plus Barnaby still won’t mention the Murray Darling med school

the NTEU prepares to help reprioritised people  at UNSW

and when did the 1980s become history

No Sweat

Victoria U research finds the song is wrong, that women don’t “literally do nothing,” in their active wear. At least not the quality stuff .“Women will pay more for functional active wear that provides comfort, is breathable, and hides sweat, while avoiding stylish active wear that only looks good,” Clare Hanlon and colleagues say.

Wednesday June 29

Innovation off the agenda

The prime minister was explaining his new agenda yesterday and innovation did not get a mention. But traditional health and welfare issues did. “We have to do more to reaffirm the faith of the Australian people in our commitment to health and to Medicare,” Mr Turnbull said, adding, “there are other issues relating to a general distrust or sense of disenfranchisement from government. We will work harder, much harder, to again ensure that Australians understand our very deep commitment to them. … It’s about their dreams, their aspirations, their families, their sense of security, their anxieties about the future, about government services, whether they can keep their job, whether they will get a better job and so forth.” This is hardly surprising coming from a PM who has just had the political fright of his life and faces a slim majority, at best in the House, and none in the Senate. But it is a long way from the vision of an Australia transformed by research he started with, which clearly did not sell in middle Australia, where bulk billing matters more than NCRIS.  The innovation nation as a top policy priority was great while it lasted but it’s all over now.

Preparing prioritised people

In May staff at UNSW received one of two feel-good-grams from VC Ian Jacobs about his ten-year plan. Was all enthusiasm but people who got the second noted the reference to people from the strategy office reviewing service areas, “to identify changes that will improve our processes.” Back in February, Professor Jacobs said 25 per cent of the $3bn cost of his plan would be met from “reprioritising” existing resources and some people who got the May mail felt like they were being reprioritised out of the university. (CMM May 18). Pessimists perhaps, but the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union is taking no chances, convening a briefing for professional staff who could be effected by change at work, including “relocation, restructuring or termination of jobs.”

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Equipped to compete

The Australian National University isn’t alarmed its medical graduates may not get first dibs on internships at Canberra Hospital (CMM yesterday). The university says any change is a matter for the ACT Government and “the ANU Medical School is highly-respected for training first-class doctors, (its) graduates are well equipped to secure internships in Canberra and throughout Australia.” Good –o, but “well equipped” is not the same as guaranteed to get all they need of available places, as occurs now.

What will Barnaby deliver?

CMM hears Barnaby Joyce’s push to move agricultural researchers out of Canberra to where they might meet an actual farmer is not going so well in the case of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (CMM June 15). There is some dispute about how many people are actually moving to the Charles Sturt U Wagga campus but word is operational confusion reigns. As to what this means for Mr Joyce’s promise to move the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to the University of New England, the answer is not much, even if Mr Joyce is the ag minister in the new government, (CMM June 16). Given he cannot just tell the agency to move he may need parliament to make it happen and there are bound to be people keen to tell crossbench senators why it is a bad idea.

Yesterday Mr Joyce was also talking up what his National Party is about, an inland rail link, an oncology Dubbo as examples. But even now, when it’s time for meet and greets with pork producers and barrel makers, he still did not mention the Murray Darling Medical School, long advocated by La Trobe and Charles Sturt universities.


Drink to that

Griffith U’s pathway college is offering diploma of hotel management students a wine immersion programme, which sounds like fun. But if it isn’t enough to attract international students, it also promises “with stunning beaches and spectacular hinterland there are endless ways to enjoy your spare time and experience the Australian outdoor way of life.” Ah Queensland, education one day, indulgence the next.

Knowledge wants to be free

CMM is a big fan of the ANU Press, which publishes serious scholarship on-line at no charge. The press also produces free e-textbooks by ANU staff and DVC A Marnie Hughes Warrington has funding for copyediting, indexing and purchase of copyright material as required. While it will not attract academics who dream of publishing a globally adopted first year text on introductory avarice, this is an excellent programme, especially for disciplines where a commercial publisher will not see a market. The first e-text, for example, was Taylor and Scotellaro’s first year Sanskrit course.

MOOC of the morning

Curtin U is running a second season of its business of mining MOOC, which launched in May. Four modules take students through the lifecycle of a mine, from exploration to shut-down. As marketing for the university’s mining degree courses it is impossible to beat.


News, not history

The Australian Historical Association is holding its annual conference this week at Federation University’s Ballarat campuses – and it does not get much more Australian historical than them, adjacent close as they are to the site of the Eureka Stockade. There are plenty of papers and the conference looks like a good guide to what interests historians of Australia but one paper alarmed CMM, Carolyn Holbrook’s “Golden age thinking: the rise of the 198os in political memory.” Since when is what happened the day before yesterday (at least for CMM)  considered history?

But will they be back

Sara Dolnicar has won the best in the Journal of Travel Research at the Travel and Tourism Research Association conference, in Colorado. It’s a record equalling second win for the University of Queensland academic who is honoured for asking, (but not answering) “do satisfied tourists really intend to come back?” The paper was co-authored with Tim Coltman and Rajeev Sharma from the University of Wollongong.

What supervisors cite

Thanks to a learned reader for pointing CMM at a Google Scholar list of the most cited articles in Studies in Higher Education. The leader, by a country mile, is a 2011 paper by David Carless and University of Hong Kong colleagues on sustainable feedback for students. Christine Halse and Janne Malfroy from Western Sydney U follow with a 2009 paper on what doctoral supervisors do and how it is theorized. Isn’t that what doctorates do?