Australia's minister for education, has announced game changing
alterations to the Federal Tertiary education budget. At the
moment government sets fees, and provides grants to each university,
based on some obscure formula that supposedly takes account of the
academic & research prestige of the university.
All that is to change. Universities will set their own fees, and
federal subsidies will not be guaranteed. As now, students will
be able to obtain federal loans. However the interest rate on
that loan will be at commercial rates rather than at the CPI.
Pyne has reasoned that if universities set their fees too high, then
students will either attend a cheaper university, or find another way
to qualify in their chosen profession, or some other option.
prediction was given in an IVETA paper in
1999. This prediction is fast being borne out, as the children of
today become more familiar with using computers as information
sources. I anticipate that the following options already do, or
soon will exist.
Whatever the end result, I suspect that education
will become de-politicised. Whitlam made Tertiary education free,
and look where it is now. Health care was also made free, and
that is fast going the way of Education.
- Students could go directly to the
professional accreditation body of their chosen profession. For
instance, the Solicitor's
NSW offers reasonably priced classes and
examinations that can qualify a student to practice Law. A
prospective MD might discover that Shanghai or Mumbai university offers
an MD that is recognized in Australia.
- Alternatively, a prospective Engineer might
research TAFE courses in Engineering that can offer a low cost
articulated entry into a degree course or other qualification that is
recognized by the Institution of Engineers.
- A third alternative might be internet
training and accreditation. For instance Microsoft offers an MCSE
Engineer) qualification. The qualification
is obtained by passing (83% required) six subject examinations.
How a student obtains the knowledge to pass those examinations is not
specified. However bookshops have textbooks for around $30 that
advertise themselves as containing all the information required.
If the prospective MCSE is not a book person, I understand some of the
employment agencies offer one week intensive courses for around $1,000
- $5,000. After learning the subject, the student pays around
$100 and attends a Microsoft examination centre and is examined on his
understanding of the course material.
- Other education providers that offer online
instruction that leads to a qualification are offered by companies such
as NAVITAS and UDACITY.
- In the USA there is a website that
calculates the ROI (Return On Investment) for different University
courses based on employment rate and pay rate of graduates.
- Perhaps would be "non commercial" students
(Anthropology springs to mind) should look at the ROI and look to a
professional career where the ROI
was actually positive in less than several decades.
The latest about China has the Chinese threatening war over
resources in the South China Sea.
The internet sheet "Sinocism" expresses deep concern about the Chinese
response, presuming that China underestimated the US response. I
am also concerned, but not for quite the same reasons.
There are multiple claimants to the resources in the seas around
China. Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia and
Vietnam. This situation needs resolution, and it is my opinion
that the claim by China to total control of all resources in the region
is nothing but an ambit claim, intended to open further negotiation.
A possible solution is for a neutral country, perhaps the USA, to
suggest a bilateral/multilateral resolution. It would work
something like this.
Hopefully an equitable division of resources could
thus be found.
- Each claimant to an intersecting region
should appoint an expert/negotiator. So Taiwan & China might
have an area that would be subject to bilateral negotiation.
- These negotiators should form committees of
three people, with the convener appointing a chairman.
- In some cases, there might be three
countries, A, B & C. There are then four possibilities,
(AB,AC,BC,ABC) and so there would be six national delegates, since all
delegates would double up in committee ABC.
- Thus there are three layers of decision
making. Bilateral, multilateral and full meeting of all delegates.
- An agreed starting point for negotiations
should be determined. So for any particular location the starting
split of profits should be proportional to (say) the distance of the
resource from population centres. For example, it should start as
a 50:50 split of profits from a resource if each country has population
located equidistant from that resource.
- Decisions of committees would not be
- When the proportion of ownership of
potential resources is determined, competitive tenders should be sought
to develop those resources, and any profits split in accordance with
MALCOLM & TONY TIFF?
The media had a ball. Especially Allan Jones and Andrew
Bolt. Malcolm said he "ran across Clive" in a
restaurant. Clive Palmer later said it was by appointment.
A secretary from Treasury was noted slipping out the back door.
Andrew criticized Malcolm because Malcolm had not supported Tony's
budget. Malcolm is pictured as whiteanting Tony. Tony says
he would trust Malcolm before any journalist anytime.
My suspicion is that Malcolm was the only Liberal that Clive would talk
to. I suspect Tony asked Malcolm to quietly sound out Clive (who
holds enormous power in the Senate) about his planned strategy when his
Senators take their places in July. Once uncovered, Malcolm went
stum on everything. Easier to take the flak than explain his
Clive is obtaining huge support from the ABC and Fairfax. I
expect the ABC expects as a quid pro quo that Clive will save their
Pippa's (and other) bacon. By comparison, Murdoch seems quite
According to one source (Grahame Richardson), Clive was Joh Bjelke
agent. That would explain the dab hand that Clive displays with
the media. He has called in Al Gore to help him delete the Carbon
Tax, while at the
same time keeping the green vote with support for an ETS (Emission
Trading Scheme) proposal that provides for a tax "at the same rate
as our major competitors".
(I never did understand why Joh fell.
Under his government
Queensland prospered. His management of health and education were
the envy of all the other states. He called his press conferences
chooks". The reasons for his fall were more likely the ambition
friends, rather than voter dissatisfaction.)
Clive for PM!
Uthman Badr has raised the issue of Honour killings as a subject
suitable for the "Dangerous Ideas" forum. The wimps who run that
forum have bowed to peer pressure and cancelled that debate.
I would love to have heard that debate. I cannot conceive any
justification for killing a woman because she succumbed to the
blandishments of a man. If succumbing to desires is to be
punishable by execution, then quite a few overweight people should
prepare for the chop.
And while they are at it, why must former
Muslims who have renounced their religion be executed?
As a solution to these problems could I suggest the creation (perhaps
by concerned Muslims in Australia) of a charity thet would provide a
protected shelter for those women? And perhaps our Christian
churches could provide a shelter for those converts who wish to
renounce their Muslim religion? I appreciate that this might mean
the creation of protected shelters with armed guards.
ISIL = Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In case you
wondered, "The Levant" is the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean.
So "The Levant" would be a state comprised of Syria, Lebanon and Israel.
ISIL wants to install a "Caliphate". A caliphate is a form of
government where the leader (aka "Caliph") has supreme religious and
political power in the Ummah (aka the Moslem congregation including
women, slaves and members of other religions), and governs in
accordance with Sharia
law. Non Muslims are "protected" within the state, and pay a
special tax for this protection. Sunni Caliphates have elected
leaders. Shia Caliphs must be from "The Family of God" and be
related to Muhammad.
Surrounding states view ISIL with varying degrees of alarm.
Syria, Hamas, Iran are quite anti ISIL. The USA thinks ISIL is
insupportable, but Iraq's current government is also
unsupportable. The Kurds are probably quite happy, as they have
gained Kirkusk, and the Turks are allowing them to export oil.
The Turks are probably not too upset with ISIL, although they probably
have reservation about the possibility of an independent Kurdistan.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt are not too happy with the Muslim Brotherhood,
which is friendly with Turkey.
Israel is probably happiest while any arab states that are at war with
or hostile towards Israel are also at war with or hostile towards each