Tempus fugit

“Did you know that dinosaurs had shorter days than us?” Monash U promotes research, via Twitter. Presumably Dino and Dorothy thought daylight saving would fade the curtains.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Shelley Kinash (Uni Southern Queensland) on  why we need less lecturing-at-students. It is a new essay in Contributing Editor Sally Kift’s series on what we need now in learning and teaching.

Plus, Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on how good research departments benefit by teaching. And Sean Brawley explains how Macquarie U transformed its curriculum.

On Friday look out for Merlin Crossley’s new essay, on why we still need the PhD.

Charles Darwin U announces more health courses at home

Locals arced up last year over allegations CDU was cutting its commitment to the Northern Territory, with less local teaching of nursing and midwifery courses

But now CDU announces 30 new courses, including allied health and nine new PG nursing and midwifery programmes. “Currently, we fly in a lot of interstate health professionals to work in our local health workforce. We want to change that by developing our health workforce in the Territory,” says assistant dean of the College of Health, Sufyan Akram.

Regulatory spruce-up

Training regulator ASQA announces it has a new website, “with a clean, colourful and easy-to-read design”

There is also, “content that is simpler to find and easier to use.” This will not be hard – the previous site’s search function had the accessibility of an Indian railway timetable translated into Aramaic.

Overall, this looks like an application of O’Reilly’s Law. Yes that O’Reilly the bodgy builder in  Fawlty Towers who thought “a lick of paint” fixed everything.

Deal nearly done at Uni Notre Dame Australia

For years the only news on enterprise bargaining at the University of Notre Dame Australia was that there was no news

But while movement is at techtonic-plate pace it seems things are happening.

The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union tells members that management has agreed to 2 per cent pay rises this year and next, (administrative rises of 1.5 per cent are already paid, covering the time since the old agreement expired).

However, superannuation for “non-casual” staff will increase marginally, to 13.25 per cent next year, 3.75 per cent less than paid at public universities, (UNDA is a private provider).

Management also appears to be lining-up behind the federal government’s proposed new legislative protection for staff commenting on, “the higher education provider in which they work,” (CMM January 22). The union states, management have also agreed that allegations of misconduct will not be pursued where an Academic staff member is found to have been validly exercising their right to academic freedom.”

UNDA did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.


The data is out there

The Group of Eight, with other elite research uni alliances, calls for open access to data underpinning published research, (CMM yesterday)

And lo, research publisher Springer Nature has just agreed to something. The journal giant has agreed on OA access for European Commission funded OpenAire to search book chapters and journal articles. It will use text and data mining algorithms to find datasets for access and re-use.

Maybe more on MRFF

Despite $20bn (final payment in the next budget) capital not all in the industry are fans of the Medical Research Future Fund

Since its creation there have been suggestions that how it hands out some of the cash could be clearer.

Maybe this will happen now that the MRFF has its own newsletter, the first issue is expected today or tomorrow. “Handy funding news! … It will provide the latest news & information about the MRFF, including open grant opportunities,” the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes tweets.

Or maybe not. The MRFF publishes good-news announcements on funding opportunities and grants on its website and may just email them as well.

What’s in and what’s out in student preferences

Deakin U announces shows how school-leaver discipline preferences have changed

This year’s top ten is science heavy, with nursing, biomedical science and exercise-sports science being the top three.

Plain old science is fifth, criminology/psychological science is seventh with health science and psych science the last two of the top ten.

Commerce is down from second spot in 2010 and 2015, and while arts stays strong (first in 2010, fourth in 2105 and this year) law, which just made the last two lists is out altogether.

But the bad news is for education. Primary teaching was third in 2010 and ’15 – it’s nowhere now.

Yes, it is only one year at one university but it is a sign in the skies supporting Greg Craven’s (ACU VC) warning that the unpopularity of primary teaching degrees is such that down the track governments will have to import teachers (CMM, October 28).

Handy in a crisis

For-profit journal giant Elsevier has an on-line resource science resource on the coronavirus

There is a bunch of stuff, including articles from its research journals – and it is all open-access.

It rather demonstrates the publisher’s vast science resources, generally created by publicly-funded research but generally only available pay to read or pay to publish in Elsevier outlets.

 Appointment, achievement

Sam Manger joins University of the Sunshine Coast’s Thompson Institute, which studies mind and neuroscience. Dr Manger hosts The GP Show podcast.

 Mariyam Shakeela is named a 2020 influential leader by the US-based biz degree accreditation agency, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Dr Shakeela in CEO of Maldives based retail distributor, SIMDI. She has a PhD from Curtin U.