No ATAR embarrassment  

The Scott review of Initial Teacher Education does not identify the four courses in 2020 that had no entrants with an ATAR over 80 – so that’s four fewer opportunities for media outrageathons. (Scroll down for the review).

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

The pandemic showed us innovation can happen fast – especially with recognition of the best places to foster it. Beth Beckmann (ANU) and Lynn Gribble (UNSW) set out their Four Cs strategy, new this week in Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed now in learning and teaching.

plus Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on the pain and plight of early career academics and what can and can’t be done, HERE

And in Expert Opinion

Academic Integrity expert Cath Ellis (UNSW) on the GPT IV challenge. “It is presenting a very real and present threat in terms of how we have done things for a very long time. She talks to CMM, HERE.

Big rankings win: it may not last

It’s a big outing for Aus but Angel Calderon warns scores could slide

The QS subject rankings were released last night, which makes this a good morning for universities.

Angel Calderon (RMIT) reports in Features this morning that 39 Australian institutions appear on the global top 200 lists for 54 subjects.

And some on way more than others – Uni Queensland is on 50 lists this year, ahead of unis Melbourne and Sydney with 48 each.

Overall Australia rates fourth in the world for the number of listings and fifth for listings per institution.

But Mr Calderon adds all is not ranking roses. While research rankings and impact are strong, overall Australia lags on reputation measures, down for the third straight year in the QS academic and employer surveys.

“Whilst we celebrate the year-on-year successes of our workplaces, it is at our own peril if we don’t address this relative weakness considering increased competition for students, academic talent, and scarce resources,” he warns.

His comprehensive analysis is in Features this morning, including complete numbers for all Aus institutions and all subjects – HERE.

La Trobe U course-pause

A provider partnership ended earlier than expected

Didasko “world class e-learning and training resources” has ceased trading.

La Trobe U management tells staff that its relationship with Didasko, which provided it with business and IT UG degrees and dips, was due to conclude next January but work is now underway to move students now to LT U systems.

“There will be a brief pause on teaching for the relevant subject while we carry out this work,” DVC E Nicki Lee says.

The more things change in VET

The estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research updates its timeline of endless inquiries and uninspiring initiatives into vocational education and training. Never got why the more VET is reviewed the more it stays the same? Have a look at this extraordinary roll call of rigmarole.

Call to measure unis on teacher ed performance

The Scott review of Initial Teacher Education releases its discussion paper – there’s plenty for worried education deans to talk about

Including the proposal for publicly available performance measures of ITE courses, “to increase accountability and inform student choice”

Professor Scott (as in Uni Sydney’s VC) and colleagues were commissioned by the coalition government to advise on, “an assessment mechanism for initial teacher education to improve the quality of ITE programmes,” (CMM February 25 2022). The work continues under Labor, with present Commonwealth education minister Jason Clare committing to taking recommendations to the education minco in June (CMM November 4 ‘22).

The new paper sets out “key teaching practises” that ITE courses should include and which should be considered in teacher ed students final assessment. It identifies ways to improve practical classroom experience for ITE students. And it presents ways to attract mid-career entrants to teaching.

And to make institutional assessment as dean-proof as possible it carefully makes the case for four broad measures of provider performance;

* ITE student background, to ensure diverse and high quality candidates it nominates, First Nations, regional and remote, low SES, high ATAR and STEM focus

* ITE students completing their course

* students’ classroom readiness and satisfaction with study

* employment outcomes of recent graduates and early career teachers

As to rewarding providers, the review points to the previous government’s performance based funding model, put on-hold during the pandemic and (O’Kane Accord permitting), suggests that “should it become operational” it “could provide a funding incentive for poorer performing higher education providers.”


When oldies eat too much med research pie

The humanities and social science deans complain senior researchers have way too big a share of funding (CMM yesterday) – the MRI lobby thinks similarly

The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes is unhappy with the age spread for “ideas grants,” the NHMRC programme which is “the primary funding source for early to mid-career researchers.” Apparently a majority go to “established senior researchers.”

AAMRI has a solution – a new Ideas pie.

In 2022 year 238 winners shared $240m in Ideas grants. AAMRI proposes an extra 241 grants exclusively for young researchers.


Alex Brown, professor of indigenous genomics at the Telethon Kids Institute and ANU, joins the board of CSIRO. Industry and Science Minister Husic states Professor Brown is the first Indigenous scientist appointed to it.