Fond farewell

Funding freeze, job freeze …  I am moving to Cuba,” the Flinders National Tertiary Education Union tweets. No. There is no word on the university funding relocation costs.

UA backs revised foreign influence bill

Back In January Universities Australia warned of worries with the federal government’s proposed foreign influence legislation. But the feds listened and this morning UA calls on parliament to pass the amended bill.

In the original draft universities advocating for their international students could be classed as working for a foreign principal. “If a staff member attempted to assist a student in dealings with government, they may inadvertently have contravened the law if they have not registered under the scheme,” UA warned.

The same could occur for academics working on research with overseas partners. “It is not possible to remain at the cutting edge of innovation without strong international partnerships,” UA added.

The feds listened and UA chief Catriona Jackson says the proposed amendments, “are a sensible way to make the scheme more workable.”

 Damage (out of) control

Charles Sturt U demonstrates how not to manage a comms problem, Facebook on Friday; “we are aware of an incident that occurred last night that may have involved Charles Sturt University students. Charles Sturt University (CSU) will not tolerate this offensive behaviour. It does not reflect our university values and we strongly condemn these actions. CSU is currently investigating these incidents and social media posts.” That was after Network Ten reported CSU students allegedly dressed in KKK hoods, which was all over digital, broadcast and social media on the weekend.

By not naming what it abhors it looks, however unfairly, like CSU cares more about reducing coverage than dealing with a problem.

Done deal way back

Labor education shadow minister Tanya Plibersek explained on RN the other day why she thought University of Tasmania VC Rufus Black had said his uni could cope with the (MYEFO) federal cuts. “I think the University of Tasmania are happy to have the prime minister announcing a special deal for some extra sub-bachelor places for their university. It would be a bit rude to, you know, dump him in it today.”

Um, won’t those be the places promised in the last election campaign, way before the government announced in MYEFO the two-year freeze on funding of student numbers and the end of the demand driven system?

Ms Plibersek’s general point was better made; “it’s a very old-fashioned system where the government can do special deals, university by university, for sub-bachelor paces to try and make up for the impact on bachelor level courses and the freezing of university funding more generally.” Labor says it will restore the demand driven undergraduate system if it wins the election.

Nothing doing

On Thursday the University of Melbourne branch of the National Tertiary Education Union tweeted that members in the library will  clear student library fines without taking money, as part of enterprise bargaining work bans. Can they do that? CMM wondered. No they can’t the University of Melbourne replied Friday. “Protected industrial action does not go so far as to allow library fines to be cleared by staff. The university has clarified this with the NTEU and library staff, and students will need to pay their library fines as per usual,” a university spokesperson says.

UniNewcastle develops downtown

The University of Newcastle continues its city-centre expansion, lodging plans with government for a river-side, city facility at Honeysuckle , a block away from the flash NeW multi-story teaching building. They are both part of plan to, “build a strong and sustainable education, innovation and research presence in the Newcastle CBD. … There is a shared optimism for the future of the city and our university is proud to play an important role,” COO Nat McGregor  says. Staff out at the old Callahan campus, 10km out of town are less enthused, with some feeling left-out. And campus union leaders contrast the city investment with management’s talk of tight-times as enterprise bargaining drags on.

Appointments, achievements

Alexander Downer will receive an hon doc from the University of Adelaide, “for his exceptionally distinguished service to Australian society and the university.”

Therese Wilson is the new dean of law at Griffith University, replacing Pene Matthew.

Data analytic majors to merge

Two major translational research centres are set to merge, creating, “solutions, products and new companies that will enhance the fairness and efficiency of global markets.” The Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre and the Securities Industry Research Centre of the Asia-Pacific say that subject to due diligence and legal approvals, merging will “exponentially increase” their expansion into markets such as health, energy and property.

The two organisations now use data intelligence and analytics to solve problems in capital and securities, health and energy markets as well as in facilities management, digital assets and supply chain logistics.

The partnership will combine the curiosity and capacity of 70 industry partners, 50 universities, over 250 experts and 12 companies. It will also build on what the partners claim is the “world’s largest cross-disciplinary industrial PhD program” in data science, finance, market quality and market design.

Both partners say they will continue to meet their existing obligations, the CMCRC to the federal government’s cooperative research centre programme and SIRCA to members.

The joint venture will be headquartered in Sydney.

Ahead of ERA: a new analysis ranks unis on research performance on 61 disciplines

A learned reader reports researchers at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara have produced a performance measure that looks like a precursor for Excellence in Research for Australia 18.

The University Ranking of Academic Performance ranks universities on a range of publishing criteria, including citation, impact and journal standing. The learned reader, who knows their way around metrics, says URAP does a reasonable job, with results that look right for individual universities, although its discipline rankings do not always conform to the way universities record research outputs.

The URAP team certainly crunched a bunch of data, reporting research performance by 61 disciplines, from aerospace engineering to zoology.

URAP cites the top ten Australian universities on its global ranking as; UniSydney (26th in world), UniMelbourne (30), UniQueensland (40), Monash U (53), UNSW (60), UWA (106), ANU (130), UniAdelaide (157), Curtin U (249) and Griffith U (269).

On CMM’s count the top Australian university in each field makes the world first 50 in 60 disciplines. The University of Queensland is number two in the world for agricultureenvironmental science and human movement. UTS ranks second in the world for nursing.

The University of Sydney is first in country in 12 fields followed by UoQ-11, Monash U-ten, UNSW-nine, ANU-eight, Uni Melbourne-four, RMIT-three, UTS-two, James Cook U-one and Uni Adelaide-one.

Universities that made the URAP cut, per number of disciplines are.

University of Sydney: 59

University of Melbourne: 56

University of Queensland: 55

University of NSW: 55

Monash University: 52

ANU: 44

UWA: 43

University of Adelaide: 42

QUT: 42

Curtin University: 39

Griffith University: 39

Deakin University: 34

University of Wollongong: 34

RMIT: 33

UTS: 33

University of Newcastle: 32

University of South Australia: 31

Macquarie University: 30

University of Tasmania: 25

La Trobe University: 23

Flinders University: 22

Western Sydney University: 2o

James Cook University: 17

Swinburne University: 15

University of New England: 11

Murdoch University: nine

Australian Catholic University: seven

University of Canberra: six

Charles Sturt University: six

Edith Cowan University: four

Southern Cross University: four

University of the Sunshine Coast: four

Charles Darwin University: three

University of Notre Dame Australia: two

Victoria University: two

Central Queensland University: two

Bond University: one

University of Southern Queensland: one