Not on the table

Uni Melbourne’s annual report was not tabled in the Victorian Parliament, with those of all the other public unis on Tuesday, because there are “delays” in the Auditor General’s examination of financial statements.

So what goes on? CMM asked. Uni Melbourne replied in the “go-away!” of the day that the annual report will be tabled “at a later date.”

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Jack Breen (UNSW) looks at election advertising in social media. So far Labor is spending way most – but not on education messages.

plus Warren Bebbington (Uni Melbourne) on how universities can urgently address climate change in teaching, research and service. “It is in their core programs that universities can make the most significant contribution to ending this alarming crisis,” he writes.

with Catharine Coleborne and Clare Lloyd (Uni Newcastle) on a new BA, with more inquiry-based subjects and interactive pedagogies. It has changed how academics think about designing and teaching humanities. It’s Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s selection this week for her celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

and Angel Calderon’s (RMIT) analysis of the new Times Higher impact rankings (CMM yesterday) – which Aus universities are up, those that are down, how it happens and why it matters.

What’s next for international ed

CMM has no clue so we asked experts, including TEQSA Chief Commissioner Peter Coaldrake

Join him, (in conversation with Sally Kift) on Tuesday. The full programme is here.

National Tertiary Education Union is hacked

General Secretary Matthew McGowan told members yesterday afternoon that the union’s servers and networks had been “subject to a ransomware attack” overnight

“While at this early stage we cannot be certain of the extent of the data breach and its implications, the potential exists that your personal details may have been compromised,” he warned.

Mr McGowan urged members to change on-line banking and credit card passwords and to check for fraudulent or suspicious activity.

“As with many other organisations, all our precautions were unable to prevent this malicious attack,” he added.

Three ways to open access for research in Australia

In 2006 the federal government funded OA research repositories – OA Australasia suggests it’s time for some more support

Open Access Australasia uses the election to call for the next government to support three projects

*  making subscription journals OA and support for systems and technical infrastructure that open access publishing requires

* upgrades of university and subject repositories which include OA content

*making research that, “is unique to Australia” open access


More MOOCS that will matter from Uni Queensland

It’s a long-time leader in on-line open access courses (4m enrolments since 2014). Now Uni Qld can expand its life-skills range

The university has funding from edX to create courses in critical thinking, collaboration and communication, information and technology literacy, initiative and adaptability.

This is in-line with what Uni Queensland has long achieved in addition to academic subjects, – teaching generic skills and helping people improve their lives. Like its IELTS prep course and a MOOC on employability. Then are those that ambitiously address the imponderables of life, such as “Understanding the Australian health-care system

Vic uni annual reports record a tough 2020

Yesterday CMM covered Victorian uni annual reports, tabled Tuesday in state parliament. Here are three more (including one you might not have expected)

Dual sector Federation U reports a net operating surplus for 2021 of $33m. However this is based on a $56m positive re-evaluation of investments. Overall income was $325m last year, down from $343m in 2020 and $376m in  2019, the last pre-pandemic year. Outlays were $339m in 2019 and $292m last year.

The university took a hit on international student numbers, with HE division EFTS dropping from 6133 in 2020 to 3044 last year. International student income was down 49 per cent. And it is not looking for domestic student numbers to soon replace any of the loss, “a significant transformation of the university to better align with future jobs growth in the regional communities we serve … will take a number of years to generate significant new revenue streams,” VC Duncan Bentley states.

The University of Divinity also reported, (it was established by Victorian legislation in 1910).  It recorded a $255 000 loss on revenue of $15.9m  While the university was “relatively insulated” from the impact of the pandemic, it points to an 8 per cent drop in enrolments.

Also dual sector Victoria U did not take much of a hit on overall HE student numbers, 19 950 in EFTS in 2021 was a couple of hundred down on 2020, which was much the same as 2019. However in-country international student EFTS were down a third, to 2000.  The university also took an income hit, with $466m in revenue last year, down from $474m in 2020 and $480m in 2019. With expenses higher in both 2021 and 2020 than in ’19, the operating margin was tight – 1.6 per cent last year.

Dolt of the day


In yesterday’s email edition CMM got wrong the value of RMIT property sales listed in its 2021 annual report. The incorrect $700m figure was deleted from the www edition yesterday.

Appointments, achievements

Robert Goodin (ANU) wins the 2022 Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science, for decades of work, to “blend political philosophy with empirical political science to increase the understanding of how decent and dignified societies can be shaped.” The prize is awarded by the Swedish Skytte Foundation.

Tess Lea is leaving Uni Sydney to become head of Community, Culture and Global Studies at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. She starts there in July.

Duncan Maskell is appointed to a second five-year as Uni Melbourne VC