There’s more in the Mail

This week’s feature in the teaching and learning future for the series is Sally Varnham (UTS) on  working with students as partners.

Uni Adelaide “examining” trimester

The rumours at Uni Adelaide are true – management is examining, “trimesterisation.”

But there is a huge however attached; the university says, “no decision has been made to change the scheduling of our teaching. If a specific trimesterisation model is to be explored further, consultation with students and staff will be undertaken.”

Quite a lot of consultation would be wise –  UNSW started talking about a trimester system three years back and after the launch this year student groups are still talking, just not favourably.

Working on work-ready Uni Queensland students

The university is keen for students to experience the employment potential of humanities and social science degrees

The HASS faculty has a new subject for second semester, practical employability experience.

The course involves 80-120 hours of work-experience, placements, internships or work- related projects, to give participants “the opportunity to apply their discipline-based educational experiences to a practical setting.

“The course provides students with the opportunity to enhance their understanding of their potential to contribute to professional working environments, developed through the explicit, real world application of their program.”

Can’t fault HASS for faith in what their courses can accomplish.

Dolt of the day

Is CMM. Readers yesterday saw an advertisement for last year’s TEQSA conference (so inconvenient if your time-machine was being serviced) instead of this one. The link to conference info was correct but the creative was wrong. This year’s advert was live in email and www editions by 10.30 am.

Swinburne says it’s set to “cut through the clutter”

The marketing chief sets expectations for a new brand campaign

Swinburne U has a new brand campaign set to go, with a staff launch on Monday. And what a campaign it will be, “an exciting new chapter for the Swinburne brand,” Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Graham says.

“From school leavers to researchers and community to industry, this is a message that will resonate with all of Swinburne’s audiences.”

Every university is competing for attention, yet many offer similar messages. We have been working hard to develop a message that will cut through the clutter and help Swinburne stand out from the pack.”

Pathways to politics at QUT

There’s a new programme for Queensland women who want to get elected

QUT’s business school is launching a pathway to politics programme for women who want to win elected office, but do not have a factional machine in their garage. It takes its lead from the University of Melbourne’s school of government which started such a scheme in 2017 to teach women how the electoral process works. Three course graduates won seats in last year’s Victorian state election, Juliana Addison and Kat Theophanous  for Labor and Bridget Vallence for the Liberals (CMM December 3).

The QUT programme’s first class will be 20 women who are graduates of any Queensland university.

At Flinders U union and management say a good deal is done

Flinders U members of the National Tertiary Education Union have voted unanimously to back the enterprise agreement jointly proposed by its officials and management

The proposed deal was negotiated for staff by the NTEU plus the other two campus unions, the AMWU and CPSU, plus a bargaining agent/

The pay-rise is in-line with the rest of the sector, a $2100 increase to base, plus four annual increase for 2018-2022 ranging from 1.7 per cent to 1.9 per cent. And there are Flinders-specific improvements to employment security, notably for fixed term and casuals.

NTEU branch president Andrew Miller describes the two years of bargaining as “lively and contested.”

Management agrees, HR head Steve Barrett points to the “professional approach taken by the unions and bargaining agent during this process to achieve an outcome that is supported by all parties involved.”

This seems a contrast to the bitter disputes over academic and administrative change and restructuring of the academic workforce, much of which occurred while enterprise bargain was underway.

As F Scott Fitzgerald would have written if interested in industrial relations, “the test of a first-rate negotiator is the ability to hold two opposed negotiating strategies in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

But what’s with the bargaining agent? Apparently three staff were represented by one of the trio, “as is their right,” the university says.

Unis on uniform free speech code: we know what we’re doing

Universities Australia states the sector’s independence in the face of demands members adopt the French review’s model free speech code

The peak body’s board yesterday issued a carefully worded statement reaffirming a 2018 announcement of all members, “commitment to the enduring principles of academic freedom and freedom of expression on campuses and amongst their students and staff.”

“Freedom of expression and academic freedom go to the heart of what our universities do. They are fundamental to how we operate. This is why Mr French’s proposed model code is being given careful attention by our universities to ensure the robustness of their frameworks for free speech and academic freedom,” chair Deborah Terry (Curtin U VC) said yesterday.

While acknowledging, university staff, students and speakers are subject to laws prohibiting hate speech, discrimination and incitement to violence, UA points to its members’ 2008 statement on academic freedom.

“Universities have a special role as institutions dedicated to free, open and critical expression across the full scope of human knowledge and endeavour. Central to this role is the freedom of staff and students to teach, research, debate and learn independent of external political circumstance and pressure,” the peak body stated yesterday.

The best way to ensure universities adopt the Robert French proposal might be for its supporters off campus to stop demanding they do ot.

Vic med schools triple entente

Country-life will be healthier for students

Deakin and Monash universities, with Uni Melbourne have agreed on a collaboration to improve rural health outcomes. The three universities rural health departments have different patches, across country Victoria. They say the arrangement will benefit priority areas – indigenous programs plus nursing and allied health students.

“If a student from one university is placed in an area covered by another, both will cooperate to ensure the student is supported,” the allies announce.

Good-o, but what previously happened for a student from Uni X who was placed on Uni Y’s turf?

Good budget for NSW TAFE

Shame the boss is leaving

A learned reader wise in the ways of TAFE suggests last week’s NSW state budget was “a good and sensible outcome” for the system.

Government grants are up $400m, probably in part to pay for 100 000 promised free extra course places. There is $80m for a new centre in Sydney’s west to teach construction trades and $60m for learning centres in regional centres.

Sales of goods and services were $230m under a budget $570m this year. Next year sales are expected to be $342m, less than actually earned this.

Looks like it helps having a new MD who was a deputy secretary at the state’s treasury, the LR adds.

Just not for long, Caralee McLiesh announced yesterday that she was leaving the top spot to become New Zealand treasury secretary. “Though my time here has been short, I have been proud to have contributed to strengthening TAFE,” she told staff yesterday.

Dr McLeish joined NSW TAFE in September last year.


Brent Davis (Uni Melbourne) has won the Michael Ventris Award for Mycenaean Studies, awarded by the University of London. Uni Melbourne advises it “cements his reputation as a major international scholar of un-deciphered scripts.” No, the announcement is not in Linear B.