Plus Academy of Science loses key people

And making the most of education data

Big bunch of ORCIDs

A learned reader points to a solution to identifying which researcher named Y Wang wrote what (CMM yesterday) – ORCID. Quite right, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (CMM February 8) can provide each and every researcher with a unique way to claim their work and be contacted. Although CMM wonders whether the infrastructure will cope if the thousands of Y Wangs writing research papers all sign up at once.

SCAPA16246 CMM Vote v2a

Academy exits

It’s a bad day for the Australian Academy of Science, which is losing Kylie Walker and Peter Thomas. After five years as comms director Ms Walker is moving to Science and Technology Australia, where she will replace Catriona Jackson (who is going to Universities Australia). Ms Walker starts at STA at the end of June.

Dr Thomas is moving to be strategy and operations director at the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes. His many admirers point to policy and project work on the Science in Australia Gender Equity initiative as one of his notable achievements.

Policy is made by those who turn up

Submissions to the Productivity Commission inquiry into the national education evidence base have closed without the mass of contributions from faculties of education CMM expected. But policy is made by those who turn up, so the quality of ideas from the education academics who bothered is a good outcome. Like the submissions from the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (CMM May 19) and like the one by Collette Tayler and Dan Cloney from the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, who point to vast amounts of data, including some the PC has missed, which is fundamental to supporting and tracking young children’s progress and achievement, yet is not generally available.

“The lack of nationally consistent data on young children’s competencies results in no consistent way to know how children are faring in the years before school, and the relation of this to their later school achievement,” they argue.

Tayler and Cloney also suggest maintaining a national evidence database is something the Australian Council for Educational Research or the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority or the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority could do.


Triggs signs on at RMIT

Gillian Triggs is to chair RMIT’s juris doctor advisory board. Professor Triggs was dean of law at the University of Sydney until she became chair of the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2012. The juris doctor course is a postgraduate qualification which RMIT says “leads to entry to the legal profession.”

Digital Deakin

Deakin VC Jane den Hollander sells digital delivery, “Deakin‘s LIVE the future strategy presents a bold vision to offer our students a personalised learning experience with premium digital engagement, creating the power and opportunities to live in a connected and evolving world.”

Deakin U Student Association wonders if everybody got the memo: “We want to hear your experiences with lecture recordings this trimester. It doesn’t matter whether they’re good or bad, we want to hear them. Were none of your lectures recorded, and because of that you had to get up at 6am to get to a 9am lecture? Or did every lecture get put up on time? Were you sick, so you couldn’t attend a lecture, and your lecturer wouldn’t give you the video? No matter what your experience was, we want to hear about it.”

Union elections

National Tertiary Education Union members in Queensland have until Friday week to nominate for elected positions across all campuses. The paperwork is  here.

Message from Malcolm 

It seems business leaders who assessed Australia for this year’s issue of the World Competitiveness Scoreboard agree with the prime minister that we are all innovators now. On most measures Australia is just jogging along, up one place to 17th in the world on overall competitiveness while slipping two spots to 14th on education. And we are not up with the leaders on IT access, rating 39th in the world for bandwidth speed, 41st for connectivity and 36th for IT skills. But while Australia improved one spot on scientific infrastructure, to 19th country jumped nine places, to 26th on technology resources. Looks like people were paying attention to the government’s commitment to NCRIS.

DIGITAL MARKETING Strategies for Higher Education

First against family violence

Kelsey Hegarty is Australia’s first professor of family violence prevention. The University of Melbourne academic’s new chair is a joint appointment with Victoria’s Royal Women’s Hospital.

Damage done

The Australian Council for Private Education and Training is urging its members and their students to protest election promises to cap VET student borrowing to $8000 and reserve 70 per cent of publicly funded training places to government providers. “This can only lead to another major public policy failure. It won’t be long before the headlines are about a failure to meet growing demands, the high costs of training, a lack of innovation, flexibility and growth,” ACPET chair Rod Camm says. Fair points, but ones which will not get a hearing this side of the election. The VET FEE HELP mess besmirched the reputation of the legitimate for-profits as well as the shonks and it will take years before the damage is undone. A billboard outside Chisholm Institute in Melbourne makes the point, “Don’t risk your education: get a qualification that means something,” it states. Mr Camm’s members could endorse motherhood just now and voters would not listen.

Insular Americans

The US international education community is meeting in Denver for the NAFSA annual conference, where Americans will talk to each other. The conference reveals not much interest in how competitors have built education exports. Yes the numbers of international students in the US are enormous but as a share of enrolments they are much lower than here. The Australian industry will prosper for as long as the Americans stay where they are.