The feds are funding Uni New England to run the Regional Australia Mental Health Research and Training Institute (CMM yesterday). Learned readers point-out that if desperate enough this can be acronymed as RAMHeaRT. Right for the fine-wool region

Science deans plan for a new BSc

The Australian Council of Deans of Science commits to “reconceptualising” the bachelor of science as part its new strategic plan.

The deans also intend to, “enable a more diverse range of career paths” for science PhDs and “develop future leaders in science innovation.”

The strategy includes core aspirations, encouraging government to recognise the full cost of research and raising “the profile of research-led teaching.”

However, there is also an apparent acceptance, unless it is acquiescence,  of the Commonwealth Government’s new focus on applied research, with one of the dean’s four goals being, “to advocate for sustainable research excellence and research translation, for the benefit of industry and the community, and to enhance Australia’s sovereign capability”

The ACDS intent for a reconceptualised BSc is for degrees that are “contemporary, embrace diversity and meet the needs of students and their career aspirations (and) their future employers.” The council nominates priority areas, work integrated learning, Year 12 prereqs and “the role of educating focused academics.”


There’s more in the Mail

In Features today

Lisa Andrewartha (La Trobe U) on the challenges study involves for people with caring responsibilities and how to help them. This week’s piece in Contributing Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed Now in Teaching and Learning.

plus, Angel Calderon’s (RMIT) analysis of THE rankings (look outside the top 100 for the big Australian achievers)

and Tony Peacock on the new Cooperative Research Centre P announcement – late but great (scroll down).

open yesterday’s issue for Colin Simpson’s pick of ed tech reading and watching

Helping those who can teach

Teacher education experts from unis Newcastle and Wollongong are developing PD programmes for NSW Government school assistant principals and head teachers

State education minister Sarah Mitchell calls it a national first.

UoW offers PD for teachers including on offer now; professional development for careers teachers and a programme for teaching gifted students from special populations.

Programmes from Uni Newcastle’s Quality Teaching Academy include “quality teaching rounds” which uses a “collaborative, teacher-driven framework that enables participants to analyse and improve their practice.”

UWA union wants to know which jobs will go

The job-cutting restructure at UWA rolls on with the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union asking which staff, and how many, are at risk

The NTEU announces an FOI application for the university to reveal restructures to come and the reasons for them. ““Staff do not know which areas are going to be cut next, or on what basis” UWA union president Sanna Peden says.

The FOI follows uproar over the university’s plans for the School of Social Sciences, which effectively ends teaching  in anthropology and sociology as independent disciplines (CMM July 12).

Vice Chancellor Amit Chakma may have already said as much as the university will before exits are announced.  Most of the university’s 21 schools will make required savings by attrition and early retirement but seven or eight will have a formal job loss process by year end (CMM July 16).

Professor Chakma has long argued UWA needs to reduce spending by $40m to deal with a structural deficit- which creates a question the NTEU could add to its FOI – why $40m? As James Guthrie, argues CMM there are positives in the university’s finances.

Positives in plagiarism software

Uni SA researchers find staff and postgrads use cheating-tech to improve their own work

There’s a buzz among plagiarism researchers about a Uni SA  paper reporting a survey of staff and HDR students use of commercial product, iThenticate, which is designed for research and HRD writing.*

Both staff and students reported the programme was useful beyond identifying inadvertent plagiarism, that it improved their own writing, for example in paraphrasing the work of researchers they need to refer to.

“Collectively, candidates and staff valued iThenticate as a tool which could  support publication, help them make substantial revisions to writing, and learn paraphrasing skills and how to better express their own ideas,” the Uni SA team states.

The paper adds to CMM’s opinion that academic cheating specialists are variously pragmatists and idealists. The former think the way to stop plagiarism is to make doing the work easier than cheating. The latter suggest that the best way to stop it is to give people the awareness and skills not to.

* Alistair McCulloch, Monica B. Behrend, Felicity Anna Braithwaite “The multiple uses of iThenticate in doctoral education: Policing malpractice or improving research writing?” Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 2022 (38) 1

Indestructible tax incentive

The R&D TI is ten – not everybody wishes it a happy birthday

The Commonwealth’s help for business website celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Research and Development Tax Incentive and assures us, it willcontinue building on the positive impact it has had on businesses and the economy.”

Um, that that will be the tax concession reviewed by Bill Ferris, Alan Finkel and John Fraser (see umpteem CMM stories since 2016). They found, “the programme could be better targeted. The areas of improvement identified in this review would be likely to generate greater benefit from the programme for the Australian economy.”

Treasurers have a had goes at reform, but elections and Senate consideration got in the way.

Research lobbies have long argued that the incentive could include a premium for partnering with universities and research institutes but alas there is no slice of birthday cake for them.


Appointments, achievements

Uni SA’s Australian Centre for Child Protection wins the research award at the SA Child Protection Awards.

 Uni Wollongong VC Patricia Davidson receives an Advance Award, which “recognise and celebrate the work of global Australians and alumni of Australian universities.” Professor Davidson is a former dean of nursing at Johns Hopkins U.

 The Victoria Young Tall Poppies of science include, Rebecca Allen (Swinburne U), Linden Ashcroft (Uni Melbourne), Jeremy Barr (Monash U), Victoria Blair (Monash U) Kylie Hesketh (Deakin U) Rachel Hill (Monash U), Florian Mueller (Monash U), Adrienne O’Neil (Deakin U), Freya Shearer (Uni Melbourne), Sarah Stephenson (Murdoch Children’s RI), Jane Tiller (Monash U), James Trauer (Monash U) Fabien Vincent (Monash U),