Minister gives Monash U a serve over med school entry

Marketing mavens: UniMelb wins campaign of the year. Deakin and Curtin managers among nation’s best

plus Edith Cowan spends up on biomedical research

and a big week for winners at work

Your taxes at work

Cost of government advertising promoting the Pyne deregulation proposal: $9.8m. Calls requesting more information to inquiry number: 134 (Story on audit office report, below).


Marketing mavens

The University of Melbourne is joint winner of the Australian Marketing Institute’s Marketing Programme of the Year, with Meat and Livestock Australia, (hard to tell the two apart really). UniMelb won for its research branding campaign, Collision. Good call, as CMM  put it last year, (September 28); the campaign is “a classic of the genre, a campaign that only an immensely strong brand would dare create, a campaign that takes the research mission of all universities and claims it as Uni Melbourne’s own, a campaign that cashes the dividend of a decade of research leadership and invests it in a message that will work across the whole university.”

Universities also feature on CMO magazine’s top 50 list of chief marketing officers in Australia. Trisca Scott-Branagan (Deakin U) is seventh, Tyron Hayes (Curtin U) is 14th. The second 25th, which isn’t ranked, includes Jamie McDonald (Federation U), and Andrea Turley (ACU).

Nice touch

At the end of Question Time in the Reps yesterday Minister for Science (and other stuff) Greg Hunt individually congratulated the Prime Minister’s Science Prize winners, who were all in the gallery. He was interrupted by repeated applause. CMM knows this will upset science lobbyists but perhaps they could consider giving up complaining about science being ignored, at least for a while.


It could have been worse

The best thing about the government’s 2014 advertising campaign  for Christopher Pyne’s plan to deregulate higher education fees is that it was under-budget. The Australian National Audit Office reports $9.8m of a committed $14.6m was spent, including $2.1m to the “creative agency” for work, which struck CMM as anything but.

As to the accuracy of the advertising, the ANAO is unfailingly polite, stating that a key campaign message – that the feds would continue to pay around half undergraduate fees was supported by Department of Education and Training data. But only for 2016, the advertising did not mention that the government contribution would drop to 39.8 per cent in 2018.

That’s not all it left out.

‘The campaign materials did not directly address the issue of student fees, and did not provide information on how key policy settings would impact on the cost of undergraduate degrees. Information not provided included that: universities would set course fees in the future; the government’s contribution towards course fees was to be reduced by 20 per cent on average; and the government’s contribution would be capped, meaning that any unexpected increases in course fees by universities would be borne by students,” the ANAO states.

Why not? Because, DET told the auditor, providing “further detail on future fee arrangements had potential to harm the operations of the market by acting as a price signal to institutions.” This was presumably because officials communicate policy to universities via TVCs. That a policy designed to create a market did not mention price competition demonstrates a campaign driver– to calm the electorate down. But without specific targets, the ANAO “it was not possible to gain insight into the campaign’s overall effectiveness and relative value for money.” Funny that.

Ne mentionnent pas les sous-marins Collins

It’s not just DFAT officials who love a Paris conference. Representatives of the three South Australian universities were in Paris this week as part of a state government delegation for the EuroNaval trade conference. CMM hears the French Defence Minister came to say hello. According to state minister for defence industries Martin Hamilton-Smith the delegation was there “promoting SA’s industry capability at the worlds biggest naval shipbuilding exhibition.” And not mentioning the Collins Class.

All politics is local

Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester used the Reps debate on the VET student loan bill to give Monash Universityset of serves. Mr Chester represents the seat of Gippsland, where the university’s former campus is now run by Federation U. Mr Chester is upset that Monash will stop accepting people with Fed U biomedical science degrees into its graduate biomedical science degree. Instead grad medicine is only open to people with Monash degrees.

“So what does this mean if a student has young children, or if they do not have the financial capacity to move to Melbourne, or if they quite simply would rather stay in their home community and study? We should not be saying to our students who are completing year 12 this year that they have to move to Melbourne to access the Monash graduate medical program when we had an existing pathway in Gippsland. This is an enormous step backwards and, I would say, it is against the spirit of the intention of the original funding from the Commonwealth and state governments to establish the program at Churchill in the first place,” the minister said.

To which Monash U replies that it still teaches medicine at Gippsland and that “greater numbers of Gippsland origin students” are in the graduate programme via the Monash BMS degree.


