Disasters of the day

Yet again, ANU is out of luck with the weather

The university’s Chifley Library copped rain damage yesterday. It was nowhere as severe as the library flooding of February ’18 when the campus creek burst its banks (CMM February 26 2018). And it made a change from this summer’s set-backs, bushfire smoke bad enough to close campus for five days and a hail storm that damaged 80 buildings (CMM January 23).  But even so – it’s been a tough summer for the university.

The Jacaranda in the Uni Sydney squad came down in Sunday night’s storm

No, not the long-living tree, loved by generations – that died in November ’16 – this was the replacement. It’s not dead.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning, Rebecca Eaton, (La Trobe U) on winning the student transition trifecta. It’s a  new essay in Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s series on what we need HE needs now.

And Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on the conference poster – how it sells research.

At Uni Sydney the mandarin is the message

Vice chancellors can’t do a damn thing to get students stuck in China onto campus but sympathy and support does not hurt

So, good for Universities Australia in packaging grabs of VCs with messages for Chinese students. And good on the participants – Margaret Sheil (QUT), Simon Maddocks (Charles Darwin U), Brian Schmidt (ANU), Deborah Terry (Curtin U), John Dewar (La Trobe U), Linda Kristjanson (Swinburne U), Andy Vann (Charles Sturt U) and David Lloyd (Uni SA) for fronting the camera.

Michael Spence had the same sort of message yesterday for Uni Sydney students in China but he did his alone. Dr Spence might have thought he did not need any support in getting his message across – what with him speaking Mandarin.

Monash U’s Indonesia achievement

As universities confront the cost of no Chinese students at semester start, Monash U begins work on a vast new market

What’s happened: As part of the Indonesian Free Trade Treaty announcements events yesterday Monash U announced it will open a campus in Indonesia.

Vice Chancellor Margaret Gardner announced the venture to staff, saying the wholly Monash-owned Jakarta campus will be “postgraduate, research-oriented and industry-connected,” and will teach Monash degrees.

While the campus will not teach UG courses, Professor Gardner stated it would, “facilitate flows of undergraduate students to other Monash campuses.” Monash U already has a wholly-owned pathway provider in Indonesia.

First courses are “short executive programmes” starting later this year with masters starting late next year.

Professor Gardner nominates data science and digital technology, infrastructure and urban planning, creative industry and entrepreneurship, and health systems and public health as teaching-areas.

Speaking in the House of Reps yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the new campus will “establish deep research links” with, “Indonesia’s leading national, private and Islamic universities.”

What’s going to happen: Monash U expects staff to grow to 100 academics and the same number of professional staff by the end of the first decade. Student numbers by then will be, 2,000 masters, 100 PhD students, and 1,000 people in executive education programs. Fees are not set but MI is expected to price to the market.
The crucial bit is that MI will be a wholly Monash-owned entity, rather than a joint venture although it is not clear (at least to CMM) if it will be able to repatriate profits to Australia

This is a huge win for Monash U. From the start of international education Monash U was way ahead of the competition, starting in Malaysia in the early ‘90s, and now it leads into the last, great Asian education market.  No, it is not a bonanza yet, but it’s a start.

And it looks like a kappow in the kisser for Monash’s auld enemy, the University of Melbourne. Last year Uni Melb announced a long-play in Indonesia including professional education courses there, a “flagship” post-doctoral programme and a graduate-school (CMM August 23 2019). There is now a more immediate objective for planners in Parkville, – how to explain that Uni Melbourne is not a lesser part of Marvellous Monash.

A jewel for medical research

SAPPHIRE will soon sparkle

People who use the National Health and Medical Research Council’s research system need to have their contact details current tomorrow to log on to the new “grant management system,” SAPPHIRE.

What the grant system that was coming in October, when Labor’s Deborah O’Neill asked in Senate Estimates when it would be ready and why it was costing three times what was first expected, you ask, (CMM October 30 2019).

That’s the one.

SAPPHIRE, at least stage one, is expected to launch, “in the coming week, pending final testing.”

Elsevier here to help

The European open access coalition, which promotes free-to-read Plan S, is commissioning a journal checker so researchers can check which journals publish OA

But for-profit publisher Elsevier promotes its own service, Journal Finder, “not sure if the journal you want to publish is open access? You can easily identify open access journals … ” As long, that is as they are journals published by Elsevier. “Elsevier Journal Finder uses smart search technology and field-of-research specific vocabularies to match your article to Elsevier journals.”

It rather goes to the heart of the argument.