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“Combating wombat mange in the ACT,” the ACT Government reports a programme with Uni Tas ecologists.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

James Guthrie (Macquarie U) reports on QUT’s finances.

Michael Sankey (Charles Darwin U) and Chris Campbell (Griffith U) on live-lectures and tech in teaching – what students want is what works. It’s a response to Robert Vanderburg and Michael Cowling, in CMM here.

Suzy Syme and Liz Goode (Southern Cross U) on a prep programme for Y12s uncertain about study, new in Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

Redefining value for universities

Six expert discussions at the last Twig Marketing-CMM big ideas event for the year

Day one: What makes a university brand and what what they mean must mean in matching graduates to jobs

Day two: New directions in marketing and the end for open days

Day three: is it all over for the ATAR plus deciding on courses in demand (and not)

Check out the experts addressing the issues here.

Uni Sydney pushing for more teaching-specialists

The big enterprise bargaining issue at Uni Sydney is how many academics will do what sort of work

Management wants to change the number of staff working under the long in-place 40 (teaching), 40 (research) 20 (service) model.

VC Mark Scott signalled more staff needed to focus on teaching when he started (CMM August 10) and the issue keeps coming up in negotiations for a new workplace agreement, which started in August.  Now the number of teaching-only positions that can be externally advertised is capped at 120 but management is said to want no restriction.

The university pitches this as providing staff with more work-choice but critics respond that management wants a bigger teaching workforce whose labours will fund a research elite.


NSW drops quarantine for vaxxed arriving international students

Fully vaccinated international students arriving in Sydney will not need to sit out a fortnight’s quarantine

NSW Premier Perrottet announced the policy Friday

It applies from the first flight of a pilot programme, bringing 250 students in, on December 6. A second flight carrying anther 250 is due later in the month. Both will bring students at NSW and ACT institutions.

The quarantine exemption applies to students who can prove on arrival they are jabbed with a Therapeutic Goods Administration approved vaccine, which now include a Chinese vaccine and one manufactured in India.

This is a no-lose for Mr Perrottet, it suits his strategy of picking up the economic pace and if there is a problem he can blame the Commonwealth, which has to approve students entering Australia.


James Cook U wants more med school places

Medicine and Dentistry dean Richard Murray told the Cairns Post all about it Saturday

With 80 more places the university could expand the full medicine programme to Cairns and Mackay campuses.

This appears in-line with the university’s submission to a Senate committee inquiry into the supply of GPs outside cities.

“The single most important priority in medical workforce reform is to build a substantial pipeline of domestic medical graduates who willingly pursue remote and regional careers in general practice and rural generalist medicine as well as regional consultant practice,” JCU states.

The university also argues, that medical students from rural, regional and remote communities stay in them and they should receive a “primary care focussed curriculum delivered largely in the community in regional, rural and remote areas, and then to appropriate targeted regionally and rurally located postgraduate training pathways.”

The time is right for JCU to be pitching for more places, what with the 2022 election campaign already on in Queensland.

Last week Labor’s Jim Chalmers announced $50m for a new CQU campus in Cairns, which may mean the coalition will be looking for an education announcement of its own there. Especially one that is relatively low cost – Cairns, and Mackay, are both in safe-ish coalition seats.

Last blast for jazz academy

In February Uni SA announced this year would be the last for courses at its joint venture jazz school with maestro James Morrison (the hip one, not the singer). And so it is, with third-year student recitals last week and what was a farewell concert lastThursday night at the Mount Gambier based school.

Uni Melbourne acknowledges reliance on casuals must change

Just 72 were offered continuing employment under new legislation

Uni Melbourne VC Duncan Maskell has apologised and the university has, or will, pay casually employed academics owed nearly $10m because there were paid the wrong-rate.

There has been a “systemic failure of respect from this institution for those valued, indeed vital employees,” Professor Maskell said (CMM September 10).

And in the last weeks management has acknowledged to staff meetings that the university’s workforce structure, which relies on casuals is “neither desirable nor sustainable.”

Good-o, but only 72 out of 7700 casuals on the university’s books were offered continuing jobs under a new process required by the Fair Work Act. The university states it acted according to “specific legislative condition(s) that informed the assessment for conversion to permanent employment” and the same outcome is occurring across the country (scroll down). But this does not make long-term casuals feel better.

“The root cause of systemic underpayment of casual staff wages is the endemic casualisation of the university’s workforce. If the university is genuinely committed to being a fair workplace and a ‘world-class’ educational institution, it must convert casual staff into secure employment,” nearly 350, mainly long-term, casual academics state in an open letter to Professor Maskell.

Appointments, achievements

The Australasian Council on Open, Distance and e-Learning reports Michael Sankey (Charles Darwin U) is re-elected to a further two-year term as president. Kate Ames (CQU), Lynnae Venaruzzo (Western Sydney U) and Travis Cox (Uni Adelaide) are the executive.

Australian Collaborative Education Network reports its new board. Bonnie Dean (Uni Wollongong), Michelle Eady (Uni Wollongong), Susan Rowland (Uni Queensland), Jennifer Rowley (Uni Sydney), Leoni Russell (RMIT). Sharon Scott (Uni Adelaide) and Franziska Trede (UTS) are members.

Edith Cowan U’s 2021 staff excellence awards include, * research: Michelle Colgrave (Science) * research engagement: Clint Bracknell (Kurongkurl Katitjin Centre for Indigenous Australian Education) * learning and teaching: Christa Norris (Education) * Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Advancement: Kurongkurl Katitjin Student Success Team * Health and safety: Kitiya Dufall (Medical and Health Sciences)

Flinders U archaeologist Ian Moffat is awarded the Royal Society of South Australia’s Andrewartha Medal for early career research.

Making the point

Uni Newcastle has offered five casual staff members continuing employment – out of 2300 casuals whose credentials it checked, according to the National Tertiary Education Union. It was part of a process required by changes to the Fair Work Act.

There’s a “digital sit-in” today to protest the result, including live-readings of all the rejection lectures over 12 hours, via the NSW branch of the union’s Facebook and YouTube pages.