Edith Cowan U tests the boundary

The university is advertising at the Ashes

Messages from the university are on the perimeter fence at Edgbaston during the cricket. No, not digitally for the Australian TV audience – actually at the ground. Apparently, it is part of “advertising at select international sporting events to raise awareness of ECU around the world – not just with prospective international students but also their influencers.” Good line, great length – what people who watched Steve Smith‘s two centuries in the test will remember is a university in Perth.

Deakin U’s read badge of courage

Deakin U is big in micro-credentials and the university makes a gutsy case for badging skills in a magisterial report by Beverley Oliver

“As the future of work unfolds, working citizens are likely to need more and better granular certified learning – micro and macro – to evidence their educational currency amid rapid change,” Emeritus Professor Oliver argues.

Micro-credentials are one way to enable certification of new skills, as well as validate the skills already acquired through experience. More credit-bearing experiences will open up a system of certification well beyond the fairly closed higher education and vocational qualification system currently in place in many nations,” she suggests.

Her report is a gutsy contrast to some submissions to the Noonan review of the Australian Qualifications Framework, which is considering micro-credentials, although not too closely if submissions from peak university groups set the standard. (CMM July 29). The generality of arguments range from not needed, to not needed now, and on to not anybody but us.

Understandably so. Micro-credentials could complement the existing accreditation system to the benefit of individuals and expense of institutions. “Credit derived from certified learning means a future discount on the time and money required for a learner to advance to a formal qualification. It is in every nation’s interest, in the face of the changing nature of work, to provide a facility that enables its citizens to register their recognised credit in a national digital repository such as a lifelong learning account,” Professor Oliver claims.

But it’s not all blue-sky optimism, her report gets into the weeds of what would be needed, detailing the ten standards credit-bearing badges could require; * admission, * orientation and progression, * learning outcomes and assessment, * qualifications and certification, * staffing, * learning resources and educational support, * academic integrity, * mentoring, review and improvement,* delivering with other parties, * representation, information and information management.

Deakin is already investing in micro-credentials, working with Engineers Australia and the Australian Marketing Institute. Subsidiary Deakin Co is partnering with the NSW Universities Admission Centre on a system to credential workplace skills (CMM February 4).

Hiding who’s who in VET policy

Can’t read the words on the org chart? There aren’t any

A learned reader is interested to know who are the officials charged with vocational education and training policy. But alas, there is no organisation chart for them on the website of the Department of Employment, Skills and Family Business. However, there is such a chart, dating from May, on the site of what is now the Department of Education.  The LR says that everybody involved is undoubtedly busy, but points out the administrative arrangement order, which included moving the function, was issued after the election, on May 29.

Imagine what the ever-vigilant Australian Skills Quality Authority would do to a registered training organisation so remiss as not to provide “accurate and factual information” on their www site.

UNSW passages to India

The university looks to new markets

The university has an agreement with India’s Manipal Academy of Higher Education, for research collaboration and student pathways and dual degrees. The degree issuing institute teaches mainly business, STEM and health courses to 27 000 students at its campus in the southwest state of Karnataka, and branches in Kamataka state – and Dubai.

The relationship is part of UNSW’s India Growth Strategy, which includes quadrupling Indian students at UNSW to 2000 by 2025 and building off-shore markets. As, VC Ian Jacobs told a Sydney conference, “that there is a mismatch between where the need and demand for higher education is globally, and where the expertise resides,” (CMM June 18). That month, UNSW announced its MOOCS will be available on-line in India, through private provider Amity U.

More please: why the Medical Research Future Fund is not enough

With the election out of the way, medical research lobbies are getting back to lobbying

The Australian Society for Medical Research is worried that the Medical Research Future Fund is seen as all that is needed. Society president Roger Yazbek (Flinders U) says not so, that while “a welcome addition to the funding landscape” the MRFF supports “a very specific part of the research pipeline” – translation and commercialisation and this has happened at the expense of increased funding to the National Health and Medical Research Council.

“The critical fundamental science and translational research supported by statutory bodies like the NHMRC and Australian Research Council are essential to drive transformative health discoveries and commercial activity.”

Fair enough, but the MRFF is on track to reach its $20bn target and that should buy the government a bunch of time before it feels the heat on NHMRC funding.

Uni Queensland Internet up

But who took it down?

IT reports that internet speeds and external connectivity were back to normal Monday morning after a weekend of work (CMM yesterday). They are a phlegmatic bunch at St Lucia, denial of service attacks are an assault on university autonomy but the university community took them in its stride. As to who did it –no one is talking

Appointments, achievements

Chief Defence Scientist Tanya Monro is the South Australian winner in the awards for excellence in women’s leadership. Professor Monro was previously DVC R at Uni SA.

Dan Hunter will return to QUT in November, as executive dean of law. He moves from Swinburne U, where he founded the law programme.  Prior to that he led the IP and innovation programme at QUT.

The Design Institute of Australia names its graduates of the year. The national award winner is Jordan Domjahn (QUT). Other awards go to, * fashion: Eitan Broude (Curtin U). * Interior decoration, Oscar Giraldo (Torrens U). * Interior design, Zarah Baitz, (UNSW). * Textile design, Lauren Stringini (RMIT). * Visual comms design, Emily Renner (Uni SA).