With a new digital interview training tool Deakin delivers resources for job-seeking students

Another acting dean at the Macquarie graduate management school

Executive and unions dig in over enterprise bargaining at WSU, with a bigger dispute on the way

Multi-confusing EU Multirank


and Heads Up: the week’s winners at work


Ain’t no sunshine when she is gone

The University of the Sunshine Coast was closed yesterday due to the exTC Debbie downpour, as were all the other unis in and around Brisbane– but the MIT bootcampers (CMM yesterday) at QUT pressed on, moving to a hotel when the campus shut-down. The Massachusetts team call the build-a-business-in-a-week experience “drinking from the fire hose” – a literal description yesterday

Bigger argument on the way

Enterprise bargaining is like a pavane of pachyderms, a slow discussion of ponderous topics, but as negotiations for a new staff agreement at Western Sydney University get going there is another elephant in the room – the administration restructure expected in June.

For the moment management and the campus branches of the National Tertiary Education Union and the Community and Public Sector Union are arguing about the same thing other universities are –  a push for simplified agreements from the executive and the union’s insistence on continuing codification of staff rights in great detail.

“Time and again over the last two meetings management have described the activity of removing entitlements from the agreements as being a matter of ‘simplification’ “the NTEU tells members.

“In the NTEU’s view this is a misuse of the term which fails to inform staff properly of the significance of the proposed deletions. Both unions have demonstrated our commitment to simplicity of language and plain English, and the NTEU is committed to producing clear, succinct and effective wording. However, we will not be swayed by reference to ‘simplification’ into deleting key words and sub-clauses which embed current entitlements. … We will continue to insist on the importance of the agreements as legal instruments, and on the maintenance of all existing rights and conditions.”

This will take some, well actually a whole lot, of time, but some staff are more worried about the downgrading of jobs in the restructure. While there are rumours of hundreds of jobs to go across the administration wise WSU watchers warn the risk for staff is less being forced out of the university altogether than having their jobs abolished and then having to apply for new ones at lower paygrades. This is happening at the University of Queensland, where all Higher Education Work level five jobs in Finance are being abolished, to be replaced with lower paid positions at level four (CMM March 23).

Painful peddle

Neuroscientist Lorimer Mosely (UniSA) and pain research pals are about to ride their bikes from Melbourne to Adelaide, explaining their work to people along the way. That’s push bikes, as in no engines – they will certainly have the cred to talk about pain.

Deakin screen-tests

Deakin U is offering students video training for job interviews. It’s another product from the university’s employment prep Talent suite.

Universities that listen when Simon Birmingham says the government is interested in graduate employment outcomes are teaching employment skills and investing in placement programmes. Griffith, Macquarie, Swinburne and the University of Queensland are all working to demonstrate their degrees deliver job dividends but Deakin is especially focused. “Graduate employability is the defining challenge for universities in Australia and across the world,” says PVC Graduate Employment Dineli Mather (CMM March 3 2016).

The new product allows students to practise interview techniques via video, which Deakin says isincreasingly favoured by employers.”  The interview includes behavioural and competency questions, which challenges students to explain how their skills are relevant. The programme is provided in conjunction with video tech provider Montage Talent.

Plus ça change

The National Health and Medical Research Council reports a council resolution from 1937; “encouraging young medical graduates to take up medical research as a career, and securing definite and assured continuity and permanence to the research system now being inaugurated.”  It’s still resolving, although young medical researchers will tell you it is yet to manage  ”continuing and permanence” for research careers.

Wolnizer to act at MGSM

The Macquarie Graduate Management School (which is now part of Macquarie U‘s business and economics faculty) has replaced an acting dean with, another acting dean. Last night newish faculty big-deal-dean Stephen Brammer told staff that Professor Norma Harrison was being replaced by Peter Wolnizer, who “is well placed to provide expert guidance and counsel ensuring MGSM’s continued success.” Having been dean of business at Deakin U for seven years and at the University of Sydney for a decade the MGSM will surely not stretch Professor Wolnizer.

App of the day

When they’re three deep at the bar you can avoid the crush with a new app that lets you pick and pay for drinks via phone. Bond U student Gabriel Simard and graduate Maurice Sevecke have created Venu, which is now used in Gold Coast bars, taking orders and telling patrons when their drinks are ready. For 5 per cent of the purchase price it looks a quick way for drinkers to collect a round and owners to reduce bar staff. But won’t Venu keep serving people human bar staff would refuse because they are too drunk? The response that “bartenders retain the right to refuse to serve any patrons,” misses the point. In a crowded bar how will they notice?

Walk in the Parc

La Trobe U is in partnership with Xerox technology innovation company, (think computer vision, robotics and security) Parc. The pair will collaborate on research on areas of strategic strength for La Trobe and Parc people will work with students who aspire to be entrepreneurs via the university’s Accelerator Programme.


The European Commission seed-funded U-Multirank was released last night, “showcasing 1,500 universities and shining a spotlight on high-performing universities that would otherwise go unnoticed.” As will U-Mr, which as a learned reader points out, is not even a ranking in the sense of a list of universities by attributes – research, employer opinion, whatever – from so-called best to alleged worst. Instead, U-Mr it allows people to compare universities that interest them on teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, internationalisation and regional engagement. It’s a very EU product, cumbersome, complex and as user-friendly as Centrelink’s system. While 28 Australian and five New Zealand universities participate, it provides comparisons that are too complex for prospective students, who have QILT.

Heads up

winners of the week at work

Catherine Bishop is the winner of the Ashurst Business Literature Prize for 2016. The University of Sydney historian won for Minding Her Own Business: colonial business women in Sydney.

 Ana Deletic is the University of New South Wales’ incoming PVC R, replacing Emma Johnston who takes over as dean of science in May. Professor Deletic has a PhD in civil engineering from the University of Aberdeen and moves from Monash U, where she now leads the infrastructure consulting service. She commences at UNSW in July.

Craig Robertson will become the new CEO of TAFE Directors Australia early next month, replacing Martin Riordan who will stand down after 12 years at TDA. Mr Robertson is a former senior federal VET official and most recently a deputy secretary for higher education and skills in the Victorian DET.

Paul Giacomin has won the Queensland Government’s inaugural Emerging Science Leader award. The Cairns-based James Cook U immunologist works on coeliac disease.

As part of its push for “genuine reforms that add value” the Australian Council for Private Education and Training is expanding its board, with five new appointments; Andrew Shea, Builders Academy Australia, Kathryn Stenson, Group Training Northern Territory, Jo Mithen, Monash College Christopher Campbell, Group Managing Director, Academies Australasia, and Wilhelm Harnisch, former CEO of Master Builders Australia.

Imogen Crump is the new editor of the University of Melbourne’s Pursuit website, part of the suite created for the university’s research branding strategyMs Crump joins UniMelb from the ABC, where she was an executive producer with ABC Asia Pacific News. She replaces Phil Gardiner who moves to associate directormedia and publishing with the university.

The Victorian Government has appointed tax lawyer Mark Leibler to the University of Melbourne councilMr Leibler was made an honorary doctor of laws by the university in 2014.After a decade of duty straight-shooter David Scott is leaving the University of Melbourne where he managed media for top managementMr Scott is moving to digital comms service provider Envato.