Lost in (cyber)space

Employment, skills and etc minister Stuart Robert says the government is undertaking a digital-skills pilot for designing digital qualifications and training

It’s being run by the publicly funded Digital Skills Organisation and in-part “will provide a picture” of what specialist skills are needed.

Good-o, perhaps they could give the jedi at the National Skills Commission the information for its in-development database (CMM March 22, July 20).

But maybe not yet. CMM took up Mr Robert’s suggestion to learn more. But alas, yesterday morning the link went nowhere. It still did last night.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

 Liz Johnson (Deakin U) on six learning activities which belong on-line. This week’s contribution to commission editor Sally Kift’s series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

James Guthrie (Macquarie) took a deep dive into the UWA annual report. Here’s what he found.

A price for more of the same at Uni Queensland

Management wants staff to wait for a new deal – union members ask what is in it for them

With enterprise bargaining beginning at Uni Queensland management is proposing a 12-month moratorium on negotiating a new deal, “provide staff with greater stability at a time of uncertainty,”(CMM July 21).

But the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union thinks there is nothing uncertain about the university’s finances. It had a look at the numbers in the recent annual report and suggests, the university, “is in robust financial health.”

Members appear to agree the university is not doing it tough. A rank and file meeting yesterday decided that the university should provide job security measures as a basis for negotiations on leaving enterprise bargaining until mid ’22.

Curriculum review adds-up for peak tech lobby

Science and Technology Australia likes a lot in the national school curriculum review

A review of the national curriculum is an opportune moment to  ensure Australian students are getting a world-class education that makes them competitive in a global marketplace. Many of the proposed changes seek to do exactly that, the peak body states in its submission to the Australian Curriculum Review Consultation.

In particular STA supports addition of,

* content to expand understanding of climate systems

* “further material on the nature of science”

* new content on intercultural science. “Strong diversity in teams and organisations is linked to innovation, productivity and excellence”

* the proposed updated content of resources on science and maths in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, “knowledge, practices and cultures

However it is careful to qualify support for proposed revisions to the first ten years of school maths. STA “acknowledges” the intention in the review to “ensure the mathematics curriculum not only teaches core foundational maths skills and knowledge – but also enhances students problem-solving skills.” However it adds that STA member, the Australian Mathematical Skills Institute “has articulated some concerns” with “the proposed removal of sme core mathematical concepts.”

So, STA suggests the curriculum review meet with AMSI “to further refine” the proposed maths changes.

Neatly done.

Fearless Flinders U

 “What would you do if you were fearless?” Flinders U asks in new student recruitment campaign

There’s no audio (other than wind) in a cross-platform 30 second spot, which features a young woman who walks across a blasted-heath to stand in front of what is said to be a prism, but looks like a yellow monolith. There’s a second, in a sunnier, sea-side setting but with the same monolo…, sorry prism .

There are 60 second spots that extend the idea, with young people talking about their aspirations. Plus, there’s a corporate clip of what Flinders U is about, “we don’t survive in challenging times, we thrive in them. We are fearless, we are Flinders.The campaign package is here.

A few years back the University of Southern Queensland had a courage concept for a mid-year student recruitment campaign,“unleash your fearless,” (CMM May 13 2016)but it appears USQ’s budget did not run to a prism.

Flattened out at UTS

Enterprise bargaining is underway, there is a bunch to discuss

For a start the National Tertiary Education Union wants one agreement covering academic and professional staff, while the Community and Public Sector Union likes two, as per 2018.

However, the unions are as one in key elements of their separate logs of claims – they both want protections from more management savings.

As a National Tertiary Education Union message to staff puts it, “2020 was all about ‘flattening the curve’ UTS has relied for years on international students and keeping thousands of staff in insecure jobs and now we are seeing a flattening of job security, flattening of chances of managing workloads and a flattening of the student experience.”

University managementwill brief the next bargaining meeting on finances

Appointments, achievements

Of the day

 At Uni Melbourne, Mei Dong (Economics) wins the Edward Brown award teaching. The award is for staff in architecture, engineering, economics, commerce and business.

The Young Tall Poppy Awards (for Queensland scientists) are out – QUT space scientist David Flannery, is top YTP. Others honoured include Lauren Ball, (primary health care, Griffith U), Fabio Costa (quantum physics Uni Queensland), Laura Diamond (biomedical engineering, Griffith U), Yaqoot Fatima (sleep health, James Cook U), Adam Frew (ecology, Uni Southern Queensland), Aideen McInerney-Leo (genetic counselling, Uni Queensland), Hayley Letson (heart, trauma, sepsis, James Cook U), Divya Mehta (genetics, QUT),Amanda Rebar (health behaviours, CQU) Adam Taylor (immunology, Griffith U), Soniyah Yamben (QUT)

Uni Queensland staffers were quick to advise that Jessica von Pein (Uni Queensland, Institute of Molecular Bioscience) did not win UofQ’s Three Minute Thesis competition (CMM yesterday). She won a heat.

Of the week

 Australian Catholic U announces Queensland judge Martin Daubney will become chancellor in January. Melbourne lawyer Virginia Bourke will become pro-chancellor in July next year.

The Australian Council for Education Leaders in NSW 2021 awards include* Paul Brock Award (for a significant contribution to education): Patrick Duignan, (ACU), Pasi Sahlberg (UNSW) * Research Award: Rachel Wilson (Uni Sydney) * Scott Eacott (UNSW).

Kingsley Dixon (Curtin U) is the new chair of the board of the Society for Ecological Restoration.

 Thom van Dooren (Uni Sydney) wins the Ludwig Fleck Prize for a book on science and technology studies for The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds (Columbia UP).

Andrew Fraser becomes deputy chancellor of Griffith U. “Many Queenslanders know him from various roles in state government,” GU tweets, without mentioning the roles included treasurer and deputy premier in state Labor governments.

Gail Garvey joins Uni Queensland as professor of Indigenous Health Research. She moves from the Menzies School of Health Research.

Kathomi Gatwiri (Southern Cross U) is in-coming president of the Australian Women and Gender Studies Association.

The Genetics Society of AustralAsia 2021 awards were in CMM, Tuesday.

Griffith U’s (numerous) teaching awards were in CMM yesterday.

The International Gynecologic Cancer Society includes Australian based researchers in its new honours. * Lifetime achievement: Michael Quinn (retired) * Teaching: Andreas Obermair (Uni Queensland).

Leslie Loble will join UTS as an Industry Professor with a brief to research EdTech. Professor Loble is a former NSW education official. She was a member of the panel that recently reviewed the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Uni Melbourne appoints Anne Orford a laureate professor. Not to be confused with her appointment as Australian Research Council Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Professor (2015-16).

 Laura Rademaker (ANU) wins the Northern Territory Chief Minister’s history award as co-author of The Bible in Buffalo Country (ANU Press)

Edward Palmisano joins the United States Studies Centre at Uni Sydney as COO. He was last at the university in 2014-15 as director of government relations.

The Picchi Awards for cancer research were in CMM, Tuesday.

The Queensland Government’s 2021 women in STEM awards were in CMM Monday.

Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow will join UTS in September, as Industry Professor-Responsible Technology. He will lead a UTS initiative on AI.

Mark Scott starts as Uni Sydney VC this week. He moves from department secretary at the NSW Department of Education.