News | 23 February 2017

The Department of Education and Training’s Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors Program, which recruits prominent Australians to promote apprenticeships and traineeships, has been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews said the program was a key part of the Government’s efforts to inspire young Australians to take up an apprenticeship and to raise the status of Vocational Education and Training (VET...

News | 21 February 2017

As students settle into their first weeks of the new school year, the Government has launched a new resource for parents and families to help bring school lessons to life at home.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the new website, Learning Potential Resources, is filled with hundreds of ideas, activities, games and videos to assist parents of primary school children to get involved in their child’s learning.

The website provides access to the resources teachers are using in the classroom, adapted for the home environment. The resources provide ideas for parents about how to turn everyday activities like cooking, watering the garden or walking the dog into a fun and interactive learning opportunity.

Learning Potential Resources supports the Australian Curriculum for primary school and contains three main sections, which include:

News | 14 February 2017

The Australian Government invites all international education stakeholders and interested parties to comment on a consultation draft of a revised National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (National Code). The National Code sets nationally consistent standards for delivery of education to overseas students.

Proposed changes aim to modernise and simplify the National Code so it can be easily applied by providers and regulators, and increase flexibility where appropriate and relevant for international students.

Key areas for reform include:

News | 16 January 2017

The Department of Education and Training is proud to support the 2017 Parent Engagement (PE) Conference, 6–8 June 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

The Parent Engagement Conference is jointly hosted by The Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth (ARACY) and The Smith Family, and is designed to highlight the way parent engagement supports child wellbeing and learning outcomes. The intended outcome of the conference is to build and strengthen a parent engagement community of practice in Australia.

The PE Conference has secured an outstanding line up of international keynote speakers and will showcase research, policy and practice on the importance of parent engagement in maximising every child’s learning potential.

Further information on the 2017 Parent Engagement (PE) Conference and how you can be involved is available at  

News | 21 December 2016

Researchers at Australian universities will benefit from a $76 million boost from the Australian Government that will increase collaboration between their work, industry and business.

The increase to the new research block grants includes a new stream of $50 million from the National Innovation and Science Agenda to drive universities to engage more with industry and other innovation systems.

The investment forms part of the Turnbull Government’s $1.9 billion commitment to R&D and training researchers in 2017.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham made the announcement and said Australian researchers had no shortage of smart ideas.

The focus now he said was to become better at taking research and applying it in ways that benefit the broader community, by turning our best research ideas into new job-creating commercial realities.

News | 19 December 2016

In May 2016, the Government committed $3 million for a new and contemporary National Career Education Strategy to support students to be prepared for life beyond school, including the jobs of today and into the future.
The commitment is part of the Government’s Quality Schools Quality Outcomes policy. 

The National Career Education Strategy includes a focus on developing young people’s 21st century skills and facilitating stronger employer, industry and school collaboration so that young people are equipped with the necessary skills to navigate complex careers across a range of industries and professions.

The strategy is also closely aligned with work already underway to develop, assess and track student’s general capabilities as described in the Australian Curriculum so that teachers, parents, education and policy makers have concrete data on student achievement and progress.

News | 16 December 2016

The Government has accepted the Higher Education Standards Panel’s recommendations on how to improve the transparency of higher education admissions processes and announced its response.

The Department of Education and Training will work with the higher education sector to develop a joint plan to give effect to the Panel’s recommendations. An implementation working group, chaired by a senior representative of the higher education sector, will be established to develop and oversee the joint implementation plan.

The working group will identify the steps necessary to implement the Panel’s recommendations as quickly as possible, either through voluntary adoption across the sector, additional regulation, or requirements linked to funding agreements, where necessary. The aim is to implement as many of the recommendations as possible in time for the 2018 academic year.

News | 14 December 2016

The Comparative Analysis of the Australian Qualifications Framework and the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning: Joint Technical Report is set to enhance mobility between Australia and Europe by improving mutual understanding of the European and Australian qualifications frameworks. It is a source of information that provides additional context for decisions about the recognition of qualifications that support student and labour mobility.

