Coal welcome at JCU

James Cook U announces the winner of a $30 000 scholarship from the QCoal Foundation. The coal industry has supported JCU students since 2015 and times have not changed.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Rachael Hains-Wesson (Uni Sydney) and Nira Rahman (Uni Melbourne) on the vital role and too oft undervalued achievements of third space educationists HERE

plus in the week of International Women’s Day Dawn Gilmore (RMIT) sets out issues and options for university women. Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s new selection, HERE

and Paul Harris from the Innovative Research Universities makes the case for another impact and engagement exercise HERE

Speaking up on speaking out on The Voice

Shadow Education Minister Sarah Henderson in the Senate yesterday

“It is of concern that a number of universities, including the University of Melbourne, have adopted a position on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament which could potentially undermine academic freedom. It’s absolutely fundamental that academic freedom is preserved at all costs. It protects the rights of academics to engage in free, robust speech.”

University of Melbourne announcement, Tuesday

“All members of our community are entitled to engage in robust, evidence-based and respectful expression of their views and the University provides a safe place for expressing differing opinions. The University will continue to contribute to the referendum process by actively facilitating informed public debate. Not everyone will vote ‘yes’ and we fully respect that.

Notwithstanding this, the Council and the Executive of the University of Melbourne affirm their support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the ‘yes’ position in the referendum, and look forward to the parliamentary process that would follow such an outcome.”

Deakin U’s dividend on a 30 year investment in India

It will open the first campus of an overseas university

The open secret (CMM March 1) is scheduled to be announced by Prime Minister Albanese lin Ahmedabad. The campus will be in the “smart business district” Gujarat International Finance Tec-City.

This is a big win indeed for Deakin U, the result of 30 plus years of networking and negotiating, starting long before what was a very hard market for education exporters became accessible, thanks to the Aus-India trade agreement and a bunch of work before.

The university reports it will initially offer masters in cyber security and business with more postgrad degrees to follow in the faculties of Science, Engineering and Built Environment and Business and Law. Course standards are those of DU in Australia and align with regulator TEQSA’s requirements.

The university did not respond yesterday to questions on course costs and academic staffing at the GIFT campus.

Blue sky achievements for discovery researchers

The bipartisan research commercialisation package has passed the parliament

The coalition started work on Australia’s Economic Accelerator and the government has completed it.

The scheme variously provides $500 000 for proof of concept to $5m for proof of scale for research projects.

“Australia ranks in the top ten countries when it comes to basic research, but on the Global Innovation Index we rank 37th for knowledge and technology output,” an announcement from Education Minister Jason Clare states.

Who knew discovery research was such a world-leader? CMM asked where the strong research stats came from and Mr Clare’s office advises, the OECD Main Science and Technology Indicators for 2016 HERE and for 2020 HERE.

Group of Eight’s Accord message: it’s here to help  

What the HE community wants the Accord to address is pretty clear (CMM Tuesday) but the Group of Eight is keen to explain  what it can do for the country

The research university lobby has a series of papers in the works.

The first is out this morning, suggesting, “it is timely to step back and reflect on just what the role of the university is – in particular the role of the nation’s globally competitive research-intensive universities, namely the Go8.”

* innovation as the key to national productivity: “knowledge and human capital creation and dissemination are precisely what universities exist to deliver”

* “when combined with people with skills (knowledge) is the basis for increasing returns to scale”

* human capital: “the more successful Australian universities are at teaching students, the greater the greater the stock of human capital … to advance ideas and knowledge into innovative and productive change”

* critical thinking: skills taught at universities lead to more innovative people who are more productive and civic minded

And the Eight being the Eight the paper has examples of what a splendid job it is doing.


Union lets VCs know what it really, really thinks

Last week scenarios for university managements to deal with the new industrial relations regime turned up in The Australian – the union was cross – now it’s crosser

Consultant proposals to the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association (which represents nearly all public sector universities) included advice for members that want to maintain individual enterprise agreements and those that want to take advantage of the coming multi-employer agreement provisions – CMM wagers there are way more of the former than latter.

According to the National Tertiary Education Union the advice was intended to help managements that want to present pay offers to staff which the union opposes. “This advice … is at odds with the needs of university staff and if continued, will result in further pay cuts and a reduction in conditions for staff in many universities, the NTEU asserted.

And now the union has escalated its ire.

General Secretary Damien Cahill has written to the VCs of AHEIA members, claiming the association,” aims to diminish worker rights and seeking commitments that they “will continue to negotiate in good faith with (the) NTEU and its members.”

Dr Cahill gives VCs seven days to so commit in writing, without which, “we will assume that you support AHEIA’s advice and will act accordingly.”