UniSA leads Aus into orbit

Uni SA will be space-base for the Smart Sat CRC, to create a sovereign satellite capability

The new cooperative research centre was announced yesterday, with Industry Minister Karen Andrews doing the announcing, presumably because funding was approved before caretaker conventions kicked in.

The University of South Australia is founding co-partner of the CRC, with SA consultancy, Nova Systems. They are joined by a galaxy of industry and university core-partners, including ANU, Curtin, Deakin U, La Trobe U, CSIRO and the unis of Queensland, Adelaide, UNSW and Sydney.

Apparently, Australia can create smart satellites that will; “deliver the nation real-time connectivity, surveillance and sensing capability over land and sea, earth observation data to monitor climate and development, and,” (pause for admiring breath) “the power to drive industry innovation and the growth of the Internet of Things.”

The feds are kicking in $55m over the ten-year life of the CRC, with 84 partners contributing $190m in cash and kind.

This goes a way to making Adelaide the launch-pad for the Australian space industry. The city also hosts the federal government’s Australian Space Agency, created last year.

Now if there was only a way to put submarines in space the Liberals might win Mayo.

Deal nearly done at University of Canberra

An enterprise agreement looks close at the University of Canberra, with a draft agreement on the staff website

The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union is said to be especially interested in feedback on the controversial assistant professor scheme (now being reviewed) and on workloads. However, the union is said to look favourably on proposals for professional development, including a base entitlement for professional and academic staff.  Bargaining watchers say management is hopeful of an imminent offer that it and the union bth recommend.

This is a big change from November, when management put an offer to the university community, which the union opposed. Some 59 per cent of eligible staff turned-out, with just under three-quarters of them voting no, (CMM November 13).

Good reviews from international students

They’re happy in this best of all possible education worlds

The feds have released, (quietly, as usual) the 2018 International Student Survey results which report that the vast majority are happy with what they get. There are marginal differences, HE students are more satisfied with learning, 88 per cent, than those in VET (86 per cent). But overall satisfaction among all student groups is 89 per cent, marginally up on the last survey, in 2016.

If happy students tell friends and family at home the industry’s future seems assured. Don’t bet on it – theGood reviews from international students is not far in front of the competitive set on two criteria. Competitors, including the USA, Canada, UK and New Zealand, score 87.5 per cent for satisfaction with learning, Australia is 88.5 per cent. On satisfaction with living, the rest of the world is 88.4 per cent and Australia 90.4 per cent.  Still Dorothy Parker’s principle applies – a lead is a lead is a lead.

Election commitment for U Tas maritime college

Labor has a new maritime industry and education resource set to sail

Labor promises $20m for stage one of a new “innovation and design” precinct (a flash name for a building) at the Australian Maritime College campus at Launceston.  The site will house will house SMEs which will want to use test labs and workshops for maritime engineering at the University of Tasmania college. “The precinct will bring together in one place industry research and development resources with the specialised education and training of the University of Tasmania,” Labor says.

This should cheer up the AMC, where people were not pleased when then defence industry minister Christopher Pyne announced the Adelaide-based college, to provide skilled workers for the navy’s building programme (CMM March 29 2017).  As Labor’s Kim Carr said at yesterday’s announcement; “it would be a lot fairer if Christopher Pyne actually built a genuinely national naval shipbuilding program and not a domestic marginal seats program, which is what’s happened in South Australia.”

The big biz of ranking business research 

There’s a new ranking in the works for business academics

The Australian Business Deans Council announces its long-awaited 2019 journal ranking exercise. This will be the first review since 2016.

Reviewers will accept submissions through May with a draft list in September and a final ranking before Christmas. The list, “is used as a guide by business schools around the world to assess the quality of the journals in which faculty members’ research is published,” ABDC says.

The new ranking follows a methodology review, commissioned in August 2017 (CMM August 28). Last year Kim Langfield Smith (ex Monash U) and Geoffrey Wood (Uni Essex) proposed using experts to assess journals, “informed by” citation metrics, plus adding a “significant regional” indicator and new A** “very best in world” score. CMM  28 2017. The two new categories did not get up ( CMM November 16 2018) but the ranking will roll out without them.

