The magic of the in-person conference
Slower growth in 2020 research spending
Universities support for graduate employability is incoherent and inconsistent
What’s next for campus life conference wraps today
First up, Blake McKimmie (Uni Queensland) Claire Macken (RMIT), Roxanne Missingham (ANU) and Colin Simpson (Monash U) discuss what’s next for the text – is there life in the old book yet.
And then Shirley Alexander (UTS), Rachel Bertram (UTS), Max Fox (QUT), Samantha Hall (Campus Intuition), Stephen Parker (Higher Education and Research Group) and Margaret Sheil (QUT) talk about what’s coming for campus life after lockdown.
You can still arrange to join them here
Less for less at CQU
The university is asking staff if they would like to work 10 per cent less hours for 10 per cent less pay
“This Expression of Interest is not an obligation to undertake a reduction in FTE, it is simply a mechanism to gauge how many people may be interested in pursuing this option,” Barbara Miller (Director People and Culture) assures staff across the university.
“This is a temporary arrangement for the 2022 calendar year and the employee will have the ability to return to their previous FTE commencing in 2023,” the university states.
Good-o, but who, learned readers ask, is going to pick up the work not done?
Big deal for research reading and writing
Council of Australian University Librarians has singed its second major agreement in a week
This one is with for-profit journal giant Springer-Nature.
Under the agreement, Springer will publish 3300 articles a year from researchers at CAUL and friends. They will appear in hybrid journals, those that publish both paywalled and pay to publish content.
Researchers at participating institutions, will also have access to 2000 titles.
Crucially, this comes at no additional cost – with an institution’s existing subscription to cover reading and publishing charges.
The new agreement applies to CAUL’s 47 member institutions in Australia and New Zealand, plus seven unnamed “external institutions.”
It follows a deal with Cambridge University Press for open access to those of its journals libraries now subscribe to and sets article processing charges for publishing in 380 CUP titles (CMM October 15).
Two further access agreements, between CAUL and a major journal publisher and a university press are said to be imminent.
There’s more in the Mail
In Features this morning
Pamela Humphreys (Macquarie U) reports on a learning technology from Coursera creators, that helped MU replicate aspects of the traditional classroom enhanced by tech.
In contrast Les Kirkup (UTS) makes the case for the lecture. It’s this week’s addition to Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed Now in teaching and learning.
And Jane O‘Dwyer on 30 years of CRCs – products plus the bedrock of the national innovation system.
Swinburne U expands in China
The university announces a joint institute partnership with Shandong U of Science and Technology
Swinburne College of SDUST will teach industrial design and engineering, with degrees from both institutions on offer.
The SDUST degree will be taught by its staff, with “guest lectures” from Swinburne U academics. Students who complete can then move to Melbourne for Swinburne study.
There is no word on target enrolments but Swinburne U state 300 people are already enrolled.
The SDUST Swinburne College is not for profit.
Charles Darwin U makes staff vax mandatory
The university announced last night all staff must have had a first COVID-19 jab by November 12
The university requires a second jab by Christmas Eve.
The policy applies to staff outside the Northern Territory.
The university states it will “be considering its position” on student vax “over the next few weeks.”
CDU will also have a mobile vax clinic on its Casuarina campus, “to support any staff and students who are yet to book an appointment.”
Senators slam universities over casuals
Universities reliance on casual staff has, “pervasive individual and communal” consequences, the Senate Select Committee on Job Security warns
The committee’s second interim report reflects its hearings in extensively addressing the experiences of casually employed university staff, notably academics, and warns;
“it is difficult to conceive of how the sector will continue to remain competitive and to maintain a standard of excellence in educational quality when a large portion of its staff are subject to insecure working arrangements with such pervasive individual and communal consequences.”
And whose fault is the problem, pray? “It is the committee’s view that there have been insufficient efforts by government, universities and industry bodies to address the underlying systemic causes for the prevalence of insecure work in the sector.”
The report also expresses the committee’s thanks to the National Tertiary Education Union “for its comprehensive submission.”
Committee recommendations include,
* the government work with “universities, workers, experts, the National Tertiary Education Union, and relevant sector bodies,” to “design a system of casual and fixed-term conversion that would be appropriate for the higher education sector”
* universities be required to provide annual data on permanent, fixed term and casual staff numbers by head count, as well as FTE
* make public funding for universities contingent on their setting and reporting on targets for increasing permanent and reducing casual employment
* “in light of the widespread wage theft in the Australian Government-funded higher education sector,” improved and legislated” rights of entry for registered trade unions to inspect staff records.
The committee is chaired by Tony Sheldon (Labor, NSW). Deputy chair is Matthew Canavan (Nationals, Queensland) with members Mehreen Faruqi (Greens, NSW), Ben Small (Liberal, SA) and Jess Walsh (Labor NSW).
Have university managements no friends in politics? Perhaps not.
More for Monash U
The university receives a new grant from the Victorian government’s Higher Education State Investment Fund.
The new grant provides $11m “accelerate the university’s “net zero” emissions initiative.
Monash has now received $56m from the fund for capex and service projects.
At Deakin U the MOOC team wins the 2021 VC’s award for teaching excellence. Chie Adachi, Blake Borcich, Jo Elliott, Nicholas English, Bianca Frost, Leigh Glanvill, Daniel Glass, Lisa Hanlon, Anthony Neylan and Travis Zimmer.