No entry, unless it was exit

New QUT VC chancellor Ann Sherry on the world of privilege in universities past, (installation speech last week)

“These were places for the elite … the main quad at Uni Sydney was built with battlements and a portcullis for a reason.”

Unless, of course, the fortifications were to keep the inhabitants from escaping.

There’s more in the Mail

in Features this morning

Sarah Carr (Uni Otago) on supporting student engagement now there are multiple learning environments. Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s new selection for her celebrated series, Needed now in learning and teaching.

plus Merlin Crossley makes the case for teaching and/or research, “the idea that every academic should be expected to both create and transmit knowledge was never sound … good teams consist of batters, bowlers, and all-rounders – and always have.”

and in Expert Opinion

Sue Cunningham from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education talks about her new book on the present and future for fundraising, HERE

Horrors in Hobart, likes in Launceston

U Tas management will be braced for more of a walloping as the Legislative Council committee inquiry into uni governance continues today and tomorrow

It follows years of criticism of the university’s building programme in Hobart’s CBD.

So praise for development at the Inveresk Campus (in Launceston) might make a change.  A major building is set to open in April and there was a preview last week, with federal and state ministers agreeing that it was all good-o.

Launceston Mayor Danny Gibson was particularly pleased, “the ultimate relocation of the campus to Inveresk will provide an opportunity for Launceston to become a true university city.”

Aus and Hong Kong world number one for uni performance

UNSW announces its “real deal” in rankings for 2022

The new issue of UNSW’s Aggregate Ranking of Top Universities  includes GDP and research development national expenditures, “to determine country level performance and return on investment.”

On this basis, the new ARTU reports, Switzerland has the most top 200 universities per capita but Australia and Hong Kong “come out on top” when rankings are adjusted for GDP and R&D. Australia is third in the world for universities in the top 10p 100.

Overall, there are 12 Australian  universities in the global top 200, equal fourth with China, behind the US (53), UK (26) andb (13).

no surprises at the top end:  The Group of Eight leads the locals. Uni Melbourne is 27th in the world, followed by Uni Queensland (42), Uni Sydney (46), ANU (49), Monash U (50), UNSW (53), UWA (85) and Uni Adelaide (90). This is a big move for Uni Adelaide, up from 102 last year.

Aus universities in the global second 100 are, UTS (145) Macquarie U (170), Curtin U (190) and Uni Wollongong (195).

how: ARTU ranks universities by the sum of their individual score in the THE, QS and ARWU rankings.

“The ARTU rank of an institution is less sensitive to the anomalies in the performance of any one ranking, thus providing a more realistic position of a university in comparison to its peers,” UNSW states.

and why?: “Marked disparities in the chief ranking systems can now be tackled via a systematic meta-analytical approach to track performance. ARTU offers a single number scoreboard for comparing the world’s top universities as well as an academic Big Mac Index for international comparisons, UNSW’s Nicholas Fisk and Daniel Owens explained in CMM last year (November 15 2021).

What it means: UNSW DVC R Nicholas Fisk points to China’s continuing rise, with an  extra university in the ARTU top 100, two more in the first two hundred and an additional four in the top 300.

And he points to the rise and rise of Paris-Sarclay University, the creation of mergers in 2015, which has risen 90 places in two years. This may be “instructive” in terms of the proposed SA merger, Professor Fisk suggests.


Happening things at Flinders U

VC Colin Stirling talks up the university’s under-construction CBD development and the health and medical research building being developed near the main campus, “there’s so much happening,” he tweeted Saturday.

Indeed there is, but perhaps not quite so much as at Uni Adelaide and Uni S, which are considering a merger.

Seek and ye shall find (some) micro-credentials

The long-awaited micro-credentials directory opened Friday

The Commonwealth-funded MicroCred Seeker was built and will be run by the NSW Universities Admission Centre.

There are MCs from just ten universities and five private providers, but a bunch more of institutions are listed, suggesting content from them is imminent.

However the big corporates who provide training to all comers aren’t in sight – Google for example, which offers courses via Coursera. Perhaps they don’t fit a definition of MC or are in the queue.  TEQSA-registered providers are getting first go, with others, “able to be onboarded in future phases.”

As it was Friday, CQU leads with 60 courses, mainly health and business. “Key principles and concepts in accounting” is  a steal – ten hours of study for $90 makes it cheaper than a basic textbook.

The site itself is plain vanilla – no-one is going to accuse UAC of spending up on creative,  perhaps it assumes that people who come  to the site are already sold on MCs.  But while UAC advises there will be “a national campaign across social media and search to promote the platform,” It’s not going to replace individual institutions running their own campaigns  – as Uni Melbourne does for its micro-certificates on Twitter.


Economists unhappy with diminishing returns on funding application

The Australian Research Council awarded three Discovery grants to economists in the recent round seven less than for this year and way down on 16 in 2020

As for the next generation, just one Discovery Early Career Award went to an economist, for 2023, compared to five in 2019.

Some economists are wondering if it is something the discipline said. And they are alarmed that there are only two economists in the ARC College of Experts, said to be half of what there once was and not proportionate to the number of applications from the discipline.

So alarmed that the heads of 17 schools and departments have written to fellow economist Richard Holden (UNSW) wearing his Australian Academy of the Social Sciences presidential hat, asking for the academy to engage on the issue.

This may be their best hope – the terms of reference for the Sheil Inquiry into the ARC do not really suit such a discipline-specific concern.


Griffith U ups PG pay

It joins universities topping up Commonwealth HDR scholarships for next year

The government pays $29 800 which the university will increase to just under $32 200. It was the second university to kick the tin for postgrads last week, following UNSW, which upped pay to $35 000.

U Tas  has also increased schols to $31 500, Monash U will, to $33 000, in January and ANU started paying $34 000 in October.

Appointments, achievements

Ian Anderson (DVC Student and University Experience at ANU) will move to Uni Tasmania in January to become DVC Academic.

The US based Association for Computing Machinery (“the world’s largest computing society”) announces its 2022 honours, including, Tony  Clear (Auckland Uni Tech), Dragan Gasevic (Monash U) and Margaret Hamilton (RMIT) for “outstanding education contributions.”  Salil Kanhere (UNSW) is cited for scientific contribution.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil names Rachael Falk (Cyber Security CRC) to co-lead work on the national Cyber Security Strategy.

 La Trobe U’s many staff awards for 2022 include

* ECR: Pamali Fonseka (Ag, Biomed, Environment) * Grad supervision: Karla Helbig (Ag, Biomed, Environment) * MCR: Yuning Hong (Ag, Biomed, Environment) * Research impact: Timothy Jones and team (Humanities, Social Sciences) * Industry engagement: Helen McLachlan (Nursing) * Early career teaching: Jason Buccheri (Rural Health) Jabed Chowdhury (Computing, Eng, Maths), Hosu Ryu (Nursing) * Teaching: Richard Fernandez (Ag, Biomed Environment), Mary Grant (Allied Health) Tarryn Phillips (Humanities, Social Sciences), Jennifer Jones (Humanities, Social Sciences) * Professional staff: Marcella Bulic (Recruitment and International), Georgina Caruana (Research Office), Results enhancements team: (Brian Dunell, Debbie Hall, Prue Kasby, Megan McKenzie, Jo Sedgman, Sigalle Swieca) The full list is HERE

Perminder Sachdev (UNSW) wins the NZ $250 00 Ryman Prize (“quality of life for older people”).

The Uni SA staff awards are HERE.