New look for Murdoch U

Murdoch U announces “a bold new visual identity,” which CMM, dolt that he is, mistook for a logo

Art-director abstractions are admirably absent in the type-only art. This is not a logo that needs an explanation, simply identifying MU (– it’s already up). But management provides one anyway – it “reflect(s) Murdoch’s position as a modern and future-focused university responding to the changing higher education sector.”

The “modest budget” for the brand changes is $1.8m, the majority of which is for capex “as assets reach the end of their working life.” CMM thinks means when signs are replaced.

The new logo replaces the white on red banksia, used in various forms since the ‘70s.

What students think (there’s one way to find out)

Plenty of people will tell you how students were taught during COVID-19 but what do they think about it? In the first session of Sally Kift’s Needed now in teaching and learning conference Adam Shoemaker (VC Victoria U) talks with student association leaders about their members’ experiences

There’s more in the Mail

New in Features this morning

Jo Coldwell-Neilson (Deakin U) on eight essential elements of digital literacy. “Ultimately, it needs to be fit-for-purpose … it is a mind-set and an attitude, not just a skill set,” she argues. It’s Contributing Editor Sally’s Kift’s new selection for her CMM series, Needed now in teaching and learning.

And, Donald Wlodkowic (RMIT) on teaching in virtual labs. Simulation technology make it possible to teach students advanced techniques, “too dangerous or too expensive to implement on campus.”


 It’s enterprise bargaining time!  Elizabeth Baré, Ian Marshman, Teresa Tjia and Janet Beard (Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Educationpresent six ways new agreements can make universities better places to work and learn


 Swinburne U plans four “moon-shots”: these are the schools to power them

The university announce a new academic organisation

The four new schools (and where they came from) are,

Engineering and Health Sciences : The two schools remain as was and deans Emad Gad (of the former) and Brice Thompson (the latter) stay.

The HASS school changes: it is now Film, Media, Social Sciences and Education. Mia Lindgren continues as dean.

School of Design: adds architecture. Jane Burry remains in charge.

There’s a new school of Business, Law and Entrepreneurship: The law school, launched in February 2015 becomes a department of the new school, under existing head Mirko Bagaric. Present business dean Keryn Chalmers has charge of the whole school. Entrepreneurship is elevated because, “it is vital for the university’s success … we need to ensure that our learners have entrepreneurial spirit and talent.”

School of Science, Computing and Engineering Technologies: is a merger of two schools, science and software and electrical engineering. Alex Stojcevski, now dean of software-electrical engineering is head of school. Present science dean Virginia Kilborn, “will take on a new and exciting senior cross-university disciple role.”

The new structure follows Vice Chancellor Pascale Quester’s announcement of four “moon-shots” to be achieved in 2025 (CMM April 30),

““every Swinburne learner gets a work experience

* “every Swinburne graduate gets a job”

* “every Swinburne partner gets a tech solution,” and

* Swinburne U “is the prototype of global best practice

Private providers welcome more money – not everybody is happy

The feds have kicked $53m into support for HE private providers (CMM Friday) which peak bodies think is a splendid idea

Simon Finn (Independent Higher Education Australia) praised the package. “As uncertainty continues around the return of international students, it is becoming even more critical to stimulate domestic education markets through these kinds of competitive neutrality measures that support student enrolments.”

And he welcomed funding for market and product development, “ IHEA recognises the primary importance of ensuring the safety of the Australian community as the world navigates its way through new waves of the virus. While borders remain shut, we need to be looking at alternative education markets both on and off-shore. This innovation grant fund will enable independent providers to do just that, ensuring the best outcome for students and maintaining Australia’s global reputation for excellence in higher education.”

Troy Williams (Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia) was also pleased, “the measures will support independent tertiary education providers survive as the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic endures. The intervention by the Australian Government includes several initiatives that ITECA has been a strong advocate for.

“The package comes at a critical time.”

However, the National Tertiary Education Union warned that money for private providers did not address the problem, “international students want to come to Australia to learn face-to-face rather than on-line. But this is not happening because of the government’s continued border closures, which won’t change until the government gets it right with the COVID vaccination programme,” national president Alison Barnes warned.

And while she acknowledged the pandemic’s impact on private providers she pointed the pain endured in universities, stating jobs lost “could have been saved if the government had allowed universities to access JobKeeper or provided a real rescue package.”

HE regulator announces proposes fees for service

On the day the government announced an extended waiver on (most, not all) TEQSA fees and charges the agency released a discussion paper on the now long-coming cost recovery

Moving the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency from partial to full cost recovery was announced in the 2018 budget but was put on hold last April to assist providers whose revenues were being punished by the pandemic.

The new nominated start date announced then was July 21. But on Friday the government put this back to New Year’s Day.

HE providers now have a chance to comment about proposals to slug them,

* 100 per cent of the cost of assessing applications and up to 70 per cent for course accreditation/reaccreditation

* providers being investigated by the agency will pay all the costs

* for a levy to meet the agency’s costs for industry-wide activities (for example “development and delivery of advice to providers and the profiling and management of risk in the sector”). This will be phased in, reaching full cost recovery by 2024.

There’s even a rate card for what services will cost.  An internal review of a TEQSA decision will