Ukraine President addresses Australia

Volodymyr Zelenskyy talks live to ANU students on Wednesday from 4.50pm. The rest of us can listen at the university’s live-stream @ HERE.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Mahsood Shah (Swinburne U) points to the scale and speed of course innovation in the global market and warns local regulators and accreditors must help Australian institutions keep up. This week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed now in learning and teaching.

plus while universities work on grand-plans there are three big things they can do now. Tim Winkler (Twig Marketing)s sets them out.

At Curtin U the union wants a pay rise now – management says no

The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union proposes an administrative pay increase during bargaining for a new enterprise agreement.  The union says the “cost of living crisis” requires it

However Curtin U management responds, “the bargaining of the new Enterprise Agreement is about the employment conditions of our staff, including salary increases and benefits. It does not include administrative payments.
“Curtin University and the NTEU are equally committed to having bargaining completed by early November 2022, so that a new agreement can be put to a staff vote before the end of November.”

It is common-ish practise for universities to award payrises during protracted bargaining when previous rises were a while back, with the increase factored in to final agreements. Western Sydney U awarded one last week (CMM July 26).

The arrival of inflation has also encouraged managements to award increases ahead of new agreements.

Uni Tasmania recently announced a 4.6 per cent pay rise, plus a $1000 one-off payment to staff earning under $80 0000 pa, with bargaining still underway (CMM July 4). And in May Uni Sydney promised a 2. 1 per cent rise and  $1000 one-off payment, “in the context of increases to the cost of living.” The Uni Sydney enterprise agreement expired in June. Curtin U’s agreement nominally expired June 30 2021.

UWA student record system hacked

The breach of the Callista extends to IDs, grades and contact details for present students and alumni

UWA states no financial or medical records were included. The university apologises, adds it is conducting “a thorough investigation” and will not comment as police are investigating.

UWA is the second university in a month to have its student records compromised with  47 000 records, including mobile numbers and email addresses,  of Deakin U students and alumni accessed last month (CMM July 13).

Tech training not delivering

Australia will have jobs for 653 000 additional tech workers by the end of the decade, training people to fill them is a challenge

“The skill needs of tech jobs have changed rapidly as new technologies are adopted by industry. However training models and qualifications have not kept pace with the needs of industry,” the Tech Council of Australia warns in a new report on how the country can reach a 1.2m tech workforce.

The report is produced for partners including the Australian Technology Network universities and Swinburne U.

The shortfall in training is not for lack of effort – there are 93 education and training programmes across the country however they are not at scale to meet industry needs.

TCA also reports, no accredited courses for “emerging creative and commercial roles” such as product managers, user experience designers and business analysts, occupations, “facing some of the strongest shortages.”

And its report warns the education and training systems are not meeting market, or student needs. While HE ICT enrolments are up, by 180 per cent for postgrad courses, the growth is predominantly driven by international students, who leave Australia. And VET course completions are down.

In response the tech sector is using non-accredited training in required skills but more students need to know about such courses “as part of diverse learning pathways into tech jobs.”  This will require connecting courses to skills standards and updating the Australian Qualifications Framework, “to enable greater flexibility.”

Colin Simpson’s ed-tech must reads of the week

How to make your teaching more interesting from Times Higher Education. The digital age has made it hard to be bored, with entertaining stimuli everywhere. This has arguably raised the bar for getting and keeping students’ attention. Creating more engaging learning experiences can also lead to deeper and more authentic learning, so this collection of suggestions from THE can benefit everyone. It ranges from the use of humour and curiosity to teaching presence and a host of tools to consider.


The billion dollar industry helping students cheat from ABC Radio National. Professor Phillip Dawson and Kane Murdoch are featured in this rich half hour episode of Radio National’s Background Briefing that shares some of the human stories behind technology enabled cheating in Higher Education. Well worth a listen.


Cheating in Academia With Artificial Intelligence Writing from Medium. Continuing on the academic integrity theme, this detailed piece from a University of Pittsburgh student offers an in-depth exploration of how some publicly available AI tools can be used to generate written work by students and at what kind of quality. More than the quality of the outputs though, what I found alarming was the blasé mindset of the student, essentially advocating that it is a legitimate tool for students because institutions don’t have any policies around their use.


I am just tired of people in other fields thinking they are inventing online learning from Stephanie Moore (Twitter). Poor research practice can be found in all fields but education and technology seem to attract more than average. Stephanie Moore from the Journal of Computing in Higher Education sparks a fascinating discussion from her tweet about people trying to publish in this space without reading any of the growing body of literature. It includes some useful suggestions for journals to visit before you say there is no literature.


The importance of choosing the right keywords for educational technology publications from AJET. Once you’ve done that, this editorial from the editors of the Australasian Journal of Education Technology might be helpful. It explores keywords used in more than 300 articles in the journal in recent years and offers suggestions for maximising searchability and citations.

Colin Simpson has worked in education technology, teaching, learning design and academic development in the tertiary sector since 2003 at CIT, ANU, Swinburne and Monash University. He is also one of the leaders of the ASCILITE TELedvisors Network. For more from Colin, follow him on Twitter @gamerlearner


Student visa lodgements up

But they are still way short of pre-pandemic

Higher education visa applications lodged off-shore for the 21-22 financial year were 50 000 higher (171 000) than for ’20-’21 (122 000) and ahead of ’19-’20, when the pandemic started to have an impact (169 000).

But they are still way behind the peak year, 2018-19 when there were 206 000.

VET is up marginally – 81 000 – in 2020-21,  94 000 in  ‘21-’22 and not that much lower than 2018-19’s 114 000.

HE applications from China residents are well up on the previous financial year, 40 000 then compared to 50 000.   HE Apps from India are also up, 7000 higher than 20-21, to 37 000. However they lag ’18-19 which had 55 000


Appointments, achievements

Craig Batty (Uni SA) is interim president of the Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts Australia, standing in for Cat Hope (Monash U) who is away for nine months.

Carla Drakeford moves to Swinburne U as government relations director. She makes the move from the Victorian public service.

Emily Banks (ANU) receives the Australian Medical Association Gold Medal for her, “important and timely research” into e-cigarettes.

Barney Glover (VC Western Sydney U) joins the council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Daniel Gschwind (stet) becomes a professor of practise at Griffith U’s Institute for Tourism. He was CEO of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council up to May.

John Juriansz is confirmed as director of Western Sydney U’s Whitlam Institute. He is now the institute’s interim director

Paul Loh joins Bond U as head its Abedian School of Architecture. He moves from Uni Melbourne.

Dineli Mather has moved from Deakin  U PVC for graduate employment to Wells Advisory.

Australian Catholic U VC Zlatko Skrbis is elected president of the Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities.