We see what you did there

“Discover how studying construction management will help you build a successful career from the ground up,” Deakin U promotes courses at Open Day, via Twitter yesterday.

There’s more in the Mail

Inga Davis (Research Strategies Australia) on university mergers – what international experience offers to institutions wondering what to do next. “With governing bodies running out of areas to cut, one might expect an increasing number to be looking at their options for merger, in the not-too-distant future.”

James Harland (RMIT) on the on-line lab. It will never replace the real thing but it adds to the learning mix. This week’s addition to Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

James Guthrie (Macquarie U) analysed the University of Tasmania’s financial statements – here’s what he found.

Going the Glen Miller on research-wins

Monash U Provost Susan Elliott is keen (via Twitter) that we all know the uni has $4.8m for the ARC Research Centre for Optimal Ageing

Education Minister Alan Tudge announced the award among 16 ARC Research Hubs and Training Centres last week but without much in the way of fanfair. So Monash U wants it known what a splendid investment the centre is.

With funding across the country, the Hub and Centres could have been an excellent opportunity for Mr Tudge to give the announcements to government MPs and senators to announce.

The office of former minister Dan Tehan did this for a while (CMM November 14 2019). But the strategy was opposed by researchers who thought it politicised research – and now, for whatever reason it happens no more and it’s up to individual institutions to blow their own trumpets. How fortunate Monash U is a big band of self-promotion.

MOOC of the morning

Linda Graham and Haley Tancredi (both QUT) are teaching “Inclusive education: essential knowledge for success” via Future Learn).  “Learn how to uphold the rights of all students to be included.”

A second COVID-19 HSC for NSW

The exam authorities are tweaking the timetable, just like last year

The NSW Education Standards Authority has revised dates for HSC major projects and performances and oral and written exams. To which the state’s universities agree, appreciating, “the disruptions caused by the current COVID-19 lockdown have impacted on students’ focus.”

“We will continue to work flexibly with NESA and the Universities Admissions Centre to ensure that admission processes can adapt in an equitable way to any changes in Year 12 assessments,” NSW VCs committee convenor, Barney Glover (WSU) says.

And he urges Y12 students to stick at it, given the “HSC is the preferred admission pathway into many universities.”

Except when it isn’t. “Professor Glover also reminded students that there are alternative pathways into university such as bridging and foundational courses to build up knowledge and skills lost during the pandemic.”

The right direction

Less pathway than superhighway uni prep provider Navitas, reports a name change for its London Brunel International College. It’s now Brunel University London Pathway College. Make all the difference

Monash U: better at home than away  

No job cuts this year and maybe even hope for some insecure staff

Monash U will honour its 2020 commitment to no redundancy programmes this year “and we are working on the 2022 budget to make sure we can extend that commitment through 2022,” Vice Chancellor Margaret Gardner tells staff.

The university also plans to offer job-security to externally funded fixed-term research–only staff who have been on continuous contracts for four years.

And Professor Gardner is “hopeful” that an unspecified number of Monash PhD students with sessional teaching positions will be offered fixed-term contracts, within this year. She signalled negotiations with the National Tertiary Education Union on this in March (CMM April 1).

As for teaching – they’re not in Clayton anymore

At least not the way it was. Certainly not for the 9500 Monash students studying offshore.

While there could be “a reasonable facsimile of normal campus life” this semester, there will need to be “widespread, high-quality digital elements embedded in the on-campus experience,” the vice chancellor says.

The challenge is, “thinking again about the best ways for us to teach so that students learn – which means making the most of the time they are together, by emphasising and enhancing the active over the passive in our on-campus teaching and experience.”

As for the 9 500 Monash U students off-shore, “we have been looking at sites where we can provide some of these students with places to meet in person and to receive personal support for their studies.” But not necessarily finding, “a number of our potential sites in countries where our students are living and studying with us are not available because of the pandemic.”



At La Trobe U Dewar pads-up

As promised when the new round of La Trobe U job cuts was announced VC John Dewar will answer previously submitted questions at on-line forum tomorrow (CMM July 6, 14, and 15).

Issues the VC is expected to be asked to address include the number of fixed term positions to go by year end and the rationale for  converting term-limited jobs into continuing ones. There is also anxiety that women are taking a disproportionate share of job losses.

Tough and insistent questions are not new to the vice chancellor – he played the straightest of straight bats to hard questions bowled up throughout the long 2014 restructure (CMM March 4 2014, among many stories).

Appointments, achievements

The Australian Journal of Management’s outstanding reviewers of 2020 are Jing Yu (Uni Sydney) and Sarah Wright (Uni Canterbury).

Shi Xue Dou (Uni Wollongong) receives a lifetime achievement award from the International Cryogenic Materials Commission.

Jessa Rogers joins QUT as a First Nations Senior Research Fellow. Dr Rogers is MD of Baayi Consulting

 Alistair Sloan (Un Melbourne) wins the International Association for Dental Research’s Isaac Schour Memorial Award for “outstanding scientific contributions in the anatomical sciences

 The ACT science Young Tall Poppies, include Megan Evans (environmental policy, UNSW Canberra), Steph McLennan (Antarctic geoscience, Geoscience Australia) and Brett Scholz (public health – ANU).