There’s more in the Mail

Today in features

*  Hugh Bradlow from the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering on new tech

* Sarah O’Shea (Uni Wollongong) on student equity that’s more than an add-on

* Mike Aitken on data creating fair markets – from finance to healthcare @

Brace for impact: incoming Productivity Commission report on undergrad access

This could help keep demand driven funding a live issue

Thanks to the election result, demand driven funding of UG places is a lost cause in this term of government. But supporters will need ample evidence to keep it on the policy agenda so that Labor continues to back it at the next election.

Which makes very important the PC’s imminent report on what expanded access to university has achieved; “who is participating and the academic and labour market outcomes these additional students are achieving.”

It will also report on, “barriers to further participation by equity groups.”

It’s expected Monday week.

How Victoria U has transformed its teaching

David from the block to explain how it is done  

There is a bunch of interest, and great goodwill, in universities and colleges across the country for Victoria U’s block teaching model. VU says it is delivering benefits for students, which means other universities should look at what it can do student achievement and retention

Now admirers can learn how it’s done from the source. VU is hostingglobal pioneer” of the block model, David Helfand, chair of astronomy at Columbia U.

“I will recount the history of intensive, single-subject teaching, review the literature on its results, and describe the profound learning experiences that block teaching can produce, along with the operational advantages (and disadvantages) it provides,” he says.

Professor Helfand speaks in Melbourne next Tuesday.

UWA’s VC announces departure

Dawn Freshwater is moving to Auckland

Dawn Freshwater will leave the university in March, to become VC of the University of Auckland. The announcement comes barely two years since she was installed as UWAs 18th vice chancellor, the second woman among them. Prior to that Professor Freshwater was senior DVC to Paul Johnson, in the job for five years.

As DVC to Professor Johnson she had charge of a comprehensive and controversial on campus restructure.  Freshwater and Johnson made their case for change, here.

Professor Freshwater is also chair of the Group of Eight and last night group CEO Vicki Thomson said her departure, was “Australia’s loss and New Zealand’s gainProfessor Freshwater is held in high regard by the Morrison Government and that she has made such a strong international impact on behalf of Australia’s higher education sector.”

Top jobs are now open at two Group of Eight universities, with Peter Hoj announcing last week that he will leave the University of Queensland mid next year,

Second regulator intervenes at Charles Sturt

The Australian Dental Council has placed conditions on its teaching registration

The university’s registration was renewed for 7 years in 2014, when the Council stated, the school was, “to be congratulated on the development of the program since the program commenced in 2009.”

But things changed and acting on “concerns” the Council intervened to examine CSU’s performance.

The council reports:

* evidence of intimidation and allegations of bullying

* staff shortages impacting on programme delivery

* questions on the school’s capacity to supervise students with patients

* communication issues between staff and students and between staff, “contribute to an atmosphere of distrust

* “not all” professional competencies expected of a newly qualified dentist taught and assessed in the programme

The Council also requires by the end of the month evidence of; “processes in place to address cheating are effective and that only students demonstrating the required professional competencies can graduate from the program.”

The Council has continued the school’s accreditation subject to it meeting conditions, with a site visit within six months, to assess the “program’s ongoing ability to meet the accreditation standards.”

Last month the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency renewed Charles Sturt U’s overall accreditation for four years, rather than the normal seven. Governance issues and management of the partnership with a pathway provider were issues involved, (CMM May 6).

This was very bad news for CSU’s standing in its regional NSW heartland, with Vice Chancellor Andrew Vann assuring the community “our degrees and course accreditations are unaffected and remain valid and credible,” (CMM May 27).

The dental school’s news does not help his case.

CSU responds to Dental Council’s decision

“No restrictions on students enrolling,” says dean

Charles Sturt U’s executive dean of science, Megan Smith says the Australian Dental Council’s (above story) review “was instigated” by the university, and the “conditions identified,” “align with our external review and we will continue to respond and improve to ensure the degree remains accredited.”

Professor Smith says the university is addressing staffing levels, is responded to allegations of bullying and will hold an external inquiry. CSU is also “reviewing” other issues raised.

“It’s important to understand that there is no restriction on future students enrolling in the course,” she says.

Coverage goes quiet on ANU data disaster

No word from management on how its data breach happened

On Tuesday ANU VC Brian Schmidt told staff that 19 years of staff and student personal data was hacked. The university got a generous run from main media on the day, which reported the university’s statement. The university was quiet on what it had done, or not, which made possible the breach in its data protections and with nobody to ask media had nothing to report.

Yesterday the herd moved on, distracted by Australian Federal Police raids on the ABC. Good for ANU management, bad for staff and students interested in how their personal data was not securely held.

The new US patents Australian unis don’t have

Less not many as none

The US National Academy of Inventors has issued its 2018 list of the top 100 universities granted US utility payments. US universities dominate, University of California is first with 526 (up from 453 in 2015) followed by MIT which took out 304, followed by Stanford U with 226. But Chinese, Japanese and Korean universities are notable on the list, both Singapore’s universities are there. As are Middle East unis – Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals is 4th with 209 patents and the kingdom’s King Saud U is 25th, with 81 patents.  Israel has two listings, down three on 2015.

The UK and Europeans aren’t active – the University of Oxford’s technology transfer subsidiary is the only entrant at 85th (29 patents).  And Australia is not there at all

Appointments, achievements

Jonathan Carapetis is named president elect of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes. Professor Carapetis is director of the Perth based child health research agency, the Telethon Kids Institute. He replaces Vlado Perkovic, the new dean of medicine at UNSW.

Scientist and science journalist Elizabeth Finkel is awarded the Australian Society of Medical Research’s medal. “The ASMR considers science communication to be the most important bridge between scientists, the community and policy makers (it) recognises Dr Finkel’s work and highlights her position as a pioneer and leader of this field.”

Don Weatherburn becomes an adjunct professor with the University of Sydney Law School, following his resignation, after 21 years at the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

Victoria U chancellor, George Pappas will co-chair a governance review of the Western Bulldogs AFL club. The university says it has a “unique association and multifaceted partnership” with the club. Mr Pappas’ co-chair is Bulldogs community foundation chair Gaye Hamilton.