Monash U and Moderna aren’t mucking about

In August a vaccine plant at the university was announced – construction started yesterday

The state government and feds are helping fund the plant, being built at Monash U – Clayton (CMM August 16). Plan is for it to pump out 100m Moderna vaccine doses a year. It’s scheduled to open in 2024.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

On-campus, in-person classes augmented with on-line delivery is not working, Martin Betts

(HEDx) and David Kellermann (UNSW) argue in a new selection by Commissioning Editor Sally KiftHERE.

“This plays out in different ways regarding equity, inclusion and accessibility and we need to make specific responses for these factors. There is a huge ongoing agenda for innovation here in new approaches to equitable access to technology-enabled pedagogy,” they state.

plus, James Guthrie and John Dumay (Macquarie U), with Ann Martin-Sardesai (Central Queensland U) make the case for ending Excellence in Research for Australia in their submission to the Australian Research Council review.

CASE notes on the future of fundraising

Sue Cunningham from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education is on Expert Opinion  this morning

CASE is the global resource for fundraising and Ms Cunningham provides a panorama of the state of the business and challenges for its adepts in her new book.

It is based on discussions with 40 advancement experts and includes a mass of operational advice and  she talks about it HERE .

More about the book is HERE.

Why FIFO fails for school visits

“School staff often expressed to us that it was difficult to keep track of who had come and how the interventions and/or advice fitted together. They suggested that in the future it would be preferable to work closely with one or two universities and have regular visits or collaboration with them,” Mollie Dollinger and colleagues’, new report on HE pathways. Scroll down for more

Countdown to create Adelaide University

Uni Adelaide and Uni SA have agreed to a six-month process to hammer out terms for a possible merger in 2026

what’s happened: The proposal involves the parties working with state and federal governments on a funding model but the two universities already agree there can be no net job losses.

Talks have been underway for months with the two managements amenable to an arrangement but some members of the councils said to be uncomfortable.

Last month a Uni Adelaide representative told CMM, “discussions to consider policy implications and how we might achieve the best outcomes for staff, students and the South Australian community have been held. A formal University of Adelaide position in respect of such matters will be a made by our council in due course.” (CMM November 22).

The announcement is a win for SA premier Peter Malinauskas, who has long argued a university merger is needed to give SA critical mass in education. There is funding in the present state budget for a commission to consider a merger but the government’s preference is for the universities to get the job done themselves.

It is also an achievement for the two vice chancellors Peter Høj (Uni Adelaide) and David Lloyd (Uni SA) who are said to have cooperated to ensure that the proposal did not go the way of failed discussions in 2018.  

what’s agreed: Both unis are adamant that no deal is done but there are agreed governance fundamentals, without which merger talks would stop before they start, including

* a merged institution would be called Adelaide University

* co VCs until appointment of a vice chancellor for the combined university

* legislation for the new university based on the Uni SA Act

* a transition council with equal membership until Adelaide U starts. Uni SA, “in consultation with Uni Adelaide” will nominate the chancellor of the transition council

but why: The pitch is, “the university for the future would unlock benefits far beyond collaboration and scale, making transformational investments in both teaching and research more feasible, would be a stronger magnet for domestic and international students and creative and talented staff and would conduct outstanding future making research and scale of focus.”

relax, it might never happen: don’t bet on it.  Premier Malinauskas says the state government “will defer the establishment of a South Australia university merger commission until at least mid-2023.” Note “defer.”

Recruiting students: don’t talk at them, engage with them

The government wants to increase HE participation by disadvantaged students – a new report finds reaching regional, rural and remote school students is harder than recruiters might think

Mollie Dollinger (Deakin U) and colleagues set out issues and propose answers in a research report for the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education.*

There’s a bunch of information on the how and why of talking to RRR students – and some surprising findings on what they don’t get to hear, including;

“ the value of higher education could be better communicated, including links to specific jobs, jobs of the future, lifetime earnings, as well as notions of civic development and ‘education for education’s sake’. Participants also stressed that the delivery of information could also be improved. One principal noted, ‘I haven’t ever seen a university website that is user-friendly’ ”


“a lack of information or exposure for students on what university was like, clarity on how students could apply and enrol, and what courses were available, as well as how these courses linked to potential RRR jobs.”

the takeout: “if the university sector truly wants to see an increase in RRR student participation, we must stop assuming what stakeholders need or want and instead modify the system, from early-stage outreach programmes to on-campus student support initiatives, to foster an authentic partnership between students, staff and stakeholders.”

