE CEO Adrian McComb said this was a major step forward.
Renewed call to end loan fee inequity - The Australian
The private higher education lobby has renewed its calls on the federal government to create a level playing field for all university students by making student loan fees consistent in the upcoming federal budget. The Council of Private Higher Education says the current 25 per cent loan fee students is inequitable.
TEQSA report shows students favour private degrees – The Australian
"An uneven policy playing ground has not dampened the appetite for private degrees, with a new report charting a steady shift of student share to for-profit colleges." - Article as printed in The Australian By John Ross, Higher Education reporter, Sydney.
The Amended Privacy Act - Is Your HEP Ready?
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has announced that March 12 will see the biggest change in privacy law in 25 years. If you haven’t already done so, review your privacy policies asap. see
Time to Break Down Some Barriers
In its response to the Government Discussion Paper 'Driving Innovation, Fairness and Excellence in Australian Higher Education' - July 2016, COPHE has called for the Government to break down some of the barriers between what defines ‘public’ and ‘private’ students in higher education.
Torrens Offers New Opportunities for Australian and International Students
COPHE congratulates Torrens University Australia on its official opening today. “Torrens is an excellent example of how opening the door to a wider range of provider types increases diversity and opportunity for Australian students,” COPHE CEO Adrian McComb said. “An international corporation such as Laureate International Universities establishing a new university in Australia is a solid vote of confidence in our higher education sector.”
UA Concerns Not Backed by Evidence - says Norton
Andrew Norton quoted in The Australian has said that peak body Universities Australia's concerns about his recommendations were not backed by the evidence. Mr Norton said extending public subsidies to non-university providers was a critical part of the his and Dr David Kemp's demand driven funding review's proposed changes. This was particularly because such providers were more expert and successful than universities at delivering sub-bachelor programs such as diplomas.
Students Urged to Sign Petition Supporting Reforms
COPHE is working to make it easier for non-public university students to remind Senators about the positives for equity and choice in Education Minister Christopher Pyne's higher education reform package.
What’s Next for Reforms – COPHE CEO
Adrian McComb, chief executive of the Council of Private Higher Education, echoed the comments of the Group of Eight that as far as the Senate was concerned, “fee deregulation is dead in the water” but said there was still hope for some key elements of the plan.
Why QILT has triggered a revolution in student choice
Opinion piece by Adrian McComb, chief executive officer of the Council of Private Higher Education, published in the Australian Financial Review. May 16, 2016.

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