Sky-high optimism

Peter Leggat (James Cook U) becomes president of the International Society of Travel Medicine. JCU states he, “has a busy two years ahead.” Optimists they are at JCU.

Angel Calderon reports great results from the good old days in research rankings

His analysis of the new Shanghai subjects ranking is in Features this morning

There are good results all-over for Australia, 29 universities have at least one subject in the global top 100 and 76 per cent of Uni Melbourne’s listings are there.

But can it last? “The impact of the pandemic will start showing up over the next couple of years,” he warns.

Scroll down for Australian university performances in life sciences, medical sciences and social sciences.

Nick Klomp’s Indonesian ambition

“CQU has the support of the Indonesian Government to set up a campus and start doing business,” VC Nick Klomp tells staff

Professor Klomp is now in Indonesia which he says is “a great opportunity, not least because there are 270m people there.”

CQU already has a JV with local private provider Bakrie U, teaching business masters to students who transfer to Australia after four semesters (at least that was the idea when the deal was done). But now it seems CQU wants to set up itself, which is possible under the Aus-Indonesia free trade agreement.

If so, CQU will follow Monash U, which became “the first-ever international foreign-owned university” in Indonesia last December and intends to start to teaching PG programmes in October (CMM April 6)

There’s more in the Mail

In Features

There’s a bunch that can be done to support students’ mental health. Nicole Crawford (National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education) and Sheridan Emery (U Tas) explain .

Angel Calderon (RMIT)  examines the Nature Index and Scopus indexed publications and reports good results for Australian universities in 2020. And the worse to come may not be as bad expected all over.

Plus, Kim Carr (Labor senator for Victoria) explains why the government should not tick the patent box and instead look to the Review of the Three Fs for ideas on funding research and development.

Big finish for Needed Now in Teaching and Learning (the conference)

Sally Kift talks to Peter Coaldrake at 11.30 this morning.

“What, that Peter Coaldrake?” you ask, “the former VC of QUT, co-author of three major books on HE policy in Australia, and now Chief Commissioner of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.” That’s the one.

You can still Zoom-in, here.

Blended learning when the chemistry’s not right

In 2019 a big, research-intensive university rolled out 16 management-driven large enrolment blended-learning courses

Jasmine Huang, Kelly Matthews and Jason Lodge (all Uni Queensland) asked focus-groups of academics and ed designers how it went

What this was about

Writing in the journal, Higher Education Research and Development they report the university planned to produce 50 more blended courses over two years, leveraging digital technologies, “to enable complementary learning activities off-line and on-campus.”

“The aim was to deliver exceptional educational value to students, including increased flexibility, better student outcomes, self-directed learning, and more interaction online and on-campus between both staff and students.”

The outcomes were

The researchers identified core issues for academics and learning-designers involved

* they were motivated by care for students but felt a lack of agency from not designing and implementing the courses

* they questioned the effectiveness of the management-created courses for “better student learning”

* academics felt disempowered by the process and were concerned that the university’s expectations for the courses, “were too structured and did not represent the way academics designed and implemented their courses.”

* however, there was a mixed response to whether the courses worked for students and were worth all the effort by staff involved – some thought not, others saw potential

* but staff felt ignored, that management was interested in what students thought, not in the efforts and ideas of teachers

“We heard academic voices echoing a similar sentiment as they aspired to be good teachers in a programme that they felt was undermining good teaching. What counted in the blending and UniBL model was timelines, deadlines, and technologies but not them as teachers concerned with, and caring for, students and their disciplinary learning,” the authors report.

when the chemistry’s not right 

Staff involved, “perceived institutional drivers for blending to be misaligned towards indiscriminately translating all courses, necessary or not, to an online format akin to a polished massive open online course product” the authors report.

Preserving records, extending study, of Indigenous History

The Paul Ramsay Foundation gifts $2m to Victoria U to support the work of its Aboriginal History Archive  

The Archive is based in the university’s Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit. Much of its content has been gathered over 50 years by VU historian Gary Foley, his colleagues and supporters.

The new funding will be used to digitise content and for scholarships, “for students and academics … to visit it in the future.”

