It’s only a matter of time

UNSW PhD student Rodolfo Ocampo is researching creative cooperation on texts between humans and AI. A human provides “thematic inputs” and the system uses text data from the internet to create an opening par. CMM suspects the end for him is nigh (and what, pray, would the AI add to that).

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on teaching awards – hard to decide but way worth the effort. “As I’ve become more aware of the achievements of my university’s teachers, I’ve come to appreciate their special talents and contributions more and more,” the DVC E writes.

and Frank Larkins (Uni Melbourne) crunches the numbers on uni staff losses. They aren’t as big as reported – but casuals still bore the brunt.

with Angel Calderon (RMIT) on why ratifying the global convention on qualification recognition makes sense for Australia. (It could help here on recognition of prior learning and credit transfer between states and institutions.)

Jenny Gore on the teacher ed review

In Features this morning Professor Gore (Uni Newcastle) considers the government’s new plan to transform ITE.

She finds it both “comprehensive and piecemeal”

“With a keen eye on what it takes to become a teacher, it covers the entire ITE lifecycle, including recruitment, program quality and structure, and induction. But it is clearly constrained by political agendas, the submissions received, and the limited evidence available in teacher education.”

Community ahead of classes at Southern Cross U

Teaching from the Lismore campus will be on-line until Easter

Reason why is as of yesterday there were 800  flooded-out people staying in the university’s “recovery centre,”  spread across several buildings. They are and “using our facilities for things like food and shelter,” SCU states.

But it’s six-weeks to Easter, surely all will be to rights by then, CMM suggested.

Don’t bet on it. An SCU observer suggests the Lismore region is so badly hit by the floods,  “there is literally nowhere for these people to go at present.” It will take a while, quite a while for all to have somewhere to go.

The university will advise Lismore students if “critical face-to-face-elements” can proceed on campus but SCU Coffs Harbour expects to open Monday and there are hopes the Gold Coast campus will.

Flinders U signals its staying in NT health  

The university announces an extension of allied health placements in the Northern Territory, to encourage NT students to return there after graduation

Flinders U has long taught health and medicine in the NT, with 150 medical graduates over the last decade and 92 per cent of students from the NT. Over 60 per cent of grads take up junior doctor positions in the Territory.

The new federally funded allied health placements programme, “is a testament to Flinders’ long-standing commitment to serving the Territory,” the university states.

And it undoubtedly has nothing to do with Charles Darwin U’s plan for its own medical school.

No harm in asking

Euro open access organisation, Plan S asks publishers to make policies and contracts more transparent at submission so authors who want their work to be immediately OA know what is possible. Or not.


ANU stands-up for Ukraine

The university announced last night it is “suspending all ties and activities with Russian institutions, indefinitely and with immediate effect”

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens the peace, freedom and democracy on which freedom of inquiry and academic collaboration is based,” Chancellor Julie Bishop, VC Brian Schmidt and Chair of Academic Board Joan Leach stated.

“ANU is proud to stand alongside other universities across the world that have already committed to similar actions, and to the sentiments expressed in this statement. We urge institutions of all types across Australia to join us.”

Needed saying.


Stay cyber-alert

The Australian Cyber Security Centre urges all organisations to “urgently adopt” an “enhanced … posture”

Which regulator TEQSA  considered a good-enough idea to re-tweet yesterday. ACSC says it has “no specific intelligence” on a cyber-threat here but “following the attack on Ukraine … this could change quickly.”

The Australasian Higher Education Cybersecurity Service says it is supporting institutions “to enhance their cyber security posture … and adopt a heightened sense of awareness relating to the situation in the Ukraine.”

Appointments, achievements

Of the day

Mia Lindgren is leaving Swinburne U for Uni Tasmania, where she will be research strategy director in the College of Arts, Law and Education.

Pip Nicholson becomes inaugural DVC – People and Community at Uni Melbourne. She is now dean of the university’s Law School.

Susan Scott (ANU) is appointed editor-in-chief of  journal Classical and Quantum Gravity. Professor Scott is a member of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery team which received the Prime Minister’s science prize in 2020.

UTS announces the 2021 Research Awards * Dayong Jin (Science) research excellence * Fang Chen, Yang Wang, Bin Liang, Zhidong Li, Jie Xu (Engineering and IT) impact * Bem Le Hunte, Susanne Pratt, Alex Baumber, Giedre Kligyte, Jacqueline Melvold, Lucy Allen, Tyler Key (TD School (that’s transdisciplinary education) research and teaching Integration * Ilaria Vanni Accarigi and Justin Seymour (Arts and Social Science/Science) joint winners, supervisors of the year * Ling Chen (Engineering and IT) research leadership * Eryk Dutkiewicz, Long Nghiem, Saravanamuthu Vigneswaran, Diep Nguyen, Tien-Vinh Nguyen, Hoang Dinh, Thuy Pham (Engineering and IT) collaboration/partnership) * Maiken Ueland (Science) early career  * Lucy Buxton (Science) research management

Of the week

 The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics announces its Science and Innovation Awards. * Mingkai Jiang (Forest and Wood Products Australia) * Stephanie Kerr (Hort Innovation (for tree crop cultivars) * Bobbie Lewis Baida (Australian Wool Innovation) * Xiaoqing Li (Cotton RDC) * Amy Moss (Australian Egg) * Sonya Moyes (Australian Meat Processor Corp) * Samantha Sawyer (Wine Australia) * Thomas Schmidt (CSIRO Biosecurity) * Lauren Stavely (Australian Pork) * Valentin Thépot (Fisheries RDC) * Ashiwin Vadiveloo (Agrifutures Australia) * Jaco Zandberg (Grains RDC)

Amanda Dawson (Uni Newcastle) receives the inaugural Royal Australasian College of Surgeons NSW Women in Surgery Leadership award.

Verity Firth is the inaugural UTS PVC Social Justice and Inclusion. She is now ED Social Justice at the university.

Chris Hennessy becomes chief of staff to Swinburne U VC Pascale Quester.

Brett Hutchins steps up to Deputy Dean R in Monash U’s arts social sciences and humanities faculty.

Uni Adelaide announces two new professors in the School of Psychology. Elaine Fox joins from Uni Oxford, as does Kevin Dutton.

Marnie Hughes Warrington (Uni SA) is named honorary professor of history at ANU, where she is a former DVC.

Stephen Weller (Australian Catholic U) becomes chair of HES, (formerly known as Higher Ed Services).

The World Council on Gifted and Talented Children announces delegates, “the organisation’s on-the-ground representatives, in Australia. * Lesley Henderson (Flinders U) * Michelle Ronksley-Pavia (Griffith U), * Genevieve Thraves (UN) – alternate and * Geraldine Townend (UNSW)