U Tas goes to town in property

The uni now has the full city-site it wants

The University of Tasmania is reported to have purchased the Kemp and Denning hardware store in the Hobart CBD, which is said to complete the footprint for its coming CBD campus. They do not muck around at U Tas, council only approved Friday scaling down at the existing Sandy Bay site and going big in the city. Bit of luck council members did not decide they liked the existing campus after all.

Research funding not campaign promises

Cynics suggest ministers are getting announcements out before care-taking kicks in – but what can you expect from cynics?

Curtin U will be the base for the second CRC of round 20, announced yesterday. It’s the Future Batteries Cooperative Research Centre. Industry Minister Karen Andrews says the feds will kick in $25m with another $110m in cash and kind from the centre’s 58 partners.

 UniTas has the $50m more over ten years it requested for Antarctic research. “Tasmania’s research sector is a critical part of the state’s economy and we are delighted that this funding will help us to grow that contribution over the next decade,” VC Rufus Black says.

UTas also picks up $10m for multiple sclerosis research at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research. The university states Tasmania has the “highest prevalence” of MS in Australia.

And there are  four equity grants from the Department of Education and Training.

A La Trobe U project has $300 000 to investigate how universities keep in contact with low SES students who defer their first year of study.

University of Queensland research will use $322 000 to examine the compound and/or cumulative disadvantage of people who are in multiple equity groups.

The University of Tasmania is provided $379 000 for a study of how admission practises impact on retention and completion of low SES students

And the University of Newcastle has $113 000 for a review of international studies of equity in HE.

Unnecessary misery

The Macquarie U community was exposed to measles, what the disease vaccination protects against? That’s the one.

NSW Health  warns the Macquarie U community that “a person” now diagnosed with measles attended eight lectures and tutes last Wednesday and Thursday. The disease is airborne and symptoms take seven to eighteen days to emerge.

Trading up to pinstripe apprenticeships  

 Future high-viz could come in suits

The Full-Service Six alliance of dual-sector universities makes the case for apprenticeships at all levels of the Australian Qualification Framework (CMM yesterday). So how would that work, you ask? – oh, go on because the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research  addresses the issue.

The short answer is that it won’t: “Given the divergent views of stakeholders, it is unlikely that a ‘standard’ higher apprenticeship model can be developed and successfully implemented,” NCVER MD Simon Walker says.

VET people think apprenticeships in high-level fields, say advanced manufacturing, should have the same characteristics as existing ones, while HE participants thought they should be “a broader notion of integrated training and employment.”

There are also “a myriad of barriers,” in the existing education and industrial systems.

But the idea is out there: Australian Industry Group, Siemens Ltd and Swinburne U are combining to offer an Industry 4.0 apprenticeship, leading to a diploma and associate degree in applied technologies. Consultants PwC has a scheme for staff to complete VET dips as an alternative to the company’s graduate programme.

What happens next: “A more likely scenario is the development of a variety of higher apprenticeships and apprenticeship-like models of learning within the constraints of the current system,” the NCVER suggests.  Programmes that work will meet specific industry needs, in “highly technical industries, such as engineering, information technology and advanced manufacturing, as well as industries where practical experience is as valuable as technical skills, such as in human services and health.”

In the big ideas business

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business  announces its 21 innovators in curriculum, thought leadership and research programmes, including;

Monash Malaysia: “new products, change existing business models and services, and shape public policies to improve the health and wellbeing of older people”

Uni SA’s Ehrenberg Bass Institute for Marketing Science: corporate sponsorship programme funding research

UNSW: “translational, multidisciplinary research methodology for co-creating business and social impact”

Ramsay western civ degree no closer at Uni Queensland

It’s not the fall of Ramsay western civilisation but the proposed Uni Queensland course is looking shaky

The university’s humanities and social sciences board of studies has declined to recommend the course content proposed for funding by the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation (CMM Tuesday). The university states the board told faculty executive dean Heather Zwickerfurther consultation and refinement of the curriculum” is required.

Some 200 HASS staff had previously signed a petition rejecting the proposal for a range of reasons, including the “programme is implicitly hostile to contemporary currents in the humanities and social sciences which aim to decolonise the university” and its “great books” approach, “… is not an appropriate fit for a modern research university.”

What you see …

Stefan Lüpold, (University of Zurich), with Leigh Simmons and Cyril Grueter from UWA, find showy primates, “manes, beards, fleshy swellings, and colourful skin patches,” have smaller testicles. There is no word if the research applies to President Trump’s hair.

QILT uncovers more on uni performance

There’s more in Australia’s own rating of teaching and learning

Universities love commercial rankings, where everyone wins a prize, “world top-ten for STEM and water polo,” “global leader for DVCs with y in their name” that sort of stuff. But when Australian students speak some unis with big PR machines turn the superlative generator off. Performances in the new Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (CMM yesterday) might explain why.

But there is much more in QILT than what undergraduates think of their overall experience.

Disciplines do not change: The 2018 QILT demonstrates undergraduate satisfaction with the discipline they study stayed the same. This year’s overall satisfaction score is 79 per cent, with dentistry the under-performer at 70, down one point on 2017, which was four lower than 2016. Computing is off the bottom, up three per cent to 73. In contrast students just love other tough and technical disciplines, medicine is stable at 83 and vet science rates 86.

The unis postgrads rate, and don’t: The overall satisfaction core for coursework postgrads in 2018 QILT is 76 per cent –underperformers are; UWA (69.5), Charles Darwin U (70.0) Victoria U and ACU (70.4), James Cook U (70.7) and Western Sydney U (71.9).

Leaders for satisfied PGs are, Deakin U (80), Federation U (80.4), Griffith U (80.6), Uni Southern Queensland (81.8), UNE (82.6), University of Divinity (89),


Miriam Tanti is the inaugural campus dean of Australian Catholic U’s Mount St Mary campus, in the Sydney suburb of Strathfield. Associate Professor Tanti continues as acting head of education in the ACT and NSW.

Construction, mining and infrastructure executive Sharon Warburton joins Curtin U’s business and law faculty as an adjunct professor.