Promoting, HARD!

“What do you do with a science degree? Win a Gold Logie like our alumnus Tom Gleeson! (who) did his Bachelor of Science with us, majoring in maths and physics, which he often refers to on ABC TV’s Hard Quiz,” University of Sydney Science, via Twitter yesterday.

Science at UNSW had a go with congrats to alumnus Costa Georgiadis (ABC’s Gardening Australia) for winning the Logies most popular presenter.

Another ranking, another win for UTS

The Sydney uni leads Australian unis in a new ranking of institutions aged up to 50

No, it’s not last week’s young uni ranking from the Times Higher group, this one is by competitor QS. UTS leads Australia on QS, as it did for TH.

UTS is 11th in the QS top 50 (down one place from last year), with Uni Wollongong in 16th spot and QUT at 19.

Asia is expanding in the top ten. Singapore’s Nanyang UT is number one, followed by Hong Kong Uni of Science and Technology, Korea Advance Institute of Science and technology, City Uni of Hong Kong, Universite Paris Sciences and Lettres, Sorbonne U, Pohang U of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic U, Aalto Uni in Finland and CentraleSpelec from France.

The ranking uses the same methodology as the QS all-uni project. QS says Australia leads the world with nine unis in the top 50, followed by the French, with six

Working with what they’ve got of the day

“From BA to GG: Australia’s new Head of State, Governor General David Hurley, started his career with a Bachelor of Arts. Just saying,” the Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, via Twitter, yesterday.

UNSW not for moving on new teaching timetable

When it comes to trimesters management is not for moving

Last week a library-lawn of people protested the new UNSW trimester system, with another event scheduled for Foundation Day, this Thursday’s anniversary of UNSW’s establishment in 1949. But management is not for moving – trimesters are a big part of the university’s 2025 plan.

VC Ian Jacobs tells the university community that student concerns with “the configuration of material, the number of assessments, and the timing between teaching and assessing,” “are noted” and that there is work underway on “refinements,” “to enhance student satisfaction and attainment.”

“We will continue to refine the new calendar to ensure it provides the flexibility for students and staff, facilitates the appointment of education-focussed staff who do so much for our students, and allows teaching and research staff to manage teaching commitments to allow time for their research.”

Punishing contract cheating for-profits

The Group of Eight wants different penalties for helping students cheat

The elite uni lobby backs the government’s bill to punish student academic misconduct, “a significant threat to community confidence in academic standards. Efforts to support community confidence in this regard are crucial.”

However, it suggests a nuanced approach to who gets pinged and how. In a submission on the bill the Go8 proposes making fee-for-service arrangements subject to criminal or civil penalties, while the latter only apply to services provided without charge. But the Go8 adds that a civil penalty is no slap on the wrist – being a maximum fine of $210 000.

The Go8 also wonders how the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency will run the intel operation the bill charges it with, to detect contract cheating commercial services.

“The extent to which TEQSA is likely to be the recipient of timely and valuable information that is of a comprehensive and substantial nature to enable an investigation or even a prosecution to be pursued are not at all clear. Indeed, the timeliness with which some other activities are managed by the higher education regulator, may indicate that prosecution is a less than realistic possibility.”

But whatever TEQSA does, the Eight do not want universities to pay for it, “the Go8 understands the activities outlined for TEQSA under the Bill are not to be cost-recovered which is welcome.” This is not least because the agency will “need to rely largely if not exclusively on information passed to its officers from within universities.”

Giant steps are what you take

“Follow the footsteps of astronauts by taking the Moon Rock Trail across Canberra, from this Friday,” ANU’s Mount Stromlo Observatory announces. It’s a promotion for a tour of Canberra space-related sites, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.  No, CMM will not attempt a joke about Canberra being on another planet.

Uni Queensland takes a big step towards Ramsay western civ courses 

Academic Board backs proposed courses

The university’s Academic Board yesterday voted in favour of the proposed Bachelor of Humanities/Laws, including a western civilisation extended major in this new programme. It also supported a Ramsay-major in the existing Bachelor of Advanced Humanities. Both are designed by university academics.

The approvals now go to DVC A Joanne Wright, who will make a recommendation to VC Peter Hoj. The university is continuing discussions on university control of all aspects of staff and teaching with the Ramsay Centre.

The western civilisation major is said to have been supported 45 to 31 in Academic Board, with the dual degree backed 44 to 32.

The decision follows the humanities and social science faculty advisory board voting against the proposals in May. Late yesterday HASS dean Heather Zwicker told staff that she is “mindful” that the Academic Board decision “was not overwhelming.”

“We still inhabit positions of principled disagreement. No matter how you view the results of the Academic Board decision, we have work to do, in ensuring that all our HASS programs are open to the world, engaged with public partners, conversant with our students, and helping to build better relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues and communities.”

However last night university critics of the Ramsay funded programmes suggested, “it is not clear that the Ramsay people will agree to an academic program that tries to reflect the faculty’s academic concerns, and the University of Queensland Senate should still scrutinise any agreement with Ramsay carefully.”

Swinburne’s new recruitment creative

Swinburne unveiled its new recruitment campaigns to staff yesterday

A TVC features a first-in-family mature-age student studying game-design, “who pursued her passion.” An open day poster campaign uses heads, “there’s more to uni than uni” and “do today what you’ll smile about tomorrow”.

Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Graham says, “we are still committed to delivering job-ready graduates, but we also want to go beyond that.  This is about Swinburne focussing on the quality of the complete university experience we offer, and the support we give students to develop the confidence and clarity they need for their future.”


Si Ming Man from ANU receives the Commonwealth health minister’s 2018 award for research. Dr Man works on anti-microbial functions of a class of disease-fighting proteins.

Griffith U’s business school has had its Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation renewed for five years. It is one of 16 Australian schools the AACSB approves to teach business.