HASS on toast

“I HASS to have you,” Uni Queensland announces. The undoubted appeal of the Humanities and Social Sciences? Fraid not – researchers have mapped the genome of the avocado variety.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Sunday was National Teachers Day in Vietnam, where people believe Người ta không thể làm gì nếu không có giáo dục is a statement to live by. Claire Macken (RMIT Vietnam) explains what it means and why it matters – here as well as there.

plus Angel Calderon on the new HiCi researchers list and what it means for some Australian universities on the next ARWU.

with Erica Wilson and Thomas Roche (Southern Cross U) on their university’s revolution in learning and teaching. Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s new selection for her celebrated Needed Now series

as well as Andrew Flitman (Wells Advisory) makes the case for an Australian international student credential blockchain, HERE

And in Expert Opinion

Samantha Hall (Campus Intuition) on students returning to campus, what they want, what they will do and why the UK does it different, HERE.

They have to get out more

“We’re excited to support TEQSA’s sixth annual conference starting in Melbourne today.” The Australian Skills Quality Authority celebrates the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, via Twitter, yesterday.

Micro-credentials stay in the stats cold, for now

The Australian Bureau of Statistics was looking at including m-cs in the ANZ Standard Classifications of Occupations. Was.

The bureau asked for submissions and it reports that while the majority were supportive a “small number” weren’t – and they were the ones it paid particular attention to.

“These submissions expressed concerns that micro-credentials should not replace regulated qualifications (currently described by the Australian Qualifications Framework) and therefore not be used when recognising skill within ANZSCO. They also noted the AQF did not currently include micro-credentials as the inclusion of multiple short courses would be difficult to maintain.”

Perhaps some such submitters were among the “stakeholders” who told the Noonan review in 2019 to leave m-cs out of the AQF (CMM June 17 2021).

But as to being difficult to maintain records of m-cs, tell it to the Universities Admission Centre, which is about to launch the Commonwealth’s new Microcred seeker (CMM November 22). UAC advises it will provide site maintenance.

The ABS says m-cs are out for now, but once MC-seeker is up, “analysis of the resulting dataset may be undertaken with a view to revisiting this position.”

No happy new year for Swinburne childcare

The Swinburne Community Childcare Co-Op’s near 50-year partnership with Swinburne U is over

The centre is closing on December 22, not just for Christmas, forever. In part it is because the university jacked the rent up last year. And with numbers down during Covid, the Co-op has no more reserves. A letter last week from the committee of management tells families that the university “is not willing to provide any support or rent concession required to keep the centre operational.”

To which the university responds, it “has worked to support the centre in a number of ways within the realms of what is possible for both parties to remain compliant with relevant laws.” And as to rent it is, “at the lowest possible value for the university in line with advice from the Valuer General of Victoria.”

“Swinburne management is committed to working with those Swinburne families impacted who need our support to consider their options,” the university adds.

Perhaps Uni Swinburne staff stuck for childcare after the holidays could drop the kids off at the C-Suite.

NSW Productivity Commission presents reasons to be cheerful

The NSW PC has brought forth a NEW REPORT on, “how embracing tech could recharge our prosperity”

And practical just about all the ideas in it would be, if was not for the reality of gate keepers and ticket clippers in the economy – productivity commission reports from all over are like that.

One of the NSWPC’s concerns is “creeping credentialism” and it points to initial teacher education as an example, in particular replacing one-year grad dips with two-year masters. “The higher barrier to entering teaching has lowered the attractiveness of the profession for high achievers who hold a bachelor degree. This has worsened NSW’s statewide teacher shortages.”

But overall the commission finds reasons to be cheerful. It is keen on new providers and products in education and training. Thus,

“Google’s apprenticeship programme provides an equitable pathway to develop digital skills for people without a university degree or work experience in computer science”


“micro-credentials have the potential to be a highly targeted and efficient method of learning, making them well suited to lifelong learning. Micro-credentials can also be used to target in-demand skills and offer a cost-effective means of upskilling older workers.”

And it suggests things could be better than the way they used to be,

“It is a mistake to assume recent slow productivity growth must continue forever. Historically, productivity growth has come in waves. We cannot predict when the next wave will come. Productivity growth could continue to decline. But it is also possible that the world is now on the threshold of an enormous technology opportunity. There is a suite of emerging technologies that, if widely adopted, could recharge productivity growth for years to come.”

Optimism! From a productivity commission!

Librarians throw the E-book at publishers

They could be a textbook case for helping students but the Council of Australian University Librarians has problems with e-books from some publishers

In advice to academics CAUL warns them to watch publishers for issues, including;

* “restrictive access models for libraries with limited numbers of simultaneous users being able to access a single text”

* eBooks only available for 12 to 72 hours

* publishing e-versions months after the print edition

* needed books sold in bundles with ones that aren’t

There’s a bunch more, but you get the idea.

CAUL adds, “publishers need to provide multiple and flexible options for purchase to meet the diverse needs of individual institutions.”


Australian Academy of the Humanities announces 2022 Fellows

24 are elected, including 19 from Group of Eight universities

Honorary Fellows include Kim Carr, variously minister for science, research and higher education, among other portfolios, in Labor ministries, 2007-2013. The recently retired senator was awarded the Academy of Science Medal last month and is also a new fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

The new humanities academy fellows are.

* Wayan Arka (ANU), * Jill Bennett (UNSW) * Caroline Bird  (Archae-aus), * Clint Bracknell (Uni Queensland) * Deborah Brown (Uni Queensland) * Simon Butt (Uni Sydney) * Jane Clark (Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart).

* Natalie Edwards (Uni Adelaide) * Jenny Green (Uni Melbourne) * Ari Heinrich (ANU) * Wayne Hudson (ANU) * Tony Hughes d’Aeth (UWA) * Marguerite Johnson (Uni Newcastle) *Jay Johnston (Uni Sydney) * Ronan McDonald (Uni Melbourne) * Felicity Meakins (Uni Queensland).

* Richard Menary (Macquarie U) * Antonio Rubina (Uni Sydney) * Nicola Stern (La Trobe U) * Carolyn Strange (ANU) * Thom van Dooren (Uni Sydney) * Denise Varney (Uni Melbourne) * Anik Waldow (Uni Sydney) * Sally Young (Uni Melbourne).

Appointments, achievements

Katherine Biber (UTS) and 17 colleagues win gold at the Australian Podcast Awards for “The Last Outlaws,” “the history of Jimmy and Joe Governor, Australia’s last outlaws.”

Alan Corr becomes COO at Uni Wollongong. He joins from law firm Clifford Chance.

Edith Cowan U VC Staff awards go to,

Aboriginal/Torres Strait Island Award

Centre for Improving Health Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Families 

Health and Safety

Shad Harford, Roxanne Fozard (Education)

Learning and Teaching

* Gail Berman (Education) * Jemma Berry (Medical, Health Sciences) * Centre for L&T Programme Team * Julia Collins (Science) * Leitha Delves (Centre for L&T) * Andrei Lux (Business, Law)

Research and Research Supervision

* Lyndall Adams (Arts, Humanities) * Paul Haskell-Downland (Science) * Erin Godecke (Mental, Health Sciences) * Stefan Iglauer (Engineering) * Aaron Jenkins (Science) * Pi-Shen Seet (Business and Law)

Inspirational Staff

* Corporate Events Team (Brand and Marketing) * Equity Projects Office * Dasha Kondrashova (International Business Ops) * Karen McFarland (Strategic and Governance) * Sam Prosser (Digital and Campus) * Student Hub teams @ Joondalup, Mount Lawley and South West * Barry Riemer (Finance) * Greg Wilson (Business and Law)