ACU dog has his day

Australian Catholic University is running a Facebook series, “dogs of ACU.” (Sorry, no idea). Yesterday’s entrant was Loki, from the Brisbane campus “who has just accepted an offer into Woofology.” CMM suspects he qualified under an early entry scheme rather than by ATAR.


Cisco partners with Flinders U

Flinders U is cooperating with Cisco to offer a new online cybersecurity IT degree. The Flinders Cisco Academy makes the university a, “primary training provider in Cisco’s Internet of Things (and co-develop a range of related digital health and cyber security solutions.” The announcement follows Curtin U launching its micromasters MOOC on the Internet of Things. (CMM yesterday).

Both initiatives are part of Cisco’s strategy to ensure graduates are across its systems. Last August the company announced Australian Technology Network students (QUT, UTS, RMIT, UniSA and Curtin U) could access its online training academy. (CMM August 16)

Expert editorial advice

Last week CMM reported UWA research on what attracts readers to science blogs, but sparsely, the work is behind a journal pay wall. But hooray for co-author Miriam Sullivan who says any research colleaguex interested who can’t access the paper should get in touch with her.


Leading by example

Last year Fiji National University VC Nigel Healey got cross with staff complaining they lacked the resources to produce publishable research. To make his point he committed to write a journal article on a long-flight with no aids other than a laptop (CMM April 5 2017). Which it appears he did. Professor Healey’s “The challenges of managing transnational education partnerships: the views of ‘home-based’ managers versus ‘in-country’ managers,” is now published in the International Journal of Educational Management.

SA talks space while NZ rockets ahead

The University of South Australia is holding an astrochat tomorrow night, on how to develop a “sustainable space sector in SA.” In contrast, New Zealand company, Rocket Lab has actually launched three satellites and says it can send a low-cost rocket a week into space. CMM wonders if they know anything about building submarines.


Marketing mavens

The Ehrenberg Bass Marketing Institute’s books, research and consulting based on the core premise, that marketing is a science governed by identifiable and actionable laws, shape strategies at global corporations. It’s why the University of South Australia’s EBM has two speakers Magda Nenycz-Thiel and Jenni Romaniuk at the Advertising Research Foundation’s New York conference in March. EBM has to be the most influential group of marketing researchers in the country.

QUT cracks 500 for elite teachers

Christy Collis is QUT’s 500th Higher Education Academy Fellow. The cultural studies associate professor was accredited last month. This is a big increase on the university’s 250 fellows a couple of years back. With ANU and Murdoch U, QUT was an early ally of the HEA, with authority to accredit its own staff.

The HEA is interested in growing in Australia and certainly demand to demonstrate teaching quality exists, so much that Charles Sturt VC Andrew Vann suggests an accreditation academy of our own, instead of using a UK import (CMM September 18 2017)


No OA announced

In what looked like a massive embargo breach Charles Sturt University yesterday announced “Australia Day award for CSU student.” But no, it turned out to be an award to be announced on Australia Day by the National Council of Women, not an Order of Australia honour.

Elite unis warn foreign influence bill could harm international research

The Group of Eight has called on the government to put its bill for a foreign influence transparency scheme on hold. The bill was drafted at the end of the year and is being considered by the joint parliamentary committee on intelligence and security. It, “introduces registration obligations for persons or entities who have arrangements with, or undertake certain activities on behalf of, foreign principals. It is intended to provide transparency for the Australian Government and the Australian public about the forms and sources of foreign influence in Australia.”

However, the Group of Eight argues “the hastily-complied legislation” “could severely limit Australian academics in their capacity to carry out essential and mandated activities or even provide expert advice in the public domain in response to legitimate public interest.”

The Go8 submission suggests that as now worded the bill could apply to; autonomous systems research being conducted by the University of Queensland and Boeing, Monash work with Janssen Biotech on rheumatoid arthritis and silicon solar cells being developed by ANU, UCal Berkeley and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.

The Eight urges the committee to recommend a clause permitting “genuine academic activities,” “to ensure that the teaching, learning, research, collaboration, innovation, scholarship and social responsibility initiatives that underlie the effective operations of Australia’s democracy are not inadvertently harmed.”


IRU lobby ambivalent about Business Council Plan

In the absence of a government plan universities approve of, they are responding to the Business Council of Australia‘s tertiary education policy paper (CMM yesterday), lest it become the de facto alternative to Education Minister Birmingham’s intention of allocating student growth places on the basis of yet to set performance metrics.

The Innovative Research Universities Group, which released its response yesterday, likes the overall commitment to universal access to tertiary education but disputes much of the way the BCA wants to do it.

“Some elements suggest that an open market be the outcome, such as the unargued assumption that unfettered charges are the desirable outcome. Other elements postulate a high level of government intervention and standardisation, notably the concept of contracts and enforcement and that there is a standard normalised cost of efficient delivery that can be neatly divided into public and private benefit elements. From an open market perspective there is no natural cost or price; every course has a range of potential dollar points. There may be a minimum but even that assumes a way of delivery. Attempting to then define a ratio of public to private benefit would create a myriad further points and complications,” IRU argues.

And the Group suggests the Business Council does not quite get the breadth of what universities do.

“The paper ignores a significant part of university operationsresearch and innovation. While these can formally be considered distinct, the extensive overlap in personnel (the academic mind that researchers and teachers) and the facilities that support it in practice argue against any simplistic separation.”