Rafe’s Roundup 13 June

Post of the week. University education: The soaring cost of credentialism.

There was a time when nurses learnt their craft in hospitals as trainee nurses. They were paid for learning on the job, and they learnt what the job was about. That changed in the early 1980s, when nursing educators wanted more respect and more money. Nursing became a university course so the educators could be called professors and paid as such….Academic positions in nursing are one small part of tertiary education’s parasitic growth, which started with Whitlam…Our economy and society have acquired a host of other parasitic structures quite apart from the tertiary education sector…And the parasites just keep latching on. In oil exploration in WA, an environmental management plan for an exploration well once cost around $5,000 for a typical desk-top study. Following the passage of a new act in 2012, environmental consultants have demanded that oil companies pay for a botanist and a zoologist to walk the route of any new road to a wellsite. Costs are up more than twentyfold.

Peter Coleman defends Gerard Henderson.

Books. Memoires. Art catalogues.

How we lived. Some old photos.

Around the town. IPA HEY. The Sydney Institute. Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Liberty on the Rocks, the notice board for the ATA: Quadrant on line, Mannkal Foundation, Centre for Independent Studies.

Interesting libertarian site.

Gerard Henderson’s Media Watch Dog. Don Aitkin. Jim Rose, feral and utopian!

For nerds. Melvyn Bragg’s radio program. Educating entrepreneurs.

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9 Responses to Rafe’s Roundup 13 June

  1. Antipodean says:

    The Quadrant article is inaccurate in several regards, and therefore draws the wrong conclusions. The WA environment requirements are regulations, not acts of parliament. The requirement for an Environment plan for petroleum in WA has been in place for 20 years, its not new. The 2012 Environment Regulations are similar to equivalent Commonwealth and other state regs. The cost escalation for Australian LNG projects is almost entirely attributed to astonishingly high wages ($250k per annum for an offshore kitchen hand), low productivity (one third that of international benchmarks) and an infexible industrial regulatory environment. These factors don’t only affect the oil and gas industry, think Melbourne desalination plant. I’m surprised and disappointed by such a shallow article from the Quadrant magazine.

  2. Robin says:

    I talk about the purpose and effect of Qualifications Frameworks on education, both K-12 and higher ed, in my book Credentialed to Destroy. http://www.aqf.edu.au/ is the link to the Australian frameworks. This is a big driver of the soaring cost of credentialism.

    This is actually a global phenomenon and becomes a means of both changing the nature of education, making a credential a necessary gateway even if worthless, and regulating the workplace. I first came across these frameworks tracking those countries that had pushed Transformational Outcomes Based Education in the 90s.

  3. nerblnob says:

    Not only is a credential a necessary gateway, but the credentialists have appointed themselves gate-keepers, gate-designers and gate-manufacturers.

    It’s a self-perpetuating employment machine for leeches adding massive costs and very little benefit.
    Environmental Impact studies are not so much about the environment as ensuring that there are well-paid jobs for the aforementioned zoologists, botanists etc.

  4. johanna says:

    The WA environment requirements are regulations, not acts of parliament.

    That’s a distinction without a difference. Regulations are pursuant to Acts of Parliament, and the Parliament can disallow them.

  5. Poor Old Rafe says:

    In recent times the explosion of regulations has blown out the lead time for getting ore out of a new mine from 3 to 13 years. See the IPA study on the proliferation of regulations since the 1970s and this post on the topic.

  6. manalive says:

    Old photo no. 32 ‘Leo Tolstoy telling a story to his grandchildren in 1909’ reminds me there is some remarkably clear footage of his final years and funeral on YouTube.

  7. Antipodean says:

    Johanna, the article stated it was a new act, it wasnt. The WA petroleum environment regs are enforced under the petroleum act, not the environment act. Thats an imortant difference. The Parliamentary Executive Committee approves or rejects regulations, not Parliament itself.

  8. johanna says:

    Antipodean, I hope that you are not from WA. It took me about a minute to search the WA Parliament website and get this link to the relevant Committee.

    It’s called the Delegated Legislation Committee, not the “Executive Committee.”

    All Parliaments have one. Their job is to look at the delegated legislation which the Parliament has the power to disallow, and report on it. However, the existence of these Committees in no way detracts from the power of any MP to move disallowance, nor do their recommendations automatically get accepted.

    Every regulation in every Australian jurisdiction must be submitted to, and can be disallowed by, Parliament, on the motion of an individual MP.

    I don’t see the relevance of which Act it came under – it makes no difference.

  9. Mort says:


    It’s a self-perpetuating employment machine for leeches

    That’s not the worst of it. Following Conquest’s Second Law (ConquestsLawsOfPolitics) they are acting as Leftist gatekeepers.

    Already its a given that many courses should not even be attempted by non-leftists, if they wish to retain their non-leftist viewpoint.

    Expect that this will be so, even for courses like Nursing, in the not-too-distant future.

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