No time to waste at UNE

There’s no optimism on how long we’ve got from UNE’s Brigid Heywood. ““A ten-year plan may seem ambitious at a time when all the systems that sustain us – financial, political, health, education, the Earth’s biosphere itself – are all under stress.”

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

James Guthrie and Tom Smith (Macquarie U) respond to Deakin U VC Iain Martin, (he called their analysis of his university’s financials “superficial).

Michael Healy (Uni Southern Queensland) argues that although student employment and career development are different in both research and service they need to work together. This week’s essay in Contributing Editor Sally Kift’s series on what we need now in teaching and learning.

Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on competition – there are times to apply the changing the bike tyre test.

On-line work and learning: what technology can do now

IT networking provider Cisco and telco Optus set out how the permanent switch to virtual learning and remote working creates opportunities for staff and students

“The rapid (and permanent) shift to virtual learning and remote teaching and administration has completely changed the education landscape and pose opportunities to reimagine what the work and learning experience looks like for staff and students alike.” The paper is here.

Micro-credentials: more research is (really) needed

Policy and practise is happening ahead of how they can be applied nation-wide. Ratna Selvaratnam (Edith Cowan U) and Michael Sankey (Griffith U) identify the issues

“Although there is  no  shortage  of  opinion  pieces  published  on  the  internet,  many  of these  lack  the  required  level  of  academic  rigour  for  an  integrative  literature  review  such  as  this,” they write in the Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability.

So, they set out what the existing research provides as the basis for a micro-credential “technical ecosystem” and identify big issues where more research is (for once) needed, including,

* integrating micro-credentials with employability

* accessibility and credibility issues, such as validation

* student-record keeping by institutions

* representation of credentials for “professional consumption.”

And it all has to happen fast. “At a very practical level, the recent review of the Australian Qualifications Framework recommends the recognition of  micro-credentials  and  presumably it  is  only  a  matter  of  time  before  the government  moves  to  implement  this  recommendation.”

Food for thought on international students

State government agency Study NSW tweets that it is combining with charity FoodbankNSW to distribute a further 62 500 food hampers to international students  

Worth remembering among all the assumptions that masses of students are waiting at international airport departure gates for the borders to open.

La Trobe U drops plan to cancel Hindi

It’s the second threatened language where classes will continue  

The university had proposed “a cessation” of Greek, Hindi and Indonesian language programmes (CMM November 12). But after, “considerable discussion with staff and students, community groups, government and other stakeholders,” Hindi will continue.

“Notwithstanding the significant financial challenges faced by the university, there are compelling reasons to continue teaching our Hindi programme, including the increasing importance of Hindi language proficiency for diplomatic and commercial activities,” LT U states.

Not that the reason why it was for the chop has changed. “Low enrolments in Hindi language subjects must still be addressed in order for the programme to become sustainable and thrive in the future,” the university warns.

But optimistic they always are at La Trobe U. “It is hoped that the considerable passion and enthusiasm for Hindi language teaching that was evident in the feedback received during the consultation period will help to generate an immediate increase in enrolments in the programme.”

This may mean the odds for Indonesian continuing have to be good, what with “diplomatic and commercial activities” also applying. A decision is due next month.

Greek also goes on, for a minimum three years, after a community campaign in Melbourne, (CMM January 29).


Heywood’s ten year plan to put the new in UNE

Brigid Heywood spent her first 18 months as University of New England vice chancellor getting the organisational ducks in a row, so the university would be staff and structure ready for what she has in mind

Now she has set out the purpose she wants UNE fit for in a ten-year plan.

While it includes unquantifiable commitments to goodness and kindness, there are also a bunch of specifics demonstrating the VC means business, including in the setting and measuring of staff performance and cost control.

Big policy objectives in three core categories include;

“personalised student journeys:” * “modularised unit content, short-courses and micro-credentialing” for award and non-award offerings * a scalable, personalised academic and student support and pastoral care model * review UNE’s Graduate Attributes, credentialing them “as achieved”

“empowering communities:” * work integrated/related “opportunities” in HDR models * university-wide teaching development programme * flagship courses/units that “promote our digital-first approach to academic delivery” * “identify and develop key priority areas of high impact research” * open access platform for university research and scholarship * “formalised” scholarship framework to record outputs/outcomes *research institutes to enhance reach and attract funding * “capability and capacity” to commercialise research outputs

building resilience:” * resources to research priority areas and a research performance framework * reduce transaction costs and improve efficiency * implementing an hours-based work load model.

Appointments, achievements

Michael Keppell, joins International College of Management, Sydney as DVC Learning and Teaching. He moves from Taylor’s University in Malaysia.

Russell Goulbourne (Dean of Arts, Uni Melbourne) joins the board of Melbourne University Publishing.

Jessica White moves to Uni SA to lecture in creative writing. She was previously at Uni Queensland.

 Sallie Yea is La Trobe U’s Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellow for 2021. She will use the fellowship to research human trafficking and slavery in the world seafood industry.