CQU pitch to staff: fewer holidays and no pay rise

Enterprise bargaining is just underway at CQU, with the vice chancellor making his case direct to staff

In a video message to staff, Nick Klomp repeats the university’s three core proposals.

* a five-day reduction in leave, “still more generous than the vast majority of universities.”

* a two-year agreement, instead of the three years plus, common across the sector

* no pay-rise in the two years. “I want to share the successes of the university but we can only do that if we are stable and get through the next couple of years. … In 2023, we will be in a much stronger position to be really generous with our staff.”

Professor Klomp contrasts what he says CQU needs with the National Tertiary Education Union’s log of claims, which he suggests are drawn-up to apply nationally, and will not work at CQU. “We are not the University of Sydney, we have been effected more than most universities by the closure of international borders.”

“Being swept up in a national agenda and debate and national politics – that is not appropriate for us.”

And he asks campus unions for a quick negotiation, saying enterprise bargaining “can be really divisive.”

Perhaps to encourage them he also urges all CQU staff to be involved, saying agreements are for all staff, not just union members.

If campus unions don’t sign-up this will be a hard-sell. The majority of staff at universities are not union members but they tend to take the comrades’ advice on pay and conditions. The last time CMM remembers university staff voting for an enterprise agreement opposed by the NTEU was at Charles Sturt U in 2013 , when VC Andrew Vann (CMM September 10, September 22 2013) won the backing of the other campus union.

Appointments, achievements

Of the day

 OA expert Danny Kingsley joins Flinders U as associate librarian for content and digital library strategy

 Leading business figure” Sandra McPhee is appointed chancellor of Southern Cross U, replacing Nick Burton Taylor.

Of the week

 Joe Berry (Uni Melbourne) wins the Barry Inglis Medal from the National Measurement Institute.

 Steven Chown (Monash U) is a 2021 Australian Academy of Science Fellow. Last week the French government awarded him a medal for his work on the Antarctic environment. In April, he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

 Kerri-Lee Krause, provost of Avondale University College joins the board of Independent Higher Education Australia.

David Lloyd (Uni SA VC) is a new deputy chair of Universities Australia, joining Margaret Sheil (QUT VC) in the two roles. John Dewar (La Trobe U VC is previously announced as in-coming chair.)

Douglas Proctor joins Swinburne U as PVC Global Engagement. He moves from University College, Dublin.

Ken Sloan (Monash U DVC) will become VC of Harper Adams University (ag and animal sciences) in the UK.

Nicolas H. Völcker (Monash U) wins the AvH Stiftung Research Award from the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research.

Uni Melbourne cancer researcher Andrew Wilks receives the 2021 Lackmann Award for translational research.

The Australian Academy of Science 2021 Fellows are here.

More tons of Australian unis in the Shanghai rankings top 100s

The rankings were announced very quietly late Wednesday. CMM reported natural sciences and engineering yesterday. The other disciplines are below, with 2020 scores (in brackets)

Have a look at the spectacular result in nursing.

Life sciences

 Biological sciences: UWA 34 (34) Uni Melbourne 51-75 (49) Uni Queensland 51-75 (51-7) Monash U 76-100 (76=100) Uni Sydney 76-100 (76-100)

Human biological sciences: Uni Melbourne 30 (27) UWA 38 (33) Monash U 51-75 (51-75) Uni Queensland 51-75 (51-75) Uni Sydney 76-100 (76-100)

Agriculture sciences: UWA 16 (17) Uni Queensland 22 (21) Uni Melbourne 32 (30) Uni Adelaide 42 (37) Uni Sydney 44 (39) ANU 51-75 (51-75) Uni Tas 51-75 (47) Western Sydney U 51-75 (51-75)

Veterinary sciences:  Uni Sydney 15 (17) Uni Melbourne 21 (26) Uni Queensland 43 (46) Murdoch U 47 (51-75) Uni Adelaide 76-100 (76-100) Uni New England 76-100 (76-100)

