More members for TEQSA’s academic integrity interpol

The regulator and its Irish equivalent established it in October and it keeps growing

The Global Academic and Integrity Network has eight new members, including agencies from Spain, Canada and Kenya. There are now 24 all up, one of which is Ukraine’s quality assurance agency.

GAIN’s brief is to “fight the rise of commercial academic cheating services targeting students.”

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Rachael Hains-Wesson (Uni Sydney) and Nira Rahman (Uni Melbourne) on the vital role and too oft undervalued achievements of third space educationists HERE

plus in the week of International Women’s Day Dawn Gilmore (RMIT) sets out issues and options for university women. Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s new selection, HERE

with Jason Lodge (Uni Queensland) on the questions AI creates and why the metaphors we use to answer them matter HERE.

and Paul Harris from the Innovative Research Universities makes the case for another impact and engagement exercise HERE

TEQSA warns on underpaying casuals (again)

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency CEO says its bad for staff and the sector

Alistair Maclean states the agency is “maintaining a close interest” and expects providers, “to ensure through appropriate governance and human resources oversight, that staff are engaged in accordance with their enterprise agreement and contractual arrangements.”

His warning comes after the Fair Work Ombudsman launched a second Federal Court action against Uni Melbourne, alleging it underpaid casuals (CMM February 13. But Mr Maclean adds his agency’s “focus,” “will continue beyond the FWO’s work, and any proceedings that result from her investigations.”

“As part of any applications to register or re-register as a higher education provider, TEQSA will require employers to provide evidence that they are closely monitoring and ensuring compliance with their obligations under all relevant workplace legislation.”

His warning is nearly a year on from the agency setting out the five actions  the agency required from institutions on casual staff underpayment (CMM April 4 2022).

University of (expensive) Sydney

The university is hosting a series of experts “raising the bar” in flash suburbs

The pre-pandemic event is on again, with university researchers talking about tech to anybody interested enough to be in one of 13 bars when they are.

All of which are in shouting (as it were) distance from the Uni Sydney’s main campus, ranging from Surry Hills in the east to Camperdown, which is still so inner city that it does not qualify as “inner west”.

As to the people who make such pubs their locals – these are not suburbs with much affordable housing for anybody relying on a junior Uni Syd salary let alone most students

The other India market: training looks too hard

Six reasons why Aus VET providers are not as enthusiastic as unis

Prime Minister Albanese nailed why Deakin U’s coming campus in India matters, “not everyone has the means or the ability to pack up their lives and study in another country. There might be financial constraints, or family commitments, or a variety of reasons that you want to, or need to, stay closer to home,” he said in India.

And there’s been a pile-on of university’s talking up their credentials and contacts in India over the last few days.

But there’s another really, really big market in India which Australia has the skills to service  = vocational education education and training.

But as far as CMM can tell not one Aus vet provider is out promoting its potential to get in on the training ground floor.

Perhaps this is because providers recognise the problem Peter Varghese pointed out in his report on trading with India, :”the high volume, low cost model needed for India does not stack up economically for most Australia providers, who operate on a low volume, high cost structure.”

That plus how hard setting up to supply training in India appears. Brigid Freeman (Uni Melbourne’s Australia India Institute)  points out six challenges to entering India’s formal skills market, * covering costs * recruiting students * diversity of demand * complexity of government * credential creep in regulations * low visibility of Australia VET.

It might just be too hard, even for well-resourced TAFE systems especially now that they are the flavour of the first term Albanese Government to meet skills demand at home.

Winkler in the HR Works

Tim Winkler reports on new ideas to keep HR ticking over

Gallup’s latest State of the Global Workplace 2022 report found that just 21 per cent of the world’s employees are engaged at work and 33 per cent are thriving. Which means conversely that almost four in every five employees are not engaged and around two in three are not thriving.

This is a pretty astonishing figure, in terms of the way we spend our daily lives. The silver lining is that Australia and New Zealand is the region with the highest proportion of thriving employees (63 per cent, 30 per cent higher than the rest of the world).

We also had the highest percentage of employees who say they are living comfortably on household income at 55 per cent compared to 22 per cent globally (this was 2022, before inflation really bit).

It is surprising that while our region had the lowest level of concern about corruption, the poll still found that 38 per cent of us thought corruption was widespread within businesses in our area. The global average was a depressing 74 per cent.

It would be fascinating to see how these statistics – and others the poll collects, such as levels of stress, worry and anger experienced by workers each day – play out in various institutions across the sector.

Is Higher Education a bastion of thriving community-minded individuals or does the spirit of critique and challenging analysis prevail in the lives of the 130,000 plus souls who choose to dwell daily in the linoed halls and occasional ivory tower of Australian academe?

Winkler on the HR works runs regularly at the new HEJobs  recruitment site

Appointment, achievements

“Nationally recognised public sector and policy leader” Gail McGowan will become Murdoch U chancellor in May, replacing Gary Smith.

Rebecca Ostergaard is CSIRO’s inaugural chief digital officer. She moves from WA’s Office of Digital Government.

 The  Special Interest Group on Software Engineering 2023 awards are out including Chunyang Chen and John Grundy (both Monash U). Sigsoft is a special interest group of the US based Association for Computing Machinery