Only five years more sleeps

The maths community is excited that Sydney will host the International Congress on Mathematics Education, in 2024.

Medical research lobby likes Labor

Another near-endorsement

The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes says it is “delighted” that Labor, “would provide the strong support needed to build a world class health and medical research sector.

AAMRI reports Labor commits to funding the Medical Research Future Fund to reach the coalition’s $20bn capital target on schedule in 2020-21; “future consideration” that the National Health and Medical Research Council grant programme, “remains adequately supported and using the MRFF, “to invest in mid-career researchers and women in STEM.”

“I applaud this strong response to AAMRI’s election statement and I look forward to receiving responses from the other parties,” says president Vlado Perkovic (George Institute).

AAMRI joins university lobbies and individual VCs in applauding Labor policy, notably restoring the demand driven system, without actually advocating votes for the party.

Four Corners focus on Murdoch U

Four Corner’s much-promoted programme on universities accepting international students with inadequate English did not present endemic issues across the system

While  a few universities were mentioned the programme focused on Murdoch U, quoting from documents and featuring academics going to camera with concerns.

Four Corners quoted a Murdoch U statement on its adhering to academic standards but that was it from management there. In contrast, the University of Tasmania, which received little an on-air attention, did not wait for the programme to screen, announcing a review of international admission at  4pm yesterday. Vice Chancellor Rufus Black said the review would “undertake a broad, deep health check of the University’s international admissions processes … We care intrinsically about our international students.”

An internal working group led by Provost Jane Long will oversee admissions until external reviewer Hilary Winchester reports.

The National Tertiary Education Union responded strongly to the programme; “our very strong view is that every student who is enrolled, wherever they come from, must have a genuine opportunity to succeed. If universities enrol students who lack the skills necessary to do so, they have a duty of care to ensure that they provide the resources and support that students need to succeed,” national president Alison Barnes, said last night. “Disturbingly, many of our members are reporting that the increase in students who need assistance, especially international students, means that university staff simply cannot provide that help.”

Parliamentary protest over Flinders U restructure

The record shows what an MP deplores

The academic staff restructure at Flinders U seems settled but opponents argue still and enlist support where they can, including from Frances Bedford, independent member for the state seat of Florey.

Ms Bedford deplored the changes, using academics in women’s studies losing their existing jobs as an example; “it scarcely needs pointing out that interdisciplinary research as well as teaching on gender equality are urgently needed in today’s world,” she told the House of Assembly in Wednesday’s grievance debate.

“The ill-conceived academic restructure risks the quality of research, teaching, and community engagement and exposes Flinders to massive reputational damage,” she added.

It’s on the parliamentary record but the restructure won’t be reversed.

Uni partners say limits on Study Group Australia relationship  

Uni Sydney and Flinders U say what the limits are

Regulator TEQSA has put conditions on Charles Sturt U’s registration and requires it to increase over-sight of its provider-partner Study Group Australia, (CMM yesterday).

But this does not appear to alarm the University of Sydney, which works with SGA.

Uni Sydney was quick to tell CMM that Study Group does not provide coursework for its degrees and the foundation programme it teaches is not for-credit there. What’s more, the foundation programme is, “managed through a board of studies chaired by a University of Sydney representative, while management and compliance is overseen by a joint-venture company.”

The university made a point of adding that TEQSA renewed its registration last month for seven years (CSU got four).

However, SGA partner Flinders U told CMM it was “concerned to learn of TEQSA’s decision … relating to delivery of CSU courses by Study Group Australia.”
SGA operate Flinders’ international study centre on the main campus but does not deliver programmes leading to Flinders U qualifications.

Study Group has today assured the university that the TEQSA decision has no impact on its delivery of programs at FISC. Nevertheless, Flinders is carefully monitoring the situation and considering its position, “ the university added.

The university also wanted it known that last year TEQSA extended its registration from seven to ten years.


And hello ITECA

Troy Williams has a win, with members of his Australian Council for Private Education and Training agreeing to a name change. What was ACPET is now the Independent Tertiary Education Council. CEO Williams has more in mind than a new name – expanding the organisation’s reach, to serve micro-credential providers (CMM April 16).

Victoria U of Wellington to keep its name

But it’s going big with W

Victoria University of Wellington will keep that name after the university council decided not to push on with its plan to become the University of Wellington. Uni management has long argued change was needed because people mix up V U of W with other VUs around the world. Opponents responded that they liked the name as is – even the NZ minister of education got involved, saying he was “not persuaded that the recommendation is consistent with the demands of accountability and the national interest.”

But while the name won’t change the branding will. Yesterday the university announced a “brand refresh,” using livery to emphasise location. “Market research has shown it is the word ‘Wellington’ that differentiates the university internationally.” Its already underway, back in March the university introduced a logo in which “Wellington” is prominent, (CMM March 7).

Achievements, appointments

Monash U has appointed Louise Adler and John Funder as vice chancellor’s professorial fellows. Ms Adler is the former head of Melbourne University Publishing. Professor Funder is a cardiovascular endocrinologist, who has published 600 scientific papers.

ANU announces its 2019 education awards

Teaching Excellence: Samantha Bennett, Music. Kate Flaherty, Literature, Languages and Linguistics.  Marina Iskhakova, Economics. Yuko Kinoshita, Culture, History and Language. Jananie William, Finance, Actuarial Studies and Statistics.

Enhance Learning: Clinical Psychology Program, Bruce Christensen, Elizabeth Rieger, Dave Pasalich, Richard O’Kearney, Rhonda Brown, Amy Dawel, Tegan Cruwys, Linda Nicholson, Lisa Oxman, Julia Reynolds, Lainie Hart, Robin Dearlove, Vicki Kilby, Alyssa Best, Erin Parker, Paula Ozola, Research School of Psychology.

Excellence in Supervision: Barry Pogson, Biology.

Citation for contribution to student learning:  Solène Inceoglu, Literature, Languages and Linguistics. William Maish, ANU Medical School. Katerina Kormusheva, Management.  Garth Pratten, Strategic and Defence Studies.

Excellence in Tutoring or Demonstrating: Eamonn McNamara, History. Max Fedoseev, Philosophy. Augustus Panton, Economics. Katherine Cox, Literature, Languages and Linguistics.