App of the Day

Linda Hartley-Clark and Deakin University colleagues are testing an app for 18-25 year olds who are caregivers for people with “a physical or mental condition.” The app allows users to monitor their stress levels and provides practical activities for when they feel overwhelmed. Details are  here.

Big week for biomedical research

It’s a big week for research infrastructure investments. On Tuesday the University of Wollongong launched its $80m Centre for Molecular and Life Sciences, including a $7m three metre one tonne Titan Krios cyro-electron microscope, which apparently is the world’s most powerful electron microscope and allows researchers to see the “inner workings of human cells. And now Edith Cowan U announces a $4m research centre based on algorithm-driven chemical instrumentation for metabolomics. Say what? Apparently metabolomics is the study of biochemical processes and the centre will analyse data created in genomic experiments.

The centre is a collaboration between ECU and equipment provider Thermo Fischer. ECU nominates cancer, dementia, sports physiology and environmental science as research areas. Edith Cowan is a quite achiever in health and related sciences, with a programme looking at various forms of exercise as treatment for specific diseases.

IT exit

IT heads do not stick around at the University of Newcastle. Sanjay Kalray is leaving after a bare two years. Back in 2013 Mark Pigot (ex UniSydney) was appointed in July and left in September (CMM September 25 2013. Now the university says Mr Kalray will leave at year end.

Heads Up

A big week for winning at work


The NSW premier’s awards for science and engineering are out. Richard Shine from the University of Sydney is scientist of the year for a “novel way” to control cane toads by using pheromones in the eggs of the execrable amphibians to trap tadpoles of the species. Category winners are: maths, earth sciences, chemistry and physicsJoss Bland-Hawthorn (University of Sydney), biological sciencesMike Archer (UNSW), medical biological sciencesDavid James (University of Sydney), engineering and ICTToby Walsh (University of NSW), energy innovationKevin Galvin (University of Newcastle), early career researchersElizabeth New (University of Sydney), Muireann Irish (UNSW), leadership in innovation Helen Christensen (Black Dog Institute), public sector science and engineering innovation Lukas van Zwieten(NSW Department of Primary Industries), innovation in science and maths education Nikki Zimmerman (Kambala School).

The premier’s prizes were followed on Wednesday by the Prime Minister’s science prizes. Professor Shine took the double, being named scientist of the year. The other winners are: Michael Aitken from the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre takes the PM’s award for innovation. Colin Hall (University of South Australia) is the PM’s inaugural new innovator. Richard Payne (University of Sydney) is the Malcolm McIntosh physical scientist of the year. ARC Future Fellow Kerrie Wilson, from the University of Queensland is the Frank Fenner life scientist of the Year. Geoscientist Suzy Urbaniak is secondary science teacher of the year, she teaches at Kent Street Senior High School in Perth. Gary Tilley, from Seaforth Public in NSW, is the primary science teacher of the year.

Historian Rae Frances is moving from Monash, where she is dean of arts, to ANU to become dean of the college of arts and sciences.


UNSW has made Lucy Turnbull an adjunct professor in the faculty of built environment.

UNSW advancement VP Jennie Lang will not return to the job when she completes her leave in March. Fiona Docherty, now VP International, takes over an expanded portfolio.

The feds have appointed a council for international education. Members are: Kent Anderson, DVC, UWA, Brett Blacker – CEO, English Australia, Sue Freeman CEO First Impressions Resources, Phil Honeywood – CEO, International Education Association of Australia, Tracey Horton chair designate, Navitas, Karyn Kent – CEO, StudyAdelaide, Nina Khairina, president, Council for International Students Australia, Gerald Lipman – CEO, International College of Hotel Management,David Riordan – Director of City Operations, City of Sydney, Belinda Robinson, CEO, Universities Australia, Derek Scott – Principal Haileybury College.

Dennis DelFavero is leaving the Australian Research Council to return UNSW to take up a new post as professor of digital innovation.

The International Education Association of Australia announced its award winners last night. Stephen Connolly from GlobalEd Services is honoured for his distinguished contribution to international education over 25 years. Julia Renwick from University of Wollongong College receives the excellence in leadership award for industry service. The best practice honour goes to Aaron O’Shannessy and Bonnie Hermawan from the Asia EducationBen Campbell and Daphne Ng from Deakin U are the awarded innovators for a digital campaign. Stuart Hughes from IDP wins the commentary award for his research database. Pamela Humphreys from Griffith U is the research award achiever for her thesis on English language proficiency of international students.




















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