Building public trust in universities
Slower growth in 2020 research spending
A summit to solve Australia’s university crisis
Universities support for graduate employability is incoherent and inconsistent
Pasifika approaches to tertiary education
Way to go
A visitor to UNSW advises signposts show one takes Chancellery Walk to get to the Museum of Human Diseases.
There’s more in the Mail
In Features this morning Melissa Zaccagnini and colleagues warn safeguarding higher education from academic misconduct, “may restrict the very practices that are a cornerstone of 21st century learning.” It’s another essay in Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s series in what we need now in teaching and learning.
And Susannah Marsden and Paul Abela offer ideas for next week’s ATEM conference.
On Monday: Cathy Stone (Uni Newcastle) on students today, who they are and where they study.
And Wendy Ingram (Adelaide Medical School) presents, an insider’s view of an NHMRC investigator grant peer-review panel.
Hughes Warrington exits ANU
She is moving to the City of (Colonel) Light
Marnie Hughes Warrington is leaving ANU to become DVC Research and Enterprise at the University of South Australia. She now teaches and researches history at ANU, having stepped down from DVC A there last October. At ANU Professor Hughes Warrington was fascinated with ed tech and the construction of the newly Kambri complex, which she oversaw.
At Uni SA she will replace fixed-term appointee Simon Beecham. Prior to him, physicist Tanya Munro, who left Uni SA to become Chief Defence Scientist at the beginning of the year, was DVC R. Hughes Warrington starts on North Terrace in January.
Pozible research at James Cook U
James Cook U has two research crowd-funding campaigns, via Pozible
Mohan Jacob and Graham Brodie need $20 000 for work on scaling-up microwave technology for resource recovery, including plastic.
Tasmin Rymer is looking for $5000 to assess which native species are most resilient to environmental change.
Cynics suggest the university could fund the research if it was not appealing its loss in Peter Ridd’s unfair dismissal Federal Court case, but what can you expect from cynics?
Uni SA restructure: now for the hard part
Questions about a bold plan as workers worry
Uni SA plans to transform its academic structure, replacing discipline-based units with staff organised by teaching focus, in seven super-groups with 2200 and 4500 students and 100 to 280 FTE staff (CMM July 16). Vice Chancellor David Lloyd started discussions at the beginning of the year, which have involved hundreds of staff in open meetings. All appears to have gone well, until now.
Nerves had to happen as the process moved from abstract towards implementation and the National Tertiary Education Union wants to know about professional job losses and when a change process will be announced. “Currently professional and academic staff feel they have not been given enough information about how the changes will impact on their roles,” branch president Patrick O’Sullivan tells Provost Allan Evans.
CMM asked about this yesterday but the university declined to comment.
Places to park at UNSW, shame about the price
And commuters are keen to take the tram
UNSW reports a survey reveals people who drive to work are positive about, “safety, location of carparks and the current permit system,” although cost is an area they would like improved. This might have something to do with hefty price rises last November (CMM November 2 2018). Perhaps connected, the survey also found that 30 per cent of respondents will use the new light-rail, connecting university to city from December. Will, a learned reader asks, this fall in patronage lead to another price rise to keep income up.
Andrew Norton leaves Grattan as he arrived – calling ‘em as he sees ‘em
Yesterday was Mr Norton’s last at the Grattan Institute and he marked the occasion with a farewell analysis (on his own web-page), on re-skilling and training, in which he suggested that we are not life-long learning just yet. This, he suggested, might be because jobs are not changing as fast as assumed.
It was standard Norton, an evidence rich, sceptical examination of the orthodoxy, typical of the reports he wrote over the years for Grattan, many with Ittima Cherastidtham.
“I do not know which of these explanations, or others I have not considered, might be right. But there are some surprising trends in this data, which need watching and further exploration,” Mr Norton concluded, typically, yesterday.
CMM has no clue what he will do next but very much hopes it will involve him analysing HE and VET data and exploring what it means for Australia. Norton is too big a thinker to lose.
