Original architect

Chris Knapp is the inaugural professor of architecture at Western Sydney University. He joins from Bond U.

Choose us: IRU likes the idea of an ASEAN research centre

The Innovative Research Universities group has backed Labor’s promise in government to enhance Australian engagement with Asia. In a Friday speech Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen committed to an ASEAN studies centre and a focus on Asian language learning. “IRU members have a foundational commitment to engagement with Asia, enjoying long-established links with Asian counterparts,” the lobby states. IRU also likes the study centre idea, adding its “members would be outstanding hosts.”

Tracey Bretag writes the book on protecting academic integrity

Regulator TEQSA is sending less a signal than switching-on a flashing neon sign that it expects higher education institutions to deal with student cheating. Academic integrity is “critical to protecting students’ learning outcomes, educational standards and the strong reputation of Australia’s higher education sector,” TEQSA head Anthony McClaran says.

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency has a new guide to dealing with contract cheating by University of South Australia’s Tracey Bretag. It builds on extensive research by Associate Professor Bretag, including a recent survey on cheating at Australian universities with colleague Rowena Harper (CMM June 16).

AsPro Bretag sets out 22 actions providers can take to reduce cheating, by promoting academic integrity, dealing with breaches and reducing risks. The guid includes case studies of work at the University of South Australia, Macquarie, and Deakin universities and Nottingham Trent U in the UK.

This is practical information, which makes the case for and shows how to create institution-wide systems for stopping student dishonesty.

It’s not just young women who aren’t interested in engineering

It isn’t just young women who aren’t interested in engineering. New research by Engineers Australia reports that last year some 10 600 applicants via tertiary admissions centres accepted university offers, down on the 2011 figure, with the “key driver” being a fall in men starting study. Male acceptances in 2016 were 8920, down from 9297 in 2015. The corresponding acceptances by women who applied via TAC were 1722, a drop of 138 on 2015. Acceptance by direct applicants to universities were also down.

While there are still not many of them, the academic standard of women accepting offers on the basis of their ATAR is much higher than for men. While 39 per cent of men made offers were in the top bracket the comparable per centage for women was just shy of 60 per cent. With these young women constituting just 5.4 per cent of female high ATAR achievers EA suggests, “the potential to recruit more women to engineering from the top ATAR bracket is high, providing the areas they studied are appropriate.” And if they can be convinced engineering is for them – which the vast majority now think it isn’t. EA doesn’t speculate why engineerings is less popular with men.

UoQ DVC R moving to be dean of medicine at UniSydney

Robyn Ward is the University of Sydney’s incoming executive dean for the new Medical and Health Faculty. Professor Ward is now DVC R and acting executive dean of medicine at the University of Queensland, where she has served since November 2014. She will join UniSydney in July.

ANU rates with philosopher PhDs

The American Philosophical Association has released its 2017 report on student satisfaction and graduate employment outcomes for universities with doctoral programmes in philosophy.

ANU ranks second after U Cal Berkeley, and immediately ahead of Georgetown U, U Cal Riverside, Harvard and MIT.

Macquarie U is 11th in the world with doctoral graduates there reporting the “expertise, friendliness and amiability” of “advisory faculty”. The University of Melbourne makes the list of 37 at 28th. The list is entirely anglosphere, with 30 or so US institutions, joined by a couple of UK and Canadian universities and the Australians.

A separate rank records job placements, with the University of Sydney at 28th on the list of the 63 institutions that are above the average for all 137 surveyed. Some 53 per cent of PhD completers were employed in a permanent academic position, 40 per cent of them in PhD granting institutions.

STA refresh

Science and Technology Australia welcomes three new board members. Rebecca Ritchie, from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, joins representing medicine. Katherine Daffron (UNSW) is the new aquatic sciences representative and comms consultant Kylie Ahern is the general representative. The vacancy for an agriculture representative STA mentioned in August (CMM August 22) appears unfilled.

STS is now inviting nominations for executive committee positions, VP, treasurer, early career representative and general representative.

New ARC Linkage Grants announced

Five winners in the new round of Linkage Grants are announced by the Australian Research Council;

David Lindenmayer from ANU, with partners the Department of Defence and Parks Australia, has $645k to look at flora management in fire-prone ecosystems.

Andrew Martin (UNSW) and the King’s School will work on science engagement and motivation.

Kirill Alexandrov from The University of Queensland, will collaborate with Molecular Warehouse Pty Ltd to develop low-cost ultrasensitive biosensors to collect physiological and environmental information rapidly. The ARC is providing $662k.

Andrew Gleadow from The University of Melbourne and ANSTO receive $880k to develop a robust time scale for the known aboriginal rock art sequence in the Kimberley, Western Australia.

At UWA Lorenzo Faraone will work with Aselsan A.S., using $490k to develop high-performance, lower cost infrared sensors for defence, environmental monitoring and medical imaging.

Partner organisations will contribute $7.1m in cash and kind to these and other un-detailed projects.

Expert interns

The Defence Department will give 100 PhD students a three to six-month internship to work on national security “challenges.” The programme will run for four years and is funded by an internship programme for women in STEM. Presumably this means the Defence interns will all be women, although Defence Industry Minister Pyne’s announcement is silent on gender.

Achieving undergraduates: four Australians win global award

Four Australians have won their categories in the Irish based Undergraduate Awards, which select research papers by students from universities across the world.

Robert Sarich from ANU won the business category for his paper, ““Solving social problems with social marketing: using a process-driven approach to develop a solution to Australia’s blood shortage,” written for a social marketing unit. Kathy Liu, also from ANU is the law winner for “Moral emotions and restorative justice: A legal-psychological analysis of the role of shame and guilt in the restorative justice process in offender rehabilitation.” Brandon Zubek from ANU was shortlisted for a paper on emotional intelligence and job performance.

Phillip Karpati from the University of Sydney took the award for chemistry and pharmaceutical science, for “Selenium-Mediated Peptide Ligations at Proline-Proline Junctions.”

Melanie Hechenberger from Monash University won in classics/archaeology for “The Origin of Writing in Egypt: Administrative or Ceremonial?”

Author! Author!

Yesterday CMM quoted Dylan Griffiths, NTEU official at WSU, on the state of negotiations with management. Mr Griffiths posted the remarks but the union neglected to attribute them to their author, union branch president David Burchell.