The eye-watering cost of degrees the previous government did not rate

The inflation-linked 2023 student contribution charges are out

Law, accounting, administration, economics, commerce, communications, society and culture will set undergrads back $15 142. The Commonwealth will kick in $1147. However education, clinical psychology, English, mathematics, statistics, plus agriculture, nursing, and Indigenous and Foreign Languages are $4124 to students and $16 969 from the feds.

Theses costs are set, inflation-adjusted, by the previous government’s Job Ready Graduates package.

In May the Deans of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences called for, “urgent fee reform, given the total lack of evidence that this clumsy attempt to guide student preferences away from humanities, arts and social sciences degrees is working,” CMM May 27).

Not next year.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

The Australian Collaborative Education Network Board on sharing good practise in work integrated learning. This week’s selection by Commissioning Editor Sally Kift for her celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning, HERE

plus The two big risks Uni Tas faces in its city relocation.

and Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on the lecture – alive and well and adapting to the times.

ANU ups PhD student pay

As of October the university will kick in an extra $5000

Despite tight finances, it isn’t ethical “to stick to the underlying government stipend amount given cost of living pressures on our PhD students,” VC Brian Schmid says.

“As a nation, we want the best and brightest students to undertake research and the benefits to society are immeasurable … if Australia wants some of our best and brightest to undertake PhDs, the government will need to raise the base PhD stipend rate,” he says.

NTEU leadership wins election

Alison Barnes is returned for a second term as national president of the National Tertiary Education Union

So is Gabe Gooding, as national assistant secretary. Former NSW state division  secretary Damien Cahill is elected national secretary. Dr Cahill stood with Barnes and Gooding, and replaces previous general secretary Matthew McGowan who announced he was not running before campaigning commenced (CMM May 16).

The officers ticket prevailed in a fiercely contested campaign, unusual for the NTEU where national elections rarely attract multiple candidates. They were opposed by the “Renew NTEU” team of Ali Fahad (for president), Anastasia Kanjere (secretary) and Andrew Beitzel (assistant sec), which had a support base among  university staff in insecure employment.

Dr Kanjere campaigned strongly attracting 41 per cent of vote (Fahad 33 per cent and Beitzel 37 per cent).

There was a close race in Victoria. Sarah Roberts (previously assistant secretary) was elected state sec, defeating Uni Melbourne branch president Annette Herrera, 1125 to 956. Ruth Jelly, running with Ms Roberts, for assistant sec, just held off David Gonzalez (Uni Melbourne), 453 to 420.

While the win was decisive the thin poll demonstrates the importance of getting the vote out next time round. Of 26 500 people on the roll 5500 voted. The election was conducted by the Australian Election Commission.

Open access delivers research readers in more places

The excellent Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative examined 420m citation links for 19m outputs to discover where citers are

“We found a robust association between open access and increased diversity of citation sources by institutions, countries, subregions, regions, and fields of research, across outputs with both high and medium-low citation counts,” a COKI team reports*

In particular , “we see an increase in citations to OA outputs from traditionally under-represented institutions based in subregions with fewer research … this is consistent with greater access to OA being linked to greater use of OA outputs from these subregions, at least as measured by citations,” they add.

And it matters where OA outputs originate, with a “stronger effect” for research available via discipline/institutional repositories than OA on publisher platforms.

COKI concludes their analysis “provides new evidence at global scale of the benefits of open access as a mechanism for widening the use of research and increasing the diversity of the communities that benefit from it.”

* Chun-Kai (Karl) Huang, Cameron Neylon, Lucy Montgomery, Rebecca N Handcock and Katie Wilson, “Open Access Research Outputs Receive More Diverse Citations,” Zenodo (September 15 ) HERE


Research funding even harder to win

The success rate slipped for 2023 Discovery Early Career Research Awards, announced Friday, due to an increase in applicants for the same number of awards

The Australian Research Council reports that last year there were 996 applications and 196 awards (19.7 per cent) compared to 1335 applications and 200 awards (15 per cent) this.

As usual, STEM soaked up the cash, with engineering making up 20 per cent of successful applications with 43, ICT has 15, and biology 29. Biomedical-clinical sciences, health sciences and chemistry combined have 23.

In contrast economics has one grant and education three.

Researchers at 15 universities, shared the wealth – with the big five picking up most, Monash U (ten), Uni Melbourne and Uni Sydney seven each, followed by UNSW and Uni Queensland, six each. Of the other Group of Eight members, ANU has four, Uni Adelaide ten  and UWA two each.

Success rates by institution with 20 or more applications are

The Australian National University 81 13 16.0 per cent
Macquarie University 35 5 14.3
University of New South Wales 149 18 12.1
University of Newcastle 20 1 5.0
University of Sydney 103 22 21.4
UTS 49 8 16.3
University of Wollongong 32 3 9.4
Griffith University 29 4 13.8
Queensland University of Technology 58 8 13.8
University of Queensland 129 17 13.2
The University of Adelaide 60 10 16.7
University of South Australia 12 2 16.7
University of Tasmania 21 1 4.8
Deakin University 52 8 15.4
La Trobe University 27 4 14.8
Monash University 107 21 19.6
RMIT University 48 10 20.8
Swinburne University of Technology 19 2 10.5
The University of Melbourne 124 22 17.7
Curtin University 24 3 12.5
The University of Western Australia 40 5 12.5

Appointment, achievements

Melissa Edwards (UTS) is the Australian Business Deans Council inaugural Climate Action Fellow. She will “coordinate (member business schools) actions nationally and liaise with industry, the not-for-profit sector and government.”

National Health and Medical Research Council Partnership funding for its Partnership Programme goes to;

* Miranda Blake (Deakin U) healthy food retail, $1.1m *Susan Davis (Monash U) evidence based care for menopause, $1m * Reema Harrison (Macquarie U) infrastructure innovation in healthcare facilities, $1.2m * Mario Alvarez-Jimenez (Uni Melbourne) digital youth mental health services, $1.3m * Rachael Morton (Uni Sydney) patient reported outcome measures, $1.1m  * Judith Munday (QUT) perioperative temperature management, $1.1m  * Iona Novak (Uni Sydney) knowledge translation for cerebral palsy, $1.4m * Aswin Ratheesh (Uni Melbourne) digital tech for bipolar early intervention, $1.4m * Robyn Richmond (UNSW) assisting pregnant smokers to stop, $1.2m * Mark Stevenson (Uni Melbourne ) reducing young driver crashes, $0.8m * Mark Stoove (Burnet Institute) public health notification Hepatitis C, $1.3m * Katharine Wallis (Uni Queensland) long-term antidepressant use, $0.6m.

2022 Women in Technology Award winners include; * employer of choice: QUT * up and comer: Rachel Huang (Uni Queensland) * community impact:  Julie Cichero (Mater Research) * emerging achiever: Brooke Williams (Uni Queensland) * digital “mover and shaker”: Elisa Bayraktarov (Griffith U) * Müge Belek Fialho Teixeira (QUT) * rising star, science: Marie-Luise Wille (ANU) Peta Wyeth (QUT) * research leader: Kerrie Wilson (QUT) * diversity in STEM: Kym Rae (Mater Research) * Amy Mullens (Uni Southern Queensland) * technologist of the year: Kerrie Mengersen (QUT) * excellence in science: Kate Schroder (IMB Centre for Inflammation and Disease Research) * Michelle Colgrave (ARC Centre of Excellence for Innovations in Peptide and Protein, Uni Queensland)