But the union still wonders how management knows the number of jobs that can go

ARC asks whether it is providing a level playing field for research funding applications


MIT’s Brisbane bootcamp for aspiring entrepreneurs


and hold the front page! UTS closes the Centre for Independent Journalism

New agency for UoQ advertising

Advertising agency Ogilvy Brisbane has won the University of Queensland  account. The business went to tender last November. The account was previously with Clemenger BBDO, which famously missed a tiny drawing of male genitalia inserted in final art for outdoor adverts (an in-house joke that was cocked-up, as it were) in 2015. The university declines to say what the business is worth.

UNSW says consulting spend a small price to pay

The University of New South Wales has confirmed spending $25m with external consultants on its 2025 restructure strategy. “The program of work needed to deliver our strategic plan is complex and extensive. … Put in context this $25m is a small portion of the $3.2billion investment we are making in the University’s future,” a spokeswoman says. The spending is set out in the university’s public record of contracts.

But the university continues to decline to comment on speculation that 400 professional staff jobs will go.  “The university has always been clear that while many new roles and jobs will be created, providing new opportunities for staff, some positions will no longer be needed and some will evolve to meet new challenges.

“To date workplace change proposals have been presented to staff in the Finance, International Marketing and Communications and IT functional areas. This process is still underway and until it is completed we will not know the impact on current staff positions,” the spokeswoman told CMM yesterday.

Union leaders at UNSW continue to slam the restructure, stating management is rushing the process to secure “a short-term financial gain,” and are not consulting staff.

“Workplace meetings have not adequately informed staff or encouraged consultation – we have been advised that some staff asking questions or seeking further information have been discouraged because this would show that staff were ‘not on board with the 2025 Strategy’.

We recognise that the university is entitled to develop and promote a strategy. But university management cannot demand staff demonstrate their loyalty to a ‘strategy’ by not asking for detail about the proposed implementation of the strategy, nor ask us to waive our legal or industrial rights in our union agreements,” Kiraz Janicke from the National Tertiary Education Union argues.

The union is demanding full information on change proposals, consultation with staff and “genuine participation in workplace change.”


Quiet about QILT

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training heard all about the Quality Indicators in Learning and Teaching from officials yesterday, which was obviously news to its members. Not surprising the Department of Education and Training has done less than little to publicise the great resource which is QILT.

Fit for purpose ROPE

Levelling up the research grants playing field for people who lose career time through family obligations exercises the medical research community, which waits (still) on the NHMRC new allocation model. Now the Australian Research Council is asking for advice on changing its Research Opportunity and Performance Evidence statement, which dates from 2014, and is designed to ensure; “the assessment processes accurately evaluate an investigator’s career history relative to their current career stage, and considers whether their productivity and contribution is commensurate with the opportunities that have been available to them”

The ARC wants to know whether ROPE is doing the job intended. Submissions are required by April 21.

Scott leaves UniMelb

After a decade of duty straight-shooter David Scott is leaving the University of Melbourne where he managed media for top management. Mr Scott is moving to digital comms service provider Envato.


Apps of the day

Across the ditch Natalie Walker from the University of Auckland has funding to create an and assess a local version of the US alcohol intervention app, Step Away, which loads information and strategies for people who want to go easy on the grog. Anybody in Australia interested?

One group that does need a drink is new fathers but the University of Newcastle offers a better formula than the bottle with its smsm4dads app. Richard Fletcher, from the University of Newcastle, and colleagues, have created advice and infofmation in text messages for freaking out fathers.

QUT’s big bootcamp win

With two days to go some bootcampers at the Queensland Institute of Technology will be starting to think they might just make it. Not that it will get any easier, because the intellectual endurance course that is the MIT entrepreneurship training scheme underway there requires participants to do in a week what normally takes years – take an idea and turn it into a business. As the bootcamp brief puts it, “You will be pushed beyond your limits. You will sleep two-four hours a night. You will have fun. This is normal. This is MIT.”

It’s also QUT, where Massachusetts Institute of Technology entrepreneurship expert Bill Aulet and colleagues have bought the MIT programme, running outside the US for just the second time.

Some 6000 applicants from 128 countries applied for the course at QUT, with 128 making the cut. They are working to build businesses in areas ranging from treating diabetes through to employing indigenous people in construction and on to GP’s treating chronic illness.

As well as participants, QUT will benefit big from this week. As a way of demonstrating its entrepreneurial education credentials to prospective students all over the world, hosting an MIT bootcamp is hard to beat. Mr Aulet will add to the message on Monday when he speaks at QT on “entrepreneurship, the new graduate destination.” And later in the week the university will host the Times Higher Young Universities Summit.

Disaster of the day

“The Chair of Universities New Zealand, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, strongly denies that universities are relaxing standards for either entering university or passing courses.” UNZ statement yesterday. This breaks Malcolm “thick of it” Tucker’s first law of political communications – whatever is denied is remembered.

Front page held

UTS has closed the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism. Dean of Arts and Social Science Mary Spongborg announced its end yesterday, with no explanation other than to say UTS is “developing new approaches to journalism research, teaching and the media industry’s future.”  This will include a daily newsite.

Trainers prefer higher education space

The higher education sector is set to expand with training providers keen to move into HE. According to the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, at end 2016 there were 86 prospective providers, of which 50 were registered training organisations keen to join the 186 institutions already approved by TEQSA. Some 30 of the applying RTOs are already registered to teach international students.

The dash to HE demonstrates a desire to escape the reputational damage the for-profit VET sector suffered in the loans scandal and the impact of the federal government’s new VET student loan system which imposes more rigorous conditions on private VET providers than apply to students at higher education institutions, which make them eligible for HECS HELP.



Know something the world needs to know? Anonymity guaranteed but lots of questions asked, stephen4@hotkey.net.au