For a new series of Sherlock

Uni Melbourne publishes a research report by its own Jane Fenelon and Marilyn Renfree, with Stephen Johnston (Uni Queensland), “Solving the mystery of the four-headed echidna penis.” “An echidna with four-heads, who would have thought, Holmes!”

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning, Angel Calderon details (another) strong Australian result, in the new QS rankings.

Plus, compare and contrast QS with the new Leiden research rankings which Mr Calderon reported in CMM (June 3) here.

And Pablo MungulaLauren Butterworth and Jane Habner on three ways Flinders U brings learning resources closer to students. This week’s selection by Contributing Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed Now in Teaching and Learning.

A james of deans at Macquarie U

Macquarie U’s new faculty management structure is being rolled-out by bized

In February, the university proposed faculties should have a dean, supported by two deputies and up to five associates (CMM February 4) –which has started to happen in the Business School.

ED Eric Knight advises staff that Yvonne Breyer will be deputy dean – education and employability, as of July. What, you ask, that Yvonne Breyer, the creator, with colleagues of the Coursera hit (536 000 enrolments), Excel Skills for Business ? (CMM March 1). The very same.

In October Leonie Tickle commences as DD, research and innovation.

The school is now looking for three associate deans, curriculum and learning, C&L – post professional experience and research training.

Local impact: Uni Newcastle nails it

There’s a new brand campaign that isn’t actually a campaign

At least not of the glib 30-second media spot kind, pitched at people who think with the right degree they can be secretary general of the UN before they are 30.

Instead, it presents the university as offering an opportunity “to be part of something bigger” using researchers talking about their work, thinking globally and applying locally, on saving Indigenous languages, protecting frogs from extinction, and tackling (sorry) concussion in football.

This will be a campaign for the Hunter and by the university in the Hunter. Uni Newcastle has a regional monopoly and is making the most of it.

Problem is the three 3 mins 30 seconds segments in the first burst look expensive and for this to work Uni Newcastle will need to keep them coming.

It’s not what you know and it isn’t who you know either

“We have a student return programme that would work. I am yet to convince my former colleagues in Canberra that it will work,” ANU Chancellor Julie Bishop, speech at the Australia-China Education Symposium, Sydney, yesterday.

Bright ideas to light up the MRFF

There’s a pattern to submissions to the administration audit of the MRFF seen by CMM – calls for quite a few further and much better particulars

As Uni Sydney suggests, ““it is not clear who is responsible for the overall governance of the MRFF or how the many organisations involved in its management and governance … interact to make decisions,” (CMM June 8).

It’s a theme in Science and Technology Australia’s submission, which calls for “great (sic) clarity of the governance structure of the MRFF and how it relates to the selection of priorities and administration of research initiatives.”

STA also suggests published success rates after each application round. And it calls for longer-submission times, to allow for complex, multi-institution bids.

STA is careful to acknowledge that the MRFF is “a very different grant programme” to those of the National Health and Medical Research Council (and the Australian Research Council), but the way the NHRMC does things gets admiring mentions.

As it does in other submissions.

More campus life at Uni Wollongong

But not so much for lectures

Uni Wollongong, will be “boosting” on-campus classes for the Spring semester, with appropriate capacity and physical distancing limits in-place. “We have heard many students that they have missed being on campus and making the most of the social experience for which UoW is renowned,” DVC E Theo Farrell says.

But lectures aren’t the biggest part of the plan, with 535 staying on-line, around 230 being live on-campus, and 85 both.

It’s a change from five year back, when it was students who liked lectures recorded, which some academics opposed.

Back then the “vast majority” of the 10 100 digital recordings in the university system were lectures – viewed 1.097m times in 2016 (CMM November 10 2016).

Engagement Australia awards are open

The seven categories are an opportunity for ANZ universities to show-case their engaging and innovating with their communities

The awards emerged from those offered by the now no-more Business Higher Education Roundtable and include, industry, research impact and leadership plus categories for alumni and Indigenous Engagement.

CMM’s fave from the 2020 awards is Uni SA’s winning entry in community engagement for its patient and practitioner programme on dealing with chronic pain.

Entry details are here.

Postgraduates’ experiences: they don’t like their chances

They want help to create career paths – they aren’t getting it

A new qualitative study of coursework and HDR postgrads finds “a strong theme of pessimism” about post-study careers especially among those who aspire to be academics.

“Interviewed students who commented specifically on their university’s employability and careers services   and   supports   tended   to express   dissatisfaction   for what   they   perceived as services specifically designed for undergraduates,” Elizabeth Cook (Edith Cowan U) and (quite a few) colleagues write.*

And PGs aren’t all that pleased about their academic experience which they expected, “to  be  different  from    and   further    advanced    than    their    undergraduate    studies. Overall, they expressed disappointment that this was generally not the case.”

The authors suggest universities should

* create opportunities for “robust scholarly interaction” among PGs * establish employability strategies specifically for postgrads * provide them with “success coaches” and * “recognise postgraduates as their emerging workforce”


* Elizabeth J Cook (Edith Cowan U), Linda Crane (Bond U), Shelley Kinash (Uni Southern Queensland), Amy Bannatyne (Bond U),  Joseph Crawford (Uni Tas), Gary Hamlin (Bond U), Madelaine-Marie Judd (Uni Queensland), Jo-Anne Kelder (Uni Tas), Helen Partridge (Deakin U) and Sarah Richardson (Australian Council for Educational Research, UK), “Australian postgraduate student experiences and anticipated employability: a national study from the students’ perspective,” Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 12 2 (2021)