Same as said in Parkville

“Monash is so remote that Antarctica is the next stop,” the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal reports on where new president of Uni RI, Marc Parlange, used to be provost. “Don’t tell the Tasmanians,” a learned reader remarks.

There’s more in the Mail

In Expert Opinion this morning Virginia Barbour (Open Access Australasia and QUT ) on the National Health and Medical Research Council’s big open access move, (episode 16) HERE .

 and in Features

Brett Mason has written a book on the achievements of great Aus scientists, Florey and Oliphant. John Byron (QUT) rates it, really rates it –  HERE.

plus the Australian Collaborative Education Network Board on stakeholder engagement in the next strategy for work integrated learning. This week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed now in learning and teaching,.

ANU polls prepare for the next pandemic

they set out the impact of lockdowns on senses of well being

Premier pollsters Nicholas Biddle, Ben Edwards and Patrick Rehill, from ANU’s Centre for Social Research and Methods,  surveyed people across the country 12 times, from April 2020 to last month.

The project estimates the relationship between the stringency of containment and responders’ sense of wellbeing.

There is a mass of data on different responses by demography and geography across levels of lockdown. “We are able to show that increases in policy stringency and increases in cases are both associated with a worsening in wellbeing at the individual level, but also that the association with the stringency value seems to be much stronger,” they conclude.

why this really matters: “It is only by carefully quantifying the level of lockdown restrictions and then linking these to a high-quality longitudinal survey that we are able to accurately capture the impacts of restrictions and to think empirically about the trade-offs society needed to make during the COVID-19 period, and may need to make again in the future.

and for the future?: “There is no doubt that some forms of lockdowns were essential to helping stop the spread of COVID-19 and limit case numbers and potential deaths. However, the findings presented in this paper show that measures designed to help protect people from the pandemic also have a clear impact on mental health and wellbeing. Whether this effect is long-lasting as we abandon strict lockdowns and start to live ‘COVID normal’ remains to be seen,” they write.


Westacott in demand

CMM Friday reported Jennifer Westacott (Business Council of Australia) is appointed to the Commonwealth’s new Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce and to the also new quantum computing advisory committee.

She also starts as chancellor of Western Sydney U in January.

In August CMM described her “as generous with her time and policy nous,” which seems right.



Politics is really local for U Tas

Hobart City Council elections are imminent – the university’s move into the CBD will be an issue

The council election includes an optional vote on the move. It’s not binding on the council but a big win either way would be hard for its elected members to ignore.

And both sides know it – The Mercury reports tensions betweee university management and the anti-move  Save U Tas Campus campaign.  The council election runs October 3-25 and voting is compulsory.

Which will make for an interesting public meeting,when candidates can address voters tomorrow night. It’s organised Save Campus group.

Space industry shines under the Southern Cross

Sydney will host the 2025  International Astronautical Congress 

The win was announced Friday. The successful pitch was that , “Australia is proud of our enduring commitment to the ethos and objectives of (the International Astronautical Federation) and our contribution to global space research and discovery.”

Good-o, although the top two specifics were straight out of the standard conference tourism playbook, Australia “offers a safe pair of hands in an uncertain world” and “an iconic location for delegates to create memories of a lifetime.”

More of the same from India

The existing business model could be as good as it gets

Catriona Jackson from Universities Australia, Luke Sheehy (Australian Technology Network) and Iain Martin (Deakin U and ATN) are in India this morning on a trade delegation.

This one is organised by AusTrade and led by Trade Minister Don Farrell. It follows Uni Melbourne’s Australia India Leadership Dialogue visit earlier this month, which included Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Uni Sydney vice chancellor, Mark Scott.

At less lofty levels universities, are furiously spruiking courses and setting up partnerships to rebuild their international numbers – one of the latest is a Uni South Australia team promoting its digital business course, in partnership with consulting giant Accenture (CMM September 6 2021), for on-line study and in Adelaide from next year.

All understandably so, as UA points out, 1 million Indians turn 18 every month.

But the vast, vast majority of them can’t be of interest to universities who want to rebuild their international student numbers in Australia.

To expand, really expand, Aus education in India requires major investment in establishing in-country – either in partnership, (alone for those who can find a way) or virtually.

The previous government talked a small game on how to do this. “Work with providers to encourage Indian students to study in a wider variety of courses, including through digital and blended modes of delivery that utilise advances in edtech. Innovative models of education delivery will help facilitate the skilling of diverse students and ready mobility to meet future skills needs,” was proposed in its update  to the 2018  Varghese strategy on trading with India.

Good-o, but as Mr Varghese pointed out in the original,  “foreign universities face a historical reluctance from Indian parents pay large sums of money for their child’s education in India.” As for on-line, Australian cost structures will make for hard competition from local low-cost providers.

New move for First Nations health

Dental schools have a new curriculum for working with First Nations people

It was commissioned by the Australasian Council of Dental Schools with development led by Julie Satur, from Uni Melbourne’s Dental School.

The curriculum is based on “culturally safe practice.”

“Cultural safety leads to cultural respect and a feeling of security for the patient,” says Josh Cubillo, from Uni Melbourne’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.

The new curriculum is in response to accreditation standards set last year by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority and the Dental Board of Australia. It will be rolled out over five year.

Appointments, achievement

Michael Adams becomes academic director of Uni New England’s Sydney campus. He continues head of its School of Law.   

Nicolas Hart moves from Flinders to UTS, where he will programme director of clinical exercise physiology.

In January, Tracy Humphrey will become Uni SA’s executive dean, Clinical and Health Sciences – she will move from Uni Queensland.

Amanda Morris is the new director of Charles Darwin U’s Academy of the Arts. She moves from ED, Conservatoire (leadership of higher education programmes) at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

Janine O’Flynn (Uni Melbourne and ANZ School of Government) becomes a fellow of the (US) National Academy of Public Administration