Union members at Monash U are voting on taking up to eight industrial actions as part of enterprise bargaining. They include time-specific or indefinite stop-works, a ban on student consults outside of classes – and then there is one that would really show management they mean business, “writing emails in all-caps and/or without punctuation.”

Needed: new ways to rate research

Cameron Neylon (Curtin U) and James Wilsdon (Imperial College London) argue the rankings tail wag the research strategy dog and point to better ways to assess achievement, HERE.

And in Expert Opinion, with Tim Winkler, this morning they explain why Australia has to join the international debate on new ways to rate research, HERE


There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Open ed experts are talking about how to embrace AI for student and staff productivity. Michael Sankey reports the results from the Australasian Council on Open, Distance and eLearning,  HERE.

plus Jaymee Beveridge and Kylie Austin (Uni Wollongong on how their university reimagined graduations by connecting them to Indigenous history. Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s new selection for her series Needed now in learning and teaching, HERE.

Uni Adelaide dives right in on submarines

It was quick to present its expertise following yesterday’s announcement

The university is “ready to help train the workforce and provide research expertise that will be required to help Australia achieve its goal to be a nuclear-powered defence force,” it announced soon after the PM spoke.

Uni Adelaide pointed to expertise all over, in particular its marine engineering masters “which includes a focus on submarine design” and will be “updated with a new focus on nuclear propulsion” and a PG course in radiation management, which, “will be adapted to the requirements of the nuclear submarine enterprise.”

Higher education’s peak lobby Universities Australia was out yesterday selling its members as essential to the extraordinary commitment. “We have been in close discussion with our government, including through the Defence Strategic Review, and AUKUS partner governments at the highest levels, on how universities can boost the flow of highly educated workers needed to boost our capability in the interests of all.”

But it is Uni Adelaide that grasped the opportunity to pitch its credentials in Australia’s naval shipbuilding capital.

(Another) huzzah for Lidia Morawska

The QUT professor wins one of the Australian Academy of Science’s top honours

And quite right too! Professor Morawska was making the case that COVID 19 transmission is airborne when the orthodoxy was to wash your hands and scrub the groceries. And over-time her advice, based on decades of research, that ventilation is the best way to reduce the risk of transmission took hold.

QUT sets out a career of research achievements here – to which are added honours, like this – and new resources to get on with her work. Last July she became head of the new Australian Research Council Training Centre for Advanced Building Systems Against Airborne Infection Transmission and she is also a 2022 ARC Laureate Fellow.

CMM has “huzzahed!” Professor Morawska before (February 14 and July 14 2022) and expects to again.

A new case for help with grad debts

Our special pleading correspondent report

The Australian Veterinary Association says Senator Faruqi’s (Greens, NSW) bill to raise the threshold for student loan repayments and end CPI indexation  of debts (CMM Monday), “will provide some relief to early career veterinarians.” But its response to the Senate committee inquiring into the bill goes further, proposing a “HELP Forgiveness Scheme” for 80 new vets a year who go to work in remote and regional Australia.

“The veterinary workforce shortage is significantly more acute in rural and regional area. Regional practices have in recent years been closing clinics because of a lack of veterinary staff,” the AVA argues.

And pray, why not, given the Commonwealth will cancel HELP debts for doctors and nurse practitioners who live and work in rural/remote areas, “the places that need them the most,” Education Minister Jason Clare and colleagues announced in November.

International ed connections: there’s a lot to like about Laos


we should not overlook the very profound impact our universities and students can and are having in smaller countries in our immediate region

Australia has understandably been celebrating the news that Deakin University is on track to open a campus in Gujarat’s Special Economic Zone (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, GIFT City) from mid-2024.

The news that the University of Wollongong will open its own campus in GIFT City and enrol students in finance and STEM courses from late 2023, and Melbourne University’s new dual degree with the University of Madras, Savitribai Phule Pune University and Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management (Hyderabad) were also welcome announcements during Minister Clare and the Prime Minister’s recent visits to India.

As we celebrate the chance to forge new partnerships and opportunities in India, we must not overlook the importance of relationships, partnerships and educational opportunities closer to home.

Ahead of this week’s APAIE conference in Bangkok I was fortunate to travel to Laos and while there I had the opportunity to learn more about the vitally important work Griffith University had been undertaking. Pre-COVID, Griffith nursing and other healthcare students had for a number of years spent time as part of their degrees in very remote, mountainous areas of Laos which have very limited access to healthcare.

Speaking with one of the village chiefs from Luang Prabang who had assisted as a translator to the Griffith University staff and students – he explained the incredibly positive impact the students had had on Lao women needing maternity care and on villagers needing vital medical care but unable to travel to access it.

As Laos takes up the role as Chair of ASEAN in 2024 and given it is currently Australia’s ASEAN Country Coordinator – it was unsurprising that in November 2022 Prime Minister Albanese was celebrating Australia’s 70-year relationship with Laos and looking forward to a new Comprehensive Partnership.

Laos lacks the population, wealth and influence of India – but it’s relationship with Australia is well recognised and highly valued by the local population.

As Australian universities look at how they diversify their international education offerings – we should not overlook the very profound impact our universities and students can and are having in smaller countries in our immediate region. And we should be looking for more opportunities, across Laos and other ASEAN countries, to continue to make a fundamental difference to people’s lives.

Claire Field is a consultant offering advice to the tertiary education sector

Australian Academy of Science announces 2023 awards

“top honorifics”

* Jennifer Graves (La Trobe U) the Ruby Payne-Scott Medal (physical/biological sciences) * Lidia Morawska (QUT) the Matthew Flinders Medal (physical sciences)

life-long achievement

* David Craik (Uni Queensland) * Matthew England (UNSW) * Richard Hartley (ANU)  * Terence Hughes (James Cook U) * Catherine Lovelock (Uni Queensland) Susan Scott (ANU) * Nick Wormald (Monash U)


* Renae Ryan (Uni Sydney) * Di Yu (Uni Queensland)

early career

* Rona Chandrawati (UNSW) * Raffaella Demichelis (Curtin U) David Frazier (Monash U) * Amelia Liu (Monash U) * Yuerui Lu (ANU) Tianyi Ma (RMIT) * Si Ming Man (ANU) Teresa Ubide (Uni Queensland) * Valentina Wheeler (Uni Wollongong) * Rachel