But some of us are looking at the planet

“Why are scientists looking at the Great Barrier Reef from space?”  Uni Sydney tweets a yarn, yesterday. No, it’s not because Netflix is down.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Open Access week starts Monday with climate research the theme. Ginny Barbour, Fiona Bradley and Clare Thorpe make the case for, “openly sharing research findings in order to drive rapid responses and solutions to the climate crisis,” HERE.

with Maree Meredith (Poche SA+NT) on why universities need more Indigenous leaders HERE.

and Lynne Hunt (Uni Southern Queensland) and Denise Chalmers (UWA) on the loss of learning resources for uni teachers. This week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed now in learning and teaching.

Get ready Australia

As the nation debates the merits of a Voice to Parliament, a new conference asks whether the sector is ready for First Nations voices in HE

Are you ready Australia?, an on-line conference. 10-11 November, is by organised by Poche SA+NT in partnership with Twig Marketing, to provide an opportunity for all staff to engage in fresh perspectives into the role and relevance of Australian universities in future.

New and emerging Indigenous leaders will join panels alongside sector leaders, students and community members, promising fresh insights.

Tickets are available at http://indigenoushe.com.au/

Rankings: it depends who you ask, what

Editor and analyst Peter Bentley points out Uni Melbourne rates top in  Australia for teaching on the Times Higher Education ranking but bottom for student experience on the local Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching

THE uses academics’ opinions and four metrics while QILT surveys undergraduates.Australian universities that focus on improving student experience in national evaluations do worse on university world rankings for teaching,” he tweets.

The International Network of Research Management Societies has a new not-a-ranking, More than our Rank

It “provides an opportunity for academic institutions to highlight the many and various ways they serve the world that are not reflected in their ranking position.”

“Every institution in the world is much more than their rank. This initiative is simply an opportunity to publicly say so and explain why.”

It’s straightforward stuff, a statement on an institution’s website with the project logo, does it.

QUT is an early adopter with, a statement that sets out while it does well on rankings, it does way more.

“While QUT is proud of our standings in the various rankings, we recognise that their limitations mean they can never capture the texture of what it means to be a university – and certainly not what it means to be QUT.”

Parly inquiry on what should be best next for international education

Trade Minister Don Farrell commissions a House-Senate committee to  investigate “challenges and opportunities in tourism and international ed since the borders reopened

The trade subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has the task.

Terms of Reference for education include, encouraging students to come here and keeping them happy when they do and “pathways to build their skills and contribute to Australia’s prosperity.”

Plus there’s one that people who want things to be the way there were won’t like, “on-line innovations in education delivery and potential opportunities to strengthen the sector’s resilience.”  But not to worry they can just explain what was wrong with the previous government’s  ten year strategy for international education released in December.

Submissions are due December 12.

Wicking leads for  MOOCs that really rate

On-line education resource Class Central announces the 2022 edition of its global list of best free on-line courses, based on 200 000 user ratings

Uni Tasmania’s Wicking Centre’s Understanding Dementia is sixth and Understanding MS (from Wicking and the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at U Tas) is 10th. Wicking’s Preventing Dementia is 24th.

Monash U is ninth for its Maintaining a Mindful Life, 14th for Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance and 157 for Food as Medicine (all via FutureLearn)

Uni Adelaide’s Shakespeare Matters  (via edX) is 138.

Uni Queensland’s Science of Everyday Thinking (edX) is 150.

Deakin U takes 160th position for Transforming Digital Learning  (FutureLearn).

Uni Sydney wins 194th with Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health (Coursera).

Fair Work Ombudsman spells it out: staff underpayments are “systemic” in universities

“we expect to be taking high-level enforcement action against a number of universities next financial year”

The FWO annual report advises, “we are concerned about the allegations of systemic underpayment in many universities.

“Our current investigations have uncovered a trend of poor governance and management oversight, a lack of centralised human resources functions and inadequate investment in payroll and time-recording systems. “

FWO adds, “casual, insecure employees are commonly impacted by the underpayments” and urges all universities to “prioritise their compliance.”

There is no “or else” but anybody who wants to know what can happen could ask Uni Melbourne, which the Ombudsman is pursuing in the Federal Court (CMM August 12 2022).

Welder woe and what to do about it

There’s a worldwide shortage of them – and Australia must get cracking to stop being 70 000 short by 2020

Jeff Crittenden from Welding Australia is the warner and he proposes four solutions,

* condensing the existing three-year Certificate III welding apprenticeship into one

* basic welding skills sets in all relevant Registered Training Organisations

* promoting trades training in schools

* TAFEs funded for teaching infrastructure

Which raises a question Jobs and Skills Australia might want to explore when it gets going – how many other trades have similar needs

Appointments, achievements

of the day

Scott Kable (UNSW) is a 2022 Fellow of the American Physical Society.

of the week

 The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering 2022 Fellows were in CMM, Wednesday, HERE.

 Mary Collins is appointed head of Uni Sydney’s School of Medical Sciences. She moves from deputy ED (Academic) in the Faculty of Medicine and Health.

 Jeff Dunn (Uni Southern Queensland) is the new president of the Union for International Cancer Control.

Damon Ferris becomes Director, International at Uni Newcastle. It’s an internal appointment.

Andrew Gunstone becomes inaugural Associate DVC Reconciliation at Federation U. He moves from Swinburne U.

Bronwyn Harch is appointed interim Queensland Chief Scientist. She was most recently DVC R at Uni Queensland.

International Education Association of Australia 2022 awards were in CMM yesterday, HERE

James Cook U’s teaching excellence awards were in CMM for Monday (HERE).

As of January, Johanna Macneil moves from dean of the management school at RMIT to academic director of Engagement and Social Impact in the College of Business and Law.

Lee Parker has resigned his RMIT distinguished professor position. He continues a research professor of accounting at Uni Glasgow.

Alyssa White (Uni Sydney) is the next president of the Association of Australian University Secretaries.

Samina Yasmeen (UWA) is appointed to the Council for the Order of Australia.