Supporting graduates with Australian qualifications globally is a key deliverable of the Australian Government’s National Strategy for International Education 2025.

News | 12 December 2016

Learning Potential 2.0 includes more age segments, so parents will get the tips and ideas that are most relevant according to their child’s age – from babies to senior high school.  Parents are now also able to search the content on the app, sort and filter topics and be given recommendations on related articles that might interest them.

The upgraded app includes 45 great new articles, 2 new videos, and lots of tips and suggestions for fun summer holiday activities.

The free Learning Potential app is available to download now on Android and Apple devices from the App Store and Google Play. Find out more on the Learning Potential website.

News | 6 December 2016

The National Day of Action (NDA) has a fresh new look this year and we are calling on schools to ask their students 'what's your anti-bullying message?' and to start thinking about their NDA activities for 2017.

This year, schools who register for the day will become 'National Day of Action' schools and there will be no need to re-register each year. 

Don't forget to order the ‘Take a Stand Together’ wristbands! These wristbands are a colourful and engaging way for school students and staff to show their support.

NDA schools also have access to free printed resources, including student pocket cards and parent information cards. These materials provide tips and advice when dealing with bullying and help promote positive conversations about 'taking a stand together' against bullying and violence. 

Register now! Visit the Bullying. No Way! website for more information and resources.

News | 29 November 2016

The 2016 National History Challenge award ceremony took place at Parliament House in Canberra today and was attended by Federal Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, where he presented New South Wales student Rachel Wang with the prestigious 2016 National Young Historian of the Year Award.

Minister Birmingham said the quality of the work undertaken across such a wide range of topics was testament to the students’ historical curiosity and strong research skills.

The National History Challenge encourages students to use research and inquiry-based learning to discover more about the past, where students are the historians.

They can investigate their community, explore their own and their family’s past and consider ideas throughout history. The challenge encourages the use of primary and secondary sources and offers a variety of presentation styles.

News | 29 November 2016

The Council for International Education held its first meeting on Wednesday 23 November 2016 at Parliament House. Chaired by Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, the Council consists of six Australian Government Ministers and Assistant Ministers and eleven expert members.

The Council brings a whole-of-government approach to strengthen and grow Australian international education and will provide advice on priorities for Australian Government action.

News | 24 November 2016

At the 2016-17 Budget the Government released a policy options paper, Driving Innovation, Fairness and Excellence in Australian Higher Education and invited public submissions. The paper sets out options for reform that support the Government’s vision of a stronger, more sustainable system of higher education and submissions will inform the development of a revised reform package.

Submissions received in response to the options paper are now available.

The Department of Education and Training received more than 1200 submissions to this process. All submissions have been made public unless the author stated in writing that their submission is confidential.

News | 16 November 2016

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham met students from St Francis de Sales College in Mount Barker, South Australia on Thursday 10 November 2017 to mark this million student milestone.

PACER provides financial assistance for students in Years 4 to 12 from schools more than 150 kilometers from Canberra to visit the national capital for civics and citizenship education. The rebate ranges from $20 to $260 per student, depending on distance from Canberra, and is provided as a contribution to assist with travel costs. All PACER-supported schools visit Parliament House, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, and/or the National Electoral Education Centre and the Australian War Memorial. 

News | 16 November 2016

The Government has accepted the Higher Education Standards Panel’s report on how to improve the transparency of admissions processes at Australia’s roughly 170 higher education providers. The Government supports the intent of the recommendations from the Panel and will respond in due course.

The Panel, chaired by Professor Peter Shergold AC, received 82 written submissions and met with a wide range of higher education and secondary education stakeholders in formulating its advice.

The Panel made 14 recommendations in its report. The Panel’s key recommendations include that providers use common and consistent language to describe ATAR thresholds and other admissions requirements and publish information on admissions processes in agreed templates to ensure ease of comparison for prospective students and their parents.

News | 10 November 2016

On 10 November 2016, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, announced the Skills Service Organisations for the manufacturing, automotive and mining and drilling sectors. They are

  • Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA) − for manufacturing and
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers Skills for Australia (PwC) − for automotive, and mining and drilling.