Digital whizbangery: Australian hearts aren’t in it
Australia has slid on three digital competitiveness rankings every year since 2015, according to the Switzerland based IMD World Competitiveness Centre
Overall, Australia dropped from 9th in the world in 2015 to 14th this – and the country is now in the mid-teens on knowledge, technology and future readiness.
The US is first in the world overall, followed by Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Hong Kong, Norway and the Republic of Korea.
The ratings are based on 30 data and 20 survey criteria.
“The results highlight that we need a broader national community discussion around the importance of R&D, investment in technology, and tech skills and how the benefits of these flow back to the community,” Melinda Cilento from IMD partner, Committee for Economic Development of Australia, says.
It is not a conversation all Australians embrace. As prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull was keen on AI and R&D and for a while there was an industry, innovation and science portfolio. But it seems a swag of Australians think digital tech change is a synonym for job losses and after the 2016 election the government stopped talking innovation up. Karen Andrews is now minister for industry, science and technology.
Powerful VET people
Employment and Skills Minister Michaelia Cash announces the government’s VET stakeholder committee, “to help drive its significant agenda of reform”
The 14 members are drawn from employer, apprentice and job-finder organisations. Private and non-government trainers have three representatives, Chris Butler from the Enterprise Registered Training Organisation Association, Troy Williams from the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia and Don Perlgut from Community Colleges Australia. Craig Roberston (TAFE Directors Australia) represents the state systems.
ITECA thinks the committee, including its membership, is a thoroughly good thing, “The views of independent providers across the VET sector will be of real value to the Australian Government as it sets about implementing positive reforms,” Mr Williams says. However, the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations is not as sure, suggesting the absence of students is, “a huge oversight”. “You would think VET students would be the most important stakeholders of all.”
Of the day
The UTS VC research award winners are announced
Research excellence: Jie Lu (Engineering and IT)
Research impact: Larissa Behrendt (Indigenous Education and Research)
Teaching and research: Alison Beavis (Trans-disciplinary Innovation)
Early career research: Emma Camp (Science)
Research leadership and development: Justin Seymour (Science)
Research excellence through collaboration/partnership: Hokyong Shon and Sherub Phuntsho (Engineering and IT)
Research management and development (professional staff): Mercedes Ballesteros (Science)
Supervisor of the year: Stephen Goodall (Business)
Of the week
Dan Johnson will become PVC Research Innovation at Macquarie U in February. He is now managing director of the Australian Wine Research Institute, at the Waite research precinct in Adelaide.
Ross McLennan (UniSA) is in-coming president of the Australasian Research Management Society. Other board apppointments are, Connie Mogg (Monash U) as treasurer and Misty Palmer (NHMRC) as secretary. The new committee is; Johanna Barclay (UNSW), Tania Bezzobs (Swinburne U), Maxine Bryant (Uni Canterbury) and Steve Hannan (Western Sydney U).
Mat Santamouris (UNSW) wins the World Society of Sustainable Energy Technologies 2019 award for low carbon buildings and future cities.
Flinders U has appointed Penny Edmonds dean of research for the arts, humanities and social sciences college. She joins from Uni Tasmania in February.
RMIT On-Line appoints Claire Macken (ex KPMG) as leader of its Future Learning unit and Narelle Stefanac (from LinkedIn) as RMIT Online growth director
The Royal Institution of Australian announces four new Bragg members. * Nalini Joshi (maths professor, Uni Sydney) * Helene Marsh (conservation of threatened species, Australian Academy of Science) * Catriona Wallace (founder and ED of AI fintech company Flamingo Ai) * Alex Zelinsky (computer scientist and VC, Uni Newcastle)
Stefan Bode (Uni Melbourne) is the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s young investigator of the year.
Curtin U’s Zheng-Xiang Li is a 2019 fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
Rodney Smith (Uni Sydney) is the new president of the Australian Political Studies Association.