Think hard, play hard

“Raising the Bar: 20 talks, 10 bars, one night,” UWA promotes researcher-talks in watering holes on October 29

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning, Erica Southgate (Uni Newcastle) on the coming assessment challenge from AI that can produce credit-level original essays. It’s a new essay in contributing editor Sally Kift’s series on what is needed now in teaching and learning.

QUT joins Massachusetts Institute of Technology entrepreneur programmes

ITs from the Bs extend the friendship but it’s by-by to boot camp

The five-year arrangement involves academic exchange, an “immersion programme” for QUT entrepreneur programmes and “enhancing QUT’s entrepreneurship programme” via MIT networks.

But what it does not include is another MIT entrepreneur boot camp, as hosted by QUT for the last three years.  “You will sleep two-four hours a night. You will have fun. This is normal. This is MIT,” is how organisers described the US$6500 experience (CMM July 6 2018). Presumably the new programmes will operate at a sedater space

James Cook U’s coal-funded scholarship

James Cook U sells on its “nationally significant and internationally recognised research in areas such as marine sciences, biodiversity, tropical ecology and environments, global warming … “

It also accepts $30 000 from the QCoal Foundation for a outer-regional/remote student scholarship.

Ideas for new international educ income streams

A parly inquiry is asking for ideas on increasing exports and international investment

Universities Australia suggests the feds fund participation in international research and off-shore campuses

In a submission to federal parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment, UA proposes the Commonwealth invest in, “specific funding for large-scale, long-term international collaboration that capitalises on Australia’s research strength and existing infrastructure. … Modest government funding can often attract co-investment from other partners and lead to significant research breakthroughs.”

And UA calls for a back-up plan lest the flood of international students coming here evaporate; “offshore campuses create options for students to study in their home country and provide a bolster against potential future changes in the flow of students coming to study onshore in Australia.”

And the TAFE lobby propose an international focus on VET qualifications and more marketing off-shore

TAFE Directors Australia points to the local-focus in VET content and proposes new export products. “Reform to VET qualification content and new forms of accreditation would substantially improve the effectiveness of the Australian VET product in the international context.”

TDA also advocates, “a scheme of pre-approved VET experts to represent the interests of Australia in developing more sustainable opportunities off-shore. This would range from vocational education system design, industry liaison, capacity building and delivery. … Done in a strategic and open way this would help develop high quality training for regions that helps with industry development and offers opportunities for local citizens.”


National Archives mobilises to digitise records

But how’s funding for other programmes?

The feds are funding the National Archives to digitise WWII service records. There is $10m to process 850 000 files over four years.

Good-oh, but even with money for processing won’t this be a bit of a stretch?

In a submission to David Tune’s review of its resources, Archives management certainly presented it as an agency under pressure, “budget and staffing reductions are affecting our capacity to perform our fundamental role of securing, preserving, maintaining and making accessible the authentic and essential records of the decisions and actions of government, while providing high standards of service delivery that all Australians should expect from their National Archives,” (CMM June 20).

Which reminds, where is Mr Tune’s review? Delivery date was expected to be in August but as far as CMM knows, nothing has emerged.

Ethical research publishing: what it should take

The NHMRC proposes a guide to publishing research and explaining outcomes

The proposed guide supports the big three’s (ARC, NHMRC and Universities Australia) new research conduct code (CMM June 15 2018). It is big on principles, which are surely in practise. Thus, the National Health and Medical Research Council calls on institutions to:

* “promote responsible publication and dissemination”: this includes accuracy of reports, information on limitations and retractions and corrections

*  provide media comms support to get research out there

* support open access, “in an institutional or other on-line repository or on a publisher’s website”

And it wants researchers to:

* “disseminate a complete account of their research,” including, “negative results as well as findings”

* make “accurate and timely” corrections

* disclose “relevant interests” and manage conflicts

* not self-plagiarise

* “engage with the community, using appropriate communication channels to inform genuine public debate, and provide sound policy advice”

Indian students losing interest in Australia: Claire Field explains


Applicants are looking to the UK and Canada

Last week was a fascinating week to be in India. While I was there to explore the powerhouse that is their ed-tech sector (and more on that at a later date) it was a discussion about the changes to the student visa assessment levels for the Indian subcontinent that struck me.

A senior representative from a global education agency talked me through the recent shift they had seen in applications – with prospective students turning away from Australia and towards the UK. He evidenced this by showing me a daily report of their student applications, which he advised was consistent with the current trend. The data in the report showed 80 per cent of applications (split evenly 40 per cent each) were for Canada and the UK; only 14 per cent were for Australia.

Also, last week I interviewed Macquarie University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor, International, Nicole Brigg as the third in a series on international education on the ‘What now? What next? Insights into Australia’s tertiary education sector’ podcast.

Nicole had a range of insights on the maturation of the China market, the importance of looking at Australia’s long-term interests when considering changes to our visa system, and the need for clever heads to work together to ensure Australia retains its competitiveness. She joins Rebecca Hall (Austrade) and Kadi Taylor (Navitas) on the podcast. You can listen in your favourite podcast app (search ‘What now? What next?’) or via the website.

Claire Field advises on VET, international education and private higher education.

Uni Queensland to improve crops with seed (literally) funding

The ARC reports the federal government will fund a new ag research centre

Christine Beveridge will lead the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture, based at Uni Queensland. The feds are providing $35m funding, with another $75 in cash and kind to come, from four Australian university partners and 13 other Australian, European, Asian and North American institutions.

According to Uni Queensland, the centre, “will deliver innovative and world-leading research to improve crop resilience and boost yield which will help provide solutions to the critical issues of climate change and food security.”

International-study agreements: where and for what

Aus unis have 9,473 unique articulation agreements and recognised prior learning arrangements, Dimity Huckel and Keri Ramirez identified and analysed them

The principals of consultants Study Move found:

* 75 per cent of agreements/arrangements were struck with organisations ex Australia

* 85 per cent of offshore partners were from ten countries with 58 per cent being from China (17 per cent), Singapore (16 per cent), Malaysia (13 per cent) and Canada (12 per cent). India is eighth (4 per cent).

* 95 per cent apply to undergraduate programmes

*  41 per cent cover business courses, with science second (13 per cent) and engineering third (11 per cent).

Their full analysis is here.

Appointments, achievements

Robin Doss (Deakin U) is the Australian Information Security Association’s Cyber Security Researcher of the Year.

John McGrath (Uni Queensland) is awarded the (US) Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation’s Lieber Prize for schizophrenia research.

Jackie Leach Scully joins UNSW as director of its Disability Innovation Institute. She has moved from Newcastle University in the UK.