The education minister and officials were asked a bunch of questions by well-informed MPs at Budget Estimates
It was not quite Kim Carr in full cry, as admired by connoisseurs of Senate Estimates, but everybody was deep in the weeds at Legislative Council estimates on Friday. There were wide-ranging questions, including many on needed courses not being taught, about fewer students and more casual teachers, declining enrolments and skill shortages.
One asked by David Shoebridge (Greens) summed it all up – why international student numbers at TAFE fell from 4400 in 2015 to 2555 last year (no CMM has not left a zero off). Acting managing director Kerry Penton replied:
“Certainly in the international student area I think what I can say with respect to that, when you look at the time period, part of that is impacted by what is happening in the market and the numbers of students who are interested in studying, and I think it would also be fair to say that as we have been undertaking our large modernisation program through this transition, given the size and scale of it, particularly from an international perspective, also ensuring that we meet the regulatory requirements in the international sector, there has been an impact and certainly there is a focus for TAFE NSW to improve in this space.”
Everybody clear on that?