plus Melbourne and Queensland shine bright for citation stars

Degree for free: Uni Tasmania waives HECS for dementia course

and Heads Up: achievers of the week


Citation stars

The Clarivate Analytics (Thomson Reuters as was) highly cited researchers list for 2016 is out, with results much the same as last year (CMM December 18 2015). In an outcome that will surprise as many as no-one, the University of Melbourne leads with 17 Hi Ci scientists, one up on last year. The University of Queensland (14 on CMM’s count) replaces Monash in second spot (12). Overall some 25 universities and research institutes make the list, with Macquarie, Deakin, QUT and Curtin all ahead of ANU and UNSW.


Sincerest form of flattery

CMM is sure AusTrade will not mind Western Sydney University using the slogan “Future Unlimited” as part of its “unlimited” student recruitment advertising. The export agency adopted it in 2011, as the basis of its international education strategy.

Demarcation dispute

Regulator TEQSA looks like emerging unscathed from the routine review of its legislation just closed, with largely favourable submissions. This is not surprising, the first incarnation of the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency was widely considered less draconian than demonic in the way it investigated universities but the agency is now considered more respectful.

But there are still devils in the detail, which the Group of Eight identifies in its submission to the review.

Thus the Eight points to the tension between TEQSA’s function as regulator and in “prosecutingquality assurance. It’s prime regulatory role should be explicit the Go8 argues. Similar the roles of TEQSA and the Higher Education Standards Panel, author of this week’s proposals on undergraduate admissions standards, need to be better defined. And TEQSA’s primacy over professional associations in accrediting courses must be asserted. “It is important to be very clear that those organisations do not have a role to play in assessing university courses against the Australian Qualifications Framework. While examples where that may happen may not be commonplace, there have been examples of the incursion of professional associations into areas of TEQSA’s core responsibility.”

They do it their way

“Of recent there have been numerous illegal gatherings involving sections of the public,” Monash University Malaysia registrar Susheela Nair advised students this week.

“You are advised not to participate in any illegal gathering/related activity which contravenes Malaysian laws. Any students found to be participating in such gathering/activity or who is arrested by the authorities for doing so may be subjected to disciplinary proceedings,” Dr Nair warned.


Study in generosity

The University of Tasmania’s MOOC on dementia is a deserved success with 70 000 starters and a 40 per cent completion rate over four runs (CMM June 17). And now the university’s Wicking Centre is extending its teaching programme with a diploma, associate degree and full bachelor of dementia care available on-line. The degree is for carers and health professionals and “will develop your specialised knowledge in this field so that you can make a difference to the lives of people living with dementia.” The full degree has 24 units, which must be completed in a maximum of seven years.

The university is waiving course fees for Australian students in 2016 (what occurs in subsequent years is not stated). This strikes CMM as exceeding generous. If there was ever a degree that aged care professionals, or their employers, will willingly pay for, this is it.

UniSuper shines (again)

Financial services groups Rainmaker has named UniSuper fund of the year, the fourth such award this year.

Intern experts

With graduate employment skills the go among universities looking for a marketing edge, internship programmes are essential – but where are institutions going to put tens of thousands of students and how will they ensure students on assignment learn more and are exploited less? Sound like questions for the Australian Association of Graduate Employers. It’s list of the top 20 intern programmes, as voted by participants, is just out.

VPs get a go

The long wait for a Monash University provost just got longer. Vice Chancellor Margaret Gardner says, council permitting, she will announce the provost to replace the retiring Edwina Cornish and the name of the new DVC Education before year end. “However there will be an interval before (they) are able to take up their positions.”

Quite an interval. From January to May Pauline Nestor, now Senior Vice Provost, Research will be interim provost. Zlatko Syrbis, Vice Provost, Graduate Education will act as DVC E from January to March, with Darrell Evans, Vice Provost Learning and Teaching taking over from March to May.


Heads Up

David Gibson from Curtin U is UNESCO’s inaugural chair in higher education teaching and learning data science. The six-year appointment is based on the Curtin campus.

Medical lobby Research Australia has  announced its 2016 awards. Highlights include. Peter Wills Medal: (“for a lifetime of discoveries”) Ian Gust. Discovery Award : Rebecca Coll, University of Queensland (inflammatory diseases). Data Innovation Award: Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre (data interpretation). Health Services Research Award: Michael Barton, (Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research (accessible cancer treatments).

AnnaMarie Jagosse will become dean of arts and social sciences at the University of Sydney in January. She is now head of the school of literature, arts and media. Professor Jagose is a scholar of feminist studies, lesbian/gay studies and queer theory and a novelist.

Richard Larkins is LaTrobe U’s new chancellor. Yes, that Richard Larkins, the VC of neighbouring Monash U from 2003 to 2009.

The Royal Society of New Zealand has announced the early to mid career Rutherford Fellowships for 2016. The ten fellows will receive NZ$ 800 000 over five years. They are: Baptiste Auguie, Victoria U of Wellington (nano optics and spectroscopy). Federico Baltar, University of Otago, (marine biology). Adam Hartland, University of Waikato, (environmental geochemistry). Huw Horgan, Victoria University of Wellington, (Antarctic research). Yoshihiro Kaneko, GNS Science (earthquakes). Jenny Malmstrom, University of Auckland, (nanotechnology and materials chemistry). Duncan McMillan, University of Canterbury (biomembrane nanotechnology). Jeremy Owen, Victoria University of Wellington (antibiotics). Nicole Roughan, University of Auckland (jurisprudence). Virginia Toy, University of Otago (geology).

John Bekkers from ANU is the co-winner of the Society for Neuroscience’s education awardDr Bekkers is honoured for his “critical role” “in the inception and development of the Australian course in advanced neuroscience.”

The University of Sydney has announced its inaugural SOAR fellows. The scheme provides early and mid-career academics with $50 000 per annum for two years to fund research. The twenty are;

early career: Adam Kamradt-Scott (pandemics), Anne Cust (causes of cancer), Stefanie Schurer (early-intervention for life skills), Deanna D’Alessandro (materials science), Michael Barnett (multiple sclerosis), Allison Tong (patient-centred outcomes in chronic disease), Jane Le (personal and professional demands in the workplace),Yixiang Gan (granular materials in energy systems), Fabio Ramos (big data management), Anika Gauja (political organisations adapting to change)

mid careerXiaoke Yi (photonics to monitor insulin), Ali Abbas (waste as a power source), Amanda Salis (weight management for the obese), Michael Valenzuela (lifestyle interventions for dementia treatment), Wojciiech Chrzanowski (regeneration of lung tissue), Chris Ling (improved battery performance in cars and renewable energy), Susan Park (accountability for environment disasters), Paulo Ferreira (genetics and back pain), Tara Murphy (observation of gravitational waves), Karl Maton (helping the disadvantaged understand how power systems work).