Politely put

“The principal point of this debate appears to have been to allow the parties to trade insults,” Justice Perram on a disagreement between universities and the Copyright Agency Limited, Copyright Tribunal judgement, Tuesday.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Samantha Hall reports a survey of PhD students on the space they need to thrive.

plus James Guthrie (Macquarie U) has a detailed look at the University of Sydney’s annual report and what management wants to do with the bucket of money it reveals.

with Jane Habner and Pablo Munguia on how Flinders U introduced an on-line enabling programme last year – which worked! This week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

and Conor King (Tertiary Education Analysis) on why changing HECs for some students isn’t easy (scroll down).

A fair pay rise at Uni Newcastle: depends who you ask

Bargaining for a new staff agreement is starting to be serious

National Tertiary Education Union members  at Uni Newcastle decided yesterday to ask the Fair Work Commission to approve their voting on industrial action. Union state secretary Damien Cahill nominates bargaining issues as “secure jobs, protections against overwork, gender affirmation leave” and  “a fair pay rise.”

By “fair” he may mean the 15 per cent over three years the union’s national leadership wants all universities to pay (CMM April 21).

This may strike Uni Newcastle management as anything but fair, although you do not have to be a Novocastrian Nostradamus to prophecy what the union will do if management cries poor-ish. And that is point to the university’s annual report which records $152m in investment income last year, up from $31.7m in 2020 (CMM May 25).

And if management responds that without that nice large-ish earner the university made a $1.9m loss the union could point to the Uni Newcastle’s croesus of a kitty –  $625m in investments.

The show must go on

Michael McCormack opened the Digital Agrifood Summit at Charles Sturt U, Wagga Wagga, yesterday. Natural thing for the local member (seat of Riverina) to do, even if he is no longer the coalition cabinet minister he was prior to the election.

Research blast from the (recent) past

CMM has no clue what the government will do with the research commercialisation strategy being implemented, although not legislated, before the election – but it is stuck with some of it

Before the poll Education shadow minister Tanya Plibersek’s office was said to be sympathetic to the intent, but if Education Minister Clare and Industry Minister Husic have different views there are a bunch of actions they can’t do anything about.  The Trailblazer applied research programme is already in-place and there is one to come, which must have been approved before the election was called.

It’s the $18m Global Science and Technology Fund’s strategic element, being managed by the academies of Technology and Engineering, and Science (CMM April 8). The intent is to support international research partnerships in AI, hydrogen production, advanced manufacturing and vaccines.

Expressions of interest open Monday, with recommendations to Mr Husic end September.

Govt splits education and skills

It will take two national bureaucracies to help lifelong learners

The existing federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment is no more, following the Albanese Government’s Administrative Arrangements Order, last night.

A new Department of Employment and Workplace Relations will implement the government’s jobs, skills and training agenda.

This shrinks the old DESE to only education, including early childhood, school and youth affairs, “including youth transitions” (presumably only as far as VET’s front door).

The new DoE will have charge of

* HE policy, programmes and regulation

* research policy, “in relation to universities” and research infrastructure

*research grants

* international education

The department will also manage “research engagement” – which may refer to the research commercialisation strategy the previous government was implementing.

DEWR’s aegis includes;

* co-ordination of labour market research

* skills and voced policy regulation and programmes, including VET in schools

* apprenticeships, training and skills assessment

* “foundation skills” for adults

Energy is gone from what is now the Department of Industry, Science and Resources but it will be a policy powerhouse for research and development, with responsibilities including;

* industry innovation and “technology diffusion

* Industrial R&D, “and commercialisation”

* biotech (ex gene tech regulation)

* science policy

* “science engagement and awareness”

* collaborative research in science and technology”

* co-ordination of science research policy

* international “science engagement”

Appointments, achievements

Behnam Akhavan joins Uni Newcastle to establish a plasma bio-engineering lab.

Tom Burton moves from PVC Global Engagement at Charles Sturt U to its ED Engagement and Enterprise

Deakin U announces ten Alfred Deakin Professors, its highest academic honour, * Catherine Bennett (Epidemiology) * Felice Jacka (Health) * Rachel Huxley (Health) * Liz Johnson (DVC A) * Emma Kowal (Arts and Education) * Sarah McNaughton (Exercise and Nutrition) * Kon Mouzakis (Artificial Intel Inst)* Alex Newman (Management) * Anna Peeters (Health Transformation) * Andrea Witcomb (Arts and Education)

Gaven Morris (ex ABC News director) becomes an industry professor at Western Sydney U.