Planning approval

U Tas VC Rufus Black is not universally admired by opponents of his plan to move much of the university to the Hobart CBD – so their congratulations on his appointment to the Commonwealth’s new Urban Planning Forum may be muted

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Peter Woelert (Uni Melbourne) laments the assembly-line approach to research publishing – more is not better

plus Merlin Crossley (UNSW) visits the Francis Crick Institute – it’s a UK research .model that Australian can learn from

with Joseph Crawford  (U Tas) making the case for open access in the scholarship of teaching and learning. New in Commissioning Editor Sally Kift‘s celebrated series, Needed now in learning and teaching,

Pay rises on the way at Uni Queensland

The university offers staff pay rises of 15.76 per cent to 17.74 per cent (the difference is the relative impact of a $1500 signing bonus)

There is also a commitment to casual academic staff being offered continuing employment and academic freedom protections.

These are good results for the union bargaining team and while National Tertiary Education Union members are not abandoning scheduled industrial action just yet word is they will once a union-university heads of agreement is in-place.

Union members will then need to approve a final detailed draft before it goes to an all-staff vote.

Dentistry delayed

CMM and Buzz T Dog were taking the air in the park at Sydney’s Central Station on Thursday when BTD noticed a big building spectacularly ablaze

As a student of dental education architecture Buzz remarked the fire was perilously close to the Sydney Dental Hospital.

He was right – Uni of Sydney dentistry dean Heiko Spallek advises staff and students were evacuated and the school shut down. It will resume “as soon as safe and practical” he said Friday.

Uni Newcastle union to management: negotiate not arbitrate

Uni Newcastle VC Alex Zelinsky hopes the Fair Work Commission can settle a deal between university and the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education

He told staff last week that a meeting with the FWC is scheduled for tomorrow (CMM May 25, 26).

But as of Friday his hope was forlorn, with NTEU members voting for the VC to withdraw his application to the commission.

“The NTEU is deeply disappointed that senior management at Uni Newcastle Uni has walked away from direct negotiations … when the parties were close to agreement, national secretary Damien Cahill says.

To demonstrate the depths of disappointment, his members are going out for 24 hours on Thursday.

Flinders U’s very own AUKUS

Adelaide is variously agog or appalled  at the prospect of its two CBD-fringe unis merging – but Flinders isn’t looking local

What may be about to become the state’s sole stand-alone public university has its own Aukus.

VC Colin Stirling signed a partnership Friday with Uni Rhode Island president Marc Parlange (yes, the former Monash U provost).

It complements a Flinders agreement with Uni Manchester (as in the UK, not Rhody’s New Hampshire neighbour).

Both URI and the Mancunians know a bunch about submarines – and Flinders U is keen to learn, what with Adelaide supposed to be where Australia’s nuclear boats will be built.

Rooms of their own for more Uni Q students

The idea is to “at least” double its existing 740 beds, (plus residential colleges) thus reducing pressure on rentals in surrounding St Lucia

Design options are for three buildings of five-nine stories, across the road from the 610 bed Kev Carmody House, that opened last year.

The university says it will be “consulting” with Brisbane City Council – which is wise.

A campus master-plan copped criticism from neighbours worried about over-development (CMM July 23 2015).


Too-easy VET quals

Bodgy international education agents aren’t the only problem in student recruitment

Voced insiders warn that agents are selling the idea of quick qualifications in the local market (“qualify in a month”), based on very liberal ideas of what counts as recognised prior learning.

Agents says proof of skill can be photos and videos of aspiring tradespeople doing tasks (CMM May 17).

The sell from “education support service providers” is certificates and diplomas without classroom study via RPL, in traditional trades, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, cookery. Presumably going where the money is, one offers “NDIS Individual care”.

“Through our partner providers, you can get certified and the sky is the limit!,” one “provider” states.

Curiously, the names and details of the registered training organisations doing the certifying aren’t included.

This matters more than gullible people doing their dough for qualifications that aren’t – a supposed electrician who isn’t could get people killed (CMM May 17)

And it clips the credibility coin of the RTO system as a whole.

Over to ASQA.


The Commonwealth’s new Urban Planning Forum includes, Barbara Norman – Uni Canberra (chair) and Neil Argent (Uni New England),  Rufus Black (U Tas), and Elle Davidson (Uni Sydney).

 Fred Yasso becomes director of Curtin U’s Centre for Aboriginal Studies. Mr Yasso has worked in the centre since 2019.