 Medical sciences

Clinical medicine: Uni Melbourne 14 (13) Uni Sydney 27 (27) UWA 30 (29) Monash U 51-75 (51-75) UNSW 51-75 (76-100) Uni Adelaide 76-100 (-) Uni Queensland 76-100 (76-100)

Public health: Uni Melbourne 16 (17) Uni Queensland 24 (27) Uni Sydney 34 (35) Monash U 37 (46) UNSW 43 (51-75) UWA 51-75 (51-75) ANU 76-100 (76-100)

Dentistry and oral sciences: Uni Adelaide 44 (45) Griffith U 51-75 (-) Uni Melbourne 76-100 (-) Uni Queensland 76-100 (-)

Nursing: Griffith U two (two) Uni Queensland five (four) Monash U six (19) Uni Sydney ten (12) UTS 11 (nine) QUT 13 (17) Australian Catholic U 18 (18) Uni Newcastle 26 (51-75) Deakin U =30 () Flinders U =30 (51-75) Uni Melbourne 49 (42) Curtin U 51-75 (45) La Trobe U 51-75 (76-100) Uni Adelaide 51-75 (76-100) Western Sydney U 51-75 (-) Edith Cowan U 76-100 (76-100) UNSW 76-100 (76-100)

Medical tech: Uni Melbourne 51-75 (76-100) Uni Queensland 76-100 (76-100) Uni Sydney 76-100 (51-75)

Pharmacy and pharma science: Monash U 18 (11) Uni Queensland 38 (26) Uni Sydney 50 (51-75) Uni Melbourne 51-75 (41)

Social sciences

Economics: Monash U 51-75 (51-75) Uni Melbourne 51-75 (51-75) Uni Sydney 51-75 (51-75) UNSW 76-100 (76-100)

Statistics: Uni Melbourne 45 (35) ANU 51-75 (51-75) UTS 51-75 (51-75) Monash U 76-100 (51-75) UNSW 76-100 (76-100)

Law: Griffith U 51-75 (51-75) Monash U 76-100 (-)

Political science: ANU 51-75 (76-100) Uni Queensland 76-100 (76-100)

Sociology: Uni Melbourne 48 (51-75) Uni Queensland 51-75 (51-75)

Education: Monash U 35 (32) Uni Sydney 43 (40) Australian Catholic U 46 (51-75) Deakin U 51-75 (51-75) Griffith U 51-75 (76-100) Uni Melbourne 51-75 (51-75) Uni Queensland 51-75 (51-75) QUT 76-100 (51-75) UNSW 76-100 (76-100)

Communication:  Monash U 51-75 (76-100) QUT 51-75 (51-75) Uni Melbourne 51-75 (76-100) Uni Sydney 51-75 (51-75) UNSW 76-100 (76-100)

Psychology:  UNSW 27 (34) Uni Melbourne 38 (51-75) Uni Queensland 48 (50) UWA 51-75 (51-75) Macquarie U 76-100 (76-100)

Business administration: Monash U 51-75 (51-75) Uni Melbourne 51-75 (51-75) Uni Sydney 51-75 (51-75)

Finance: UNSW 21 (24) Uni Melbourne 36 (44) Monash U 51-75 (76-100) Uni Sydney 51-75 (76-100) UTS 76-100 (-)

Management: UNSW 51-75 (51-75) Uni Melbourne 76-100 (76-100) Uni Queensland 76-100 (51-75) Uni Sydney 76-100 (76-100)

Public administration: ANU 36 (51-75) Uni Melbourne 39 (42) Uni Queensland 76-100 (51-75) Uni Sydney 76-100 (-)

Hospitality and tourism management: Griffith U five (three) Uni Queensland nine (eight) Curtin U 42 (43) Uni SA 43 (34) Edith Cowan U 51-75 (51-75) UNSW 51-75 (35) Deakin U 76-100 (-) James Cook U 76-100 (-) Monash U 76-100 (50) QUT 76-100 (51-75) UTS 76-100 (76-100)

Library and information science: UNSW 11 (12) Uni Sydney 51-75 (49) Uni Melbourne 76-100 (51-75) Uni Queensland 76-100 (-)