Star power

“I’m all for popular culture that gets people talking about science” Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews, Reps Question Time yesterday. She was referring to TV’s The Bachelor in which young women (one a chemical engineer) compete for the attention of a bloke, in this case Swinburne U astrophysicist Matt Agnew. “As the bachelor said last night science is sexy,” Ms Andrews told the chamber. A learned reader suggests an alternative message better suited to the gender imbalance in STEM is, “a woman scientist needs a male astrophysicist, likes a fish needs a bicycle.”

There’s more in the Mail

In a world-first for tertiary education, the University of Newcastle is adopting a personalised approach to learning design, known as “Big Picture Education.”  Erica James explains.

Tiago Barros from Publons reports on the state of peer reviewing, including growing demand for, but declining supply of, reviewers and the push for publishing reviews.

MOOC of the morning

Mark Moran (Uni Queensland) wins a MOOC excellence award from the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It’s for his, “Critical Development Perspectives”, (via edX). It’s part of the university’s Leadership in Global Development micromasters.

TEQSA to report on admission information

Back in August 2017 regulator TEQSA started considering admissions information – opacity in the applicability of ATARs was a big issue

Now the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency reports it is evaluating responses to what the Higher Education Standards Panel recommended (well, told more like) institutions to do. TEQSA will report findings to the minister in March.

Given the always helpful agency produced a “good practise note” on admissions transparency in July (CMM July 8), any institution not up to standard will surely have brought wrath upon itself.

The case of the disappearing biz journal ranking

Last Friday the business deans group released its much-anticipated draft journal ranking, and then withdrew it

The results were closely reviewed by editors and admirers of journals that went up, down or stayed the same – there was much-ish movement in financial fields and marketing. But not for long, by the beginning of the week the ranking was gone, “due to unforeseen technical issues.” The Australian Business Deans Council says that the issue, “meant in a handful of cases the draft list did not reflect the recommendations of the panels.”

The revised draft is now due Monday, with feedback extended for a week, to October 18.

The revised ranking, wherever it is, was based on a methodology review in 2017, by Kim Langfield Smith (Monash U emeritus professor) and Geoffrey Wood (Uni Essex). Some eight discipline based panels oversaw its assembly (CMM April 16).

Where unis can’t help international grads

Deakin U releases a major report on post-study work rights for international students

It’s survey-based research by Ly Tran, Mark Rahimi (both Deakin U) and George Tan (Uni Adeldaide) and CMM reported Aspro Tran’s take on their findings here (July 3).

They also point to a post study work-rights policy-problem that universities could help graduates with, but cannot.

“The fact that only migration agents are legally permitted to provide migration advice, which precludes universities and education agents from this, inadvertently contributes to the vulnerability of international students and graduates to unethical practices of some migration agents. Many universities avoid providing advice related to PSWR … pathways for international graduates as the matter is deemed to be too sensitive and closely interrelated with migration issues.”

Last stand for the Education Investment Fund

Tanya Plibersek asks unis to oppose the government closing the Education Investment Fund and transferring its $4bn to a disaster relief kitty

The shadow education minister has written to university leaders pointing out how things would have been better if Labor had won the election, with the return of demand-driven UG places, and the $300m University Future, (not to mention Labor’s promised $174m for equity and pathway programmes Ms Plibersek does not mention.)

But, as for the EIF, which the government has been trying to get its hands on since 2014, this time the Senate numbers are not with Labor. So, Ms Plibersek urges HE groups to support a last-ditch stand to save it, by making submissions to a Senate inquiry on the emergency response bill (where the money will go), due to complete on October 10.

Labor will continue to fight for fair funding and proper investment in education,” Ms Plibersek says.

What, a learned reader wonders, like it did in the 2009 budget, when the Rudd Government moved $4bn of the $6.5bn then in the Education Investment Fund to clean-energy and nation-building initiatives?

Really special effect

The Rookie Awards, which judge student work in digital arts are out – with wins for UTS

The UTS Animal Logic Academy wins the mobile production and immersive media excellence categories. Flinders U, which has now rated in all three years of the awards, is sixth in the world for concept art and illustration.

Good outcome for UTS, which teaches an animation and visualisation masters in partnership with the Animal Logic digital studio.

Appointments achievements

Of the day

Ian Frazer (cervical cancer vaccine) from the University of Queensland receives the 50th anniversary Life Time Achievement award from the Public Health Association of Australia.  The PHA also honours two other Uni Queensland academics; PVC Indigenous Engagement Bronwyn Fredericks for her Indigenous health work and adjunct fellow Danette Langbecker who is mentor of the year.

 Of the week

 Lauren Kelly joins federally funded industry programme MTP as director of its biomedical translation bridge.

Paulo de Souza is the new head of Griffith U’s school of ICT, moving from CSIRO. He replaces Bela Stantic who returns to research and teaching after seven years as head of school.

The Media Centre for Education Research Australia announces six new members for its education research advisory panel; Kim Beswick (UNSW), Sheilah Degotardi (Macquarie U), Julianne Moss (Deakin U), Mary Ryan (Macquarie U), Pasi Sahlberg (UNSW) and Annette Woods (Australian Association for Research in Education).

Publons (Web of Science group) announces its top global peer reviewers for 2019. The cross-publisher awards “recognise global researchers for both the quality and quantity of their peer reviews.” Three ANZ based reviewers are on the ten-person list of top editors by number of manuscript peer-reviews managed, Anthony C Smith, (professor of on-line health at the University of Queensland), Sara Dolnicar (professor tourism, also Uni Queensland) and Marius Rademaker (dermatology, Uni Auckland).

Martina Stenzel (UNSW) wins the Royal Society of NSW’s bi-annual Liversidge Medal for chemistry.  Professor Stenzel became a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science last year.

Team members for TEQSA’s new academic integrity-contract cheating workshop are; Tracey Bretag (Uni SA), Guy Curtis, (UWA), Margot McNeill, (International College of Management Sydney) and Christine Slade, (Uni Queensland).

Jane Pirkis (University of Melbourne) wins the Stengel Award for research from the International Association for Suicide Prevention.