Glossary

Glossary of terms
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010–2014 search for term

A plan ‘developed by the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) as part of the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG’s) reform agenda to improve life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. [The Ministerial Council] approved the plan in April 2010 and it was subsequently endorsed by COAG in May 2011’ (MCEECDYA 2010).

ABSTUDY search for term

ABSTUDY provides a means-tested living allowance and other supplementary benefits to eligible secondary and tertiary students. Primary students living at home and aged 14 years or more on 1 January in the year of study may also be eligible for assistance. ABSTUDY is delivered by Centrelink’ ( DEEWR 2011a).

Attainment search for term

Educational attainment is expressed by the highest completed level of education, defined according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) ( ABS 2001). Attainment in this document, therefore, refers to the completion of a qualification.

Australian Postgraduate Awards (APAs) search for term

APAs provide financial support to Australian postgraduate students of exceptional research promise who undertake their higher degree by research at an Australian higher education provider.

Away-from-Base (AFB) search for term

The Away from Base ( AFB) program covers travel costs for higher education and Vocational Education and Training students studying an approved “mixed-mode” course. A “mixed-mode” course is a nationally accredited course that is delivered through a combination of distance education and face-to-face teaching for students who are based in their home communities and undertake occasional intensive study periods on campus’ ( DEEWR 2011b).

Base Funding Review search for term

The Higher Education Base Funding Review: final report offers recommendations on the principles for public investment in Australian higher education and proposals to ensure that Australian higher education remains internationally competitive (Lomax-Smith, Watson & Webster 2011). The Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, released the report in December 2011.

Closing the Gap search for term

Closing the Gap is a commitment by all Australian governments to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, and in particular provide a better future for Indigenous children. A national integrated Closing the Gap strategy has been agreed through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) ... COAG has agreed to specific timeframes for achieving six Closing the Gap targets, relating to Indigenous life expectancy, infant mortality, early childhood development, education and employment’ (FaHCSIA 2011).

Commonwealth Grant Scheme search for term

The Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) provides funding to higher education providers for Commonwealth-supported places (CSPs) in bachelor courses of study and some CSPs in sub-bachelor, non-research postgraduate, medicine and other courses of study specified by the Minister’ ( DIISRTE 2011a).

Commonwealth-supported place search for term

The Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) provides funding to higher education providers for Commonwealth-supported places (CSPs) in bachelor courses of study and some CSPs in sub-bachelor, non-research postgraduate, medicine and other courses of study specified by the Minister’ ( DIISRTE 2011a).

Commonwealth-supported place search for term

Commonwealth-supported places are substantially subsidised student places available at all public universities and at a handful of private higher education providers. They are funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Commonwealth Grant Scheme. Previously called a ‘HECS’ place.

Compact search for term

See ‘mission-based compact’.

Council of Australian Governments (COAG) search for term

 COAG is the peak intergovernmental forum in Australia, comprising the Prime Minister, state premiers, territory chief ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association ( COAG 2012).

Full-time equivalent (FTE) search for term

 A member of staff who at a reference date has a full-time work contract in respect of their current duties has a full-time equivalent of 1.00. The full-time equivalent for a member of staff who at a particular reference date has a fractional full-time work contract in respect of their current duties (i.e. is working a fraction of a normal full-time working week) will be less than 1.0.

Group of Eight search for term

The Group of Eight is a coalition of eight leading Australian universities with an intensive research focus and comprehensive capabilities in general and professional education. The group consists of the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales, the University of Adelaide, the University of Queensland, the University of Melbourne, the University of Western Australia, Monash University and the University of Adelaide.

Higher degree by research (HDR) search for term

A higher degree by research ‘is a Research Doctorate or Research Masters course for which at least two-thirds of the student load for the course is required as research work’ (Commonwealth Scholarships Guidelines (Research) 2010, p. 5, Higher Education Support Act 2003).

Higher education search for term

Education involving qualifications under the Australian Qualification Framework at associate degree and above, as well as diploma and advanced diploma qualifications accredited under higher education arrangements.

Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) search for term

The system introduced in 1989 which required higher education students in places subsidised by the Commonwealth Government to make a contribution to the cost of their course, underpinned by income contingent loans. ‘HECS’ places are now called ‘Commonwealth-supported places’ for which there is a ‘student contribution amount’ with loans and discounts for up-front payment under HECS-HELP.

Higher education institutions search for term

Refers to all institutions offering accredited higher education qualifications. This includes both public and private and self-accrediting and non-self-accrediting institutions.

Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) search for term

A program to help eligible students pay their student contributions ( HECS-HELP), tuition fees (FEE-HELP) and overseas study expenses (OS-HELP) through loans that are repaid through the taxation system (through either compulsory or voluntary repayments). HECS-HELP also covers the discount that Commonwealth-supported students receive if they pay student contributions up front. There are bonuses for voluntary repayments.

Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) search for term

The Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) aims to ensure that Australians from low SES backgrounds who have the ability to study at university get the opportunity to do so. It provides funding to universities listed in Table A of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to undertake activities and implement strategies that improve access to undergraduate courses for people from low SES backgrounds, as well as improving the retention and completion rates of those students. In addition, the HEPPP aims to assist eligible universities to meet the Australian Government’s ambition that 20% of domestic undergraduate students will be from low SES backgrounds by 2020’ ( DIISRTE 2011b).

Indigenous Education Unit (IEU) search for term

Located in universities around Australia, these units provide support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. They further Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academic studies, create a network of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and academics, and provide an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander presence on university campuses ( DEEWR 2011f). They often have another name and may also be called an ‘Indigenous centre’ or ‘Indigenous unit’.

Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council (IHEAC) search for term

IHEAC ‘provides policy advice to the Australian Government on higher education, research and research training issues in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher education students and staff’ ( DEEWR 2011e).

Indigenous Staff Scholarships search for term

Indigenous Staff Scholarships provide professional development opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff working at universities. The scholarships are part of the Australian Government’s plan to help improve education outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in higher education’ ( DEEWR 2011g).

Indigenous Support Program search for term

The Indigenous Support Program (ISP) provides grants to higher education providers to assist them to meet the needs of their Indigenous students and to advance the goals of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy (AEP). The Indigenous Support Program operates under the Higher Education Support Act 2003’ ( DEEWR 2011h).

Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme – Tertiary Tuition (ITAS-TT) search for term

The ITAS-TT program provides funding for supplementary tuition to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students studying university award-level courses and some specified Australian Qualifications Framework–accredited vocational education training courses at ITAS-funded institutions. Tuition is managed by education providers and is available only for subjects in a student’s formal education program. It is not usually available for basic literacy, numeracy, enabling and bridging courses ( DEEWR 2010b).

Low socio-economic status (SES) students search for term

The Index of Education and Occupation from the latest available Australian Bureau of Statistics Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas is used to determine low socio-economic status. The index value for each postcode is used to identify a postcode nationally as low (bottom 25% of the population), medium (middle 50%) or high (top 25%). The number of students from a low SES background is then calculated by summing the number of students whose home postcodes as reported by university enrolment data are low SES postcodes.

Mission-based compact search for term

A mission-based compact is a three-year agreement between a university and the Australian Government. A compact provides a framework for a university (i.e. a Table A or Table B higher education provider) to pursue its distinctive mission and strategic goals while contributing to the Australian Government’s national objectives for higher education, research, research training and innovation. Current compacts cover the period 2011–13 ( DIISRTE 2012c; DEEWR 2011I).

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy search for term

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy (also known as the ‘AEP’) is a national policy agreed between the Australian Government and each state and territory government. It informs education programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (DEST 1989; DEEWR 2011m).

Parity target search for term

The Panel has recommended that the parity target for student enrolments and staff/researcher numbers should be based on the proportion of the total population aged between 15 and 64 who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This means that the initial national parity target for student enrolments and staff/researcher numbers would be 2.2% and revised in line with new population data following each national census ( ABS 2012a). The initial parity target of 2.2% is based on 2006 Census data.

Table A provider search for term

The 38 universities listed in Table A of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (also known as ‘HESA’) are Table A higher education providers. Providers listed in Table A of the Act are eligible for all Australian Government grants and their students can receive all forms of assistance. The following universities are currently listed in Table A:

  1. Australian Catholic University
  2. Australian National University
  3. Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
  4. Charles Darwin University
  5. Charles Sturt University
  6. CQUniversity
  7. Curtin University of Technology
  8. Deakin University
  9. Edith Cowan University
  10. Flinders University of South Australia
  11. Griffith University
  12. James Cook University
  13. La Trobe University
  14. Macquarie University
  15. Monash University
  16. Murdoch University
  17. Queensland University of Technology
  18. RMIT University
  19. Southern Cross University
  20. Swinburne University of Technology
  21. University of Adelaide
  22. University of Ballarat
  23. University of Canberra
  24. University of Melbourne
  25. University of Newcastle
  26. University of New England
  27. University of New South Wales
  28. University of Queensland
  29. University of South Australia
  30. University of Southern Queensland
  31. University of Sydney
  32. University of Tasmania
  33. University of Technology, Sydney
  34. University of the Sunshine Coast
  35. University of Western Australia
  36. University of Western Sydney
  37. University of Wollongong
  38. Victoria University
TAFE institution search for term

A Technical and Further Education ( TAFE) institution is a registered training organisation owned and operated by a state government. TAFE institutes deliver the majority of publicly funded vocational education and training.

Tertiary education search for term

The OECD defines tertiary education as programs at International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) levels 5B, 5A and 6. Programs below ISCED level 5B are not considered tertiary level ( OECD 2008). The OECD definition has been used throughout this report.

University search for term

An Australian university is an institution that meets nationally agreed criteria and is established or recognised as a university under state, territory or Commonwealth legislation (National Protocols for Higher Education Approval Processes, section 1.13). In this report, universities refer to Table A providers in the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

Vocational education and training (VET) search for term

Vocational education and training provides skills and knowledge for work through a national system of public and private registered training organisations. Registered training organisations deliver Certificates I to IV, VET diplomas and advanced diplomas, and VET graduate certificates.