“For Esme with love and no gluten”

CSIRO announces, “Catcher of the rye: science can now detect any gluten in food”  

This means CSIRO has cracked the gluten quadrella, with tests already in place to find it in wheat, barley and oats. Michelle Colgrave is the scientist but no, Holden Caulfield did not issue the statement.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning, a special correspondent looks at WA’s continuing ordinary international education performance.

And readJessica Vanderlelie (La Trobe U) on the why and how of engaging with alumni.

Uni Queensland opponents of Ramsay Western Civ Centre lobbying to the last

One last try to stop Ramsay Western Civ Centre degrees at Uni Queensland

The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union is urging opponents of Ramsay funded degrees at the university to lobby Senate. “The signing of the MoU, however, is not the final step. It is not the final and formal agreement, which Senate still has the power to veto. We need to make it clear to the Senate that they cannot delegate their ultimate responsibility to safeguard UQ’s reputation,” NTEU branch president Andrew Bonnell argues.

Worth a try – although in February UoQ’s Senate empowered Chancellor Peter Varghese and VC Peter Hoj to negotiate an MOU with the Ramsay WCC, “provided it is consistent with the university’s policies and principles.”

The union points to proposed presence of a Ramsay representative on selection committees for staff to teach the courses it will fund. However, the university states that a senior university manager, will have “ultimate authority over the outcome of the selection process,” (CMM August 8).

What to teach next: the big new skills markets  

The feds are using big data and machine learning to explore where jobs-growth will be

A new report uses data scraping by Burning Glass Technology (CMM is a big (April 24), big, (July 13 2018) fan).

The next step is to develop models on where the jobs will be, including “a tertiary provider prototype that uses data about emerging skills to improve course design.”

Overall employment is projected to increase from 11.975m last year to 12.836m in 2023 and only the automotive sector will employ (just a few) fewer people. But some industries will grow faster, much faster than others.

Five smallest job generators: minex, net change of 701 new jobs. Legal and insurance, 2553. Admin, 2906. Manufacturing, 4907. Electrical and electronics, 5108.

Five biggest employment creators: ICT, net change of 56 000 extra jobs. Education and training, 64 000. Construction, architecture and design, 68 000. Hospitality, food tourism, 111 000. Health and community services, 256 000.

UNSW cracks the ARWU ton

The Academic Ranking of World Universities was announced last night

UNSW’s lift was small, but oh so symbolic. While university ranks outside the top global 100 are released in bands, last year Vice Chancellor Ian Jacobs, said on UNSW’s reading of the data it was at 102nd (CMM August 15 2018). This year it is 94th in the world, leaving Uni Adelaide (100-150) the only Group of Eight institution outside the world’s first 100.

Last year Professor Jacobs told staff; “we are all aware of the shortcomings of these sorts of rankings and there is of course so much more to our strategy than where we stand in global research-based rankings. … Nevertheless, the global rankings are an important indicator of our standing among the leading and most prestigious universities worldwide.” CMM anticipates a positive message today.

The positions of the other Go8 members approximate last year. Uni Melbourne is first in-country at 41 (down three on 2018), followed by Uni Queensland at 54th, up from 55th – where it was last year and in 2017. Monash U follows at 73rd – a big lift on is 91st position last year, although this appeared anomalous, as it was 78th in 2017 and 79th in 2016.

ANU is 76th this year (69th in 2018), Uni Sydney is equal 80th (down from 68th) and UWA just hangs on at 99th, down from 93rd.

After Uni Adelaide, the next Australian entrants are all in the 201 – 300 band – Curtin U (down from 151-150 last year) and Deakin U, James Cook U, Macquarie U, U Tas, UTS and Uni Wollongong.

The ARWU is based on research performance based on publication and academic honours.

Two states of training

The news is good for SA TAFE

SA Education Minister John Gardner says training regulator ASQA has accredited the state’s TAFE for seven years. “It represents a significant step towards TAFE SA’s goal of becoming known as a benchmark for high-quality vocational education in South Australia.”

This is certainly an improvement on the shambles the public system was under the last Labor Government. A review of TAFE commissioned before the election last year, and released after the Liberals won, was scathing (CMM April 6 2018); “there is a large contingent of highly motivated and loyal staff who want to help restore confidence in the institution of which they are very proud, but who have felt alienated from and unclear about the overarching strategy and role of TAFE SA in the wider system.”

Not so much for CQU’s training division

A Queensland Audit Office report shows CQU VET enrolments down 14 per cent (to 8 300) between 2015 and 2018, with a $9m net loss that year. Competency completion rates dropped and costs were up over the period and while 73 per cent of graduates are satisfied with training this is 6 per cent under target. Just 65 per cent of employers are satisfied with graduate training. The university also relied on the state government for 46 per cent of revenue, still returning a $9m loss.

“Public providers offer qualifications in a broad range of subjects, including low-demand qualifications. They also maintain service delivery in remote and regional communities and support displaced students from any private providers that cease operating,” the audit office explains.

Appointments, achievements

Of the day

David Wright is the new chief operating officer of the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre. (He’s also a partner in CMM).

Ryan Winn is the incoming CEO of the Australian Council of Learned Academies. He joins from the Department of Education where achievements include work on the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap (2016) and las year’s Research Infrastructure Investment Plan.

Davina Porock joins Edith Cowan U as its 21st professorial research fellow. She returns to ECU, where she did her PhD 20 years ago, from Sheffield Hallam University. Professor Porock researches end of life care.

Of the week

 Jozef Gecz is South Australia’s scientist of the year. Professor Gecz is head of neuogenetics research at the University of Adelaide.

Climate scientist Sophie Lewis (UNSW) is the ACT scientist of the year.

The SA premier’s science and innovation council has a new membership; Caroline McMillen, (Chief Scientist) chairs. Members are Philip Marcus Clark, Food Agility CRC. Matthew Gilliham, Uni Adelaide.  Sarah Harmer-Bassell, Flinders U. Emily Hilder, UniSA. Andre Luiten, Uni Adelaide. Sanjay Mazumdar (KPMG). Julie Phillip, Aus Biotech. Steve Wesselingh, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and Beth Worrall, Microsoft.

Brigid van Wanrooy is appointed director of the Analysis and Policy Observatory, (“an open-access evidence platform for public policy and practice) at Swinburne U. Dr Wanrooy joins from the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Belinda MacGill and Karen Sinclair (both Uni SA) are awarded the Menzies Australia Institute’ 2019 Aboriginal and Contemporary Australian Studies Fellowships. The fellowships are based at Kings College London.

Monash U’s Centre for Scholarship in Health Education reports deputy director Claire Palermo is now a fellow of the Dietitians Association of Australia.

Dr Kate Brooks joins MTP Connect as director, WA stakeholder engagement. MTP Connect is the federal government’s Industry Growth Centre for med tech and pharma.

Peter Poulet joins Western Sydney U as professor of practice architecture. Professor Poulet is a former NSW government architect.

Phil Bland (planetary science – Curtin U) and Robert Newton (medical and health sciences – Edith Cowan U) are WA’s scientists of the yearAdam Cross from (mine site restoration – Curtin U) is early career scientist.

The 2019 Victorian Premier’s awards for health and medical research are announced. Kate McArthur, from Uni Melbourne and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute wins the excellence and basic research categories

James Wallman joins UTS as head of the School of Life Sciences. He moves from the University of Wollongong.

Tim Roach joins Edith Cowan U to lead professional development in the School of Business and Law. Mr Roach joins from the Australian Tax Office.

Gene Bawden becomes head of design in Monash U’s faculty of Art, Design and Architecture. He is now deputy head.