Panel members are in today’s appointments and achievements (below).

Uni SA extends discussions on plans for new teaching structure

Planning for less restructure than transformation of teaching rolls on

In January VC David Lloyd announced the university intends to move to teaching by curriculum communities, with courses crossing discipline boundaries to meet learning-needs and staff organisation based on delivery of academic programmes, (CMM January 21).

The idea has been on the agenda for 18 months and the pace picked up at the senior staff conference at the start of the year, which focused on the seating plan for this banquet of curriculum communities.

“We want fewer operational silos and we want them to be built around programmes. We want to strengthen programme leadership. … We don’t have schools. We have new groupings of academics, built around programmes, with programme deans providing academic leadership and focused on programs,” Professor Lloyd said in February.

And now what they cooked up is being served up to a cross-section of critics. There was a briefing for 200 staff from across the university last night, a further 200 or so will get a taste of things to come tonight and a third day-time session is planned.

Training lobby goes for a new name and bigger function

There’s more to VET than ACPET, just ask ITECA

It’s time for a name-change at the Australian Council for Private Education and Training, says ACPET chief executive Troy Williams. He will ask members next month to agree to become the Independent Tertiary Education Council.

Apparently, ACPET’s membership has expanded to include higher education providers, and “the transition to ITECA recognises that there was an interest from stakeholders across the independent tertiary education sector for an umbrella organisation to represent them.” The proposal will go to a member meeting next month.

The apparent need for a name-change follows a January switch at what was the Council for Private Higher Education, until it became Independent Higher Education Australia ( CMM January 31).

However, ITECA signals it intends to serve all private post-school providers. “In addition to higher education and VET providers, we will also have the infrastructure to support providers of micro-credentials.”

Appointments, achievements

Saul Newman will join Flinders U as Dean (people and resources) in the Humanities and Social Sciences college. Professor Newman will move from Goldsmiths, University of London.  where he is professor of political theory.

Katherine Gibson will be the 2020-21 Whitlam-Fraser visiting professor of Australian studies at Harvard University. The chair is funded by the Australian Government. Professor Gibson is a feminist economic geographer at Western Sydney University.

Diane Herz is in-place as CEO of the ANU Enterprises subsidiary, the Social Research Centre. She joins from the Washington-based Mathematica Policy Research, prior to which she was a long-serving executive at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. She replaces SRC founder Darren Pennay, who has retired. The SRC is widely-admired for the Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching which it creates for the Commonwealth.

The Australian Business Deans Council announce panels for the 2019 journal review;

Accounting: Gary Monroe, (UNSW, chair). Neil Fargher, (ANU). Alan Lowe (RMIT). Anne Wyatt (Uni Queensland).

Info systems: Deborah Bunker, (Uni Sydney, chair). Alexander Richer (Victoria U of Wellington). Sabine Matook (Uni Queensland). John Venable (Curtin U).

Business and tax law: Julie-Anne Tarr (QUT, chair). Lisa Marriot (VU of Wellington). Brett Freudenberg (Griffith U). Jenny Buchan (UNSW).

Management, commercial services, transport and logistics:  Ingrid Nielsen (Deakin U, chair). Neil Ashkanasy (Uni Queensland). Shayne Gary (UNSW). Jane Lu (Uni Melbourne). Tava Olsen (Uni Auckland). Adrian Wilkinson (Griffith U). Chris Wright (Uni Sydney).

Other management (sub panel): Ingrid Nielsen (Deakin U, chair). Jarrod Haar (Auckland U Tech). Gavin Jack (Monash U).

Economics: James Morley (Uni Sydney,chair). Philip Grossman (Monash U). Rasheda Khanam (Uni Southern Queensland). Pascalis Raimondos (QUT). Sandy Suardi (Uni Wollongong).

Finance: Stephen Taylor (UTS, chair). Millicent Chang (Uni Wollongong). Hazel Bateman (UNSW). Jerry Parwada (UNSW).

Marketing and tourism:  Sara Dolnicar, Uni Queensland, chair). Geoff Soutar (UWA). Jungkeun Kim (Uni Auckland). Marianna Sigala (Uni SA).