Skills Service Organisations are funded by the Australian Government as independent, professional service organisations who undertake work commissioned by the Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC), on behalf of their Industry Reference Committees (IRCs).

Further information on the Australian Industry and Skills Committee is available on their website at

A contact list for all SSOs is available.

News | 3 November 2016

In 2014 the DSP was evaluated by KPMG to verify the program was meeting its objectives and to identify options to improve the ongoing operation of the program.

The evaluation identified a number of options to improve the program’s design.

A proposed response to these issues is outlined in the DSP consultation paper. Stakeholders are invited to consider the options put forward and provide feedback.

All feedback on the ideas presented in the consultation paper, or any other ideas stakeholders propose to improve the DSP, are welcome. The Government will consider all feedback before proceeding with any changes to the DSP.

Submissions are due by 5.00 pm (AEDT) on Friday 25 November 2016 and should be emailed to the DSP mailbox.

News | 3 November 2016

On 3/11/2016 the Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham announced the outcomes of the Australian Government’s Australia Awards–Endeavour Mobility Grants and Australia Awards–Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships rounds for 2017.

In 2017, the Endeavour Mobility Grants and Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships will offer support to over 3000 recipients to undertake study, research and professional development overseas and in Australia.

The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are internationally competitive and promote knowledge, education links and enduring ties between Australia and participating countries around the world.

The Endeavour Mobility Grants support Australian undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational education and training students to have an international study experience that contributes to their Australian qualification

News | 31 October 2016

Public consultations on the review of the National VET Provider Collection Data Requirements Policy (the Review) have now closed. The review is seeking to improve the transparency and efficiency of VET (Vocational Education and Training).  Further information on the review and the public submissions received is available at:

Consultations on the Review have included public submissions, an online survey and targeted interviews with key stakeholders.

The Review team is now analysing the issues arising from the consultations.

The Review is expected to be completed by the end of this year, with the revised policy available in the first half of 2017.

News | 26 October 2016

Annual report cover

The Department of Education and Training Annual Report 2015‑16 was tabled in Parliament on 26 October 2016.

An accessibility-optimised PDF and a html version of the Department of Education and Training Annual report 2015‑16 is available.

News | 21 October 2016

The Australian Government has implemented changes to research block grant (RBG) arrangements for universities commencing next year.

As part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, announced last year, the new arrangements are designed to drive greater research‑industry engagement by substantially boosting incentives for collaboration with business and organisations which use the outcomes of research.

The arrangements establish two new streamlined programs:

News | 18 October 2016

The council will work with education providers, industry, and federal, state and territory governments to ensure the sector continues to play a key role in driving Australia’s future economic growth, global engagement and innovation. 

With Australia’s international education sector contributing more than $19 billion a year to the economy and supporting more than 130,000 jobs, it is one of the country’s key super-growth sectors.

Council members include:

News | 14 October 2016

The Department of Education and Training has made some exciting developments in the area of student wellbeing with a brand new website, the Student Wellbeing Hub, which is underpinned by the National Safe Schools Framework.

While we had success and some fantastic contributions from the education sector to the Safe Schools Hub, the new site reflects the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to being responsive to important issues affecting today’s schools as they strive to build and sustain positive, respectful and supportive teaching and learning communities.

The Hub brought together information, advice and best-practice approaches to deal predominantly with the important issue of bullying.

The Student Wellbeing Hub website’s bright and engaging look and feel and simple navigation will ensure that educators, parents and students find information and resources tailored to their...

News | 13 October 2016

The Department of Education and Training’s David Fintan gave the opening address today.

Experts and leaders in university and industry are in attendance to determine the most effective reforms in three priority areas:

  • Indigenous student participation and outcomes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); 
  • Increasing the number and capacity of the Indigenous academic workforce; and 
  • Whole-of-university approaches to improving Indigenous higher education outcomes.

The roundtable will build upon the latest available evidence, and develop concrete, measurable actions to progress national policy and funding in these three priority areas.

Professor Peter Buckskin, Chair of NATSIHEC and David Fintan, Department of Education and Training