* Mollie Dollinger, (Deakin U) and Andrew Harvey, (Griffith U), Ryan Naylor, (Uni Sydney), Marian Mahat (Uni Melbourne), Belinda D’Angelo (La Trobe U), A student-centred approach: understanding higher education pathways through co-design, HERE

No muss, no fuss: a deal at QUT

Management upped its offer and the union agreed

The wage increase through to 2025 will be 14.1 per cent, up two per cent on management’s previous offer and close to the market-setting UWS agreement (CMM July 26). The balance of the first rise, not already paid under an administrative arrangement, will go to staff on their approving the agreement – nice touch, given Fair Work Commission ratification, which is required for an agreement, can take months.

There are also 19 more continuing positions for current academic sessional staff who want to convert, bringing the total to 118 over three years.

“We have worked very constructively over the last couple of weeks to come up with a package that provides relief for immediate cost of living pressures, balanced with long-term stability,” David Nielsen, president of the QUT branch of the National Tertiary Education Union says.



Appointments, achievements

The Law and Society Association of ANZ awards its 2021 publication prizes. * Book:  Alysia Blackham (Uni Melbourne) for Reforming age discrimination law (OUP)  and Kcasey McLoughin  (Uni Newcastle) for Law, women judges and the gender order (Routledge) * Article/chapter: Anna High and Mihiata Pirini, “Dignity and mana in the ‘third law’ of Aotearoa New Zealand” NZ Law Review * ECR: Sara Dehm, Legal Exclusions: Émigré Lawyers, Admissions to Legal Practice and the Cultural Transformation of the Australian Legal Profession” Federal Law Review

Anushka Patel becomes CEO of the George Institute for Global Health, she moves from the George Institute.

Uni Adelaide announces its achievement awards (and with apologies for anyone missed)

Research: * Joanne Hedges (Indigenous Oral Health Unit) * Shaobin Wang (Chemical Eng)

ECR: * Katharina Richter (Medical School) * Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Research team: Akction (Aboriginal Kidney Care Together, Improving Outcomes Now – Nursing School)  * Samantha Bateman * Isaac Brown * Melissa Arnold-Chamney  * Alyssa Cormick * Amy Graham * Jared Kartinyeri  * Janet Kelly * Rhanee Lester * Kim O’Donnell * Kelli Owen * Elizabeth Rix * Nari Sinclair * Tahlee Stevenson * Kynesha Temple-Varcoe

Research team: Greater McArthur Basin Team. Physical Sciences * Morgan Blades * Alan Collins* Juraj Farkas * Rosalind King * Angus Nixon  * Carl Spandler * Darwinaji Subarkah * Georgina Virgo. Petroleum and Energy Resources: Simon Holford

Student experience: * Elizabeth Becket (Biomedicine) * Brandon Pullen (Sciences, Engineering and Tech) * Team: Welcome Back Festival (Academic, Student Engagement) * Geoffrey Denison * Owen Lindsay * Melanie Officer * Dave Thomson * Emmanuel Tibatemwa * Nicola Venditozzi * Annette Wheatley. Team: Education Transformation: * Tanya Dahlenburg * Belinda Fordham * Jorge Garcia

Impact, Excellence * Corinna Van Den Heuvel (Biomedicine) Team: Academic Integrity * Laura Hall * Tavik Morgenstern * Sharon Nitschke * Amy Milka * Sarah Oakley

Community Team: * Joanne England *Shanelle Gale * Renee Johnson * Belinda Kon * Brooke Lee * Katie Lightowler * Alexis McKay *Ashleigh Mercury * Melanie Officer * Antonette Severino

Exceptional contribution: Ross Savvas (Law)