A right royal time at Fed U

The Prince of Wales leaves Australia today, but not to worry his replacement is already on the ground. The Earl of Essex is taking over as royal Commonwealth Games watcher, but got in a visit to Federation U yesterday, which showed him plans “for a refurbished sports science facility.” If there is even an athletic event for looking interested the Windsors will medal every time.

Two-thirds of uni workers do not have secure jobs union warns

Just one in three university workers is in secure employment, with two-thirds either employed as casuals or for fixed terms. And these figures do not cover people working for organisations supplying services to universities, ranging from cleaning to teaching.

The figures come from four years of university reports to the Workplace Gender  Equality Agency and examined by the National Tertiary Education Union.

The union analysis reveals the University of Wollongong has the largest proportion of casual work on staff (64 per cent), followed by Edith Cowan U (63 per cent) and UTS (61 per cent).  Universities which rely on casuals the least are ANU (24 per cent), UniSydney (23 per cent) and the University of Adelaide (11 per cent). However the union suggests the UniAdelaide figure may be due to classifying staff as casuals when they could be considered contract employees.

WGEA reports also reveal an increasing number of women working in higher education, growing from 57.7 per cent in 2013-14, to 58.3 per cent in 2016-17. While the overall proportion of women in permanent employment is  the same, woman are underrepresented in management (46.8per cent) and professional posts (55 per cent) while making up a big majority in clerical and administrative jobs, (69.8 per cent).  (WEGA uses “professional” more broadly than the common education practice of using it to distinguish general from academic workers).

“While your gender might not be important in determining whether you are employed as a casual, contractual or ongoing basis, it does appear to be important in terms of type of job because the lowest proportion of female employees were in managerial positions,” the union argues.

Don’t hold the phone

Edith Cowan U research finds 79 per cent of  young WA drivers surveyed know using their mobile while driving is illegal but do it anyway. Researcher Sokunthea Kruy, suggests this “may be due to low experiences of accidents and the belief they are unlikely to get caught.” CMM is sure nobody did the survey in the car on a phone app.

ATEM awards

The Association for Tertiary Education Management annual best practise awards (CMM yesterday) are open. Entry details here.

UNE asks Human Rights Commission to review protections against sexual assault and harassment

The University of New England has commissioned the Australian Human Rights Commission to review processes dealing with sexual assault and harrassment in its residential colleges. The university says it is acting on a commitment made in its response to last year’s AHRC report on sexual assault and harrasment across the nation’s universities. Back then VC Annabelle Duncan said, “Sexual harassment and assault are occurring at UNE at higher rates than we understood. These findings are shocking. This sort of behaviour is abhorrent and unacceptable.” The AHRC will hold “an initial consultation,” with UNE residential college students within the month.

Opportunities under wraps

The feds have funded a report and toolkit on export opportunities for consortias of SMEs in education and training. “The report outlines the challenges and opportunities in forming a consortium while the toolkit, a live document to be constantly updated, provides the key stages of working in consortia.” It sounds useful and well it might be – problem is only subscribers to Austrade’s export education website can access it.

Anderson to leave JCU Singapore

After 12 years-service, Dale Anderson is step down as James Cook U’s DVC Singapore. VC Sandra Harding thanked him Friday for his “prodigious efforts,” including expanding enrolments ten-fold, to 4000, developing a new campus with “room to grow” and James Cook Singapore becoming the only Australian institution given university status by the Singapore Government.  Dr Anderson will leave at year-end.

Why the VET students who finish, finish

Adrian Ong and Michelle Circelli analysed the completion rates for VET students starting in 2011 and 12 for the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education and Training.

They notably found:

42 per cent of TAFE students complete, compared to 32 per cent of those at universities. But other training providers, 44 per cent,  marginally outperfom the state government systems

Employment matters. Some 51 per cent of apprentices and trainees complete their course, compared to 30 per cent for other students. Students with full-time jobs complete at a greater rate, 44 per cent, than those who are unemployed and looking for full-time work, 38 per cent.

The higher the qualification, the better the completion rate, 44 per cent for diploma and above, compared to 31 per cent for certificate one.

Relaxed about casuals

The Schrole Group is pitching its teacher recruitment software to investors. The company has apps for schools (hospitals coming) to log a relief-staff shift with qualified workers.  “50 per cent of urgent jobs filled in five minutes,” Schrole states.

There is also an “advanced school/candidate matching algorithm” in development with Edith Cowan University.” CMM does not know if ECU is practising on connecting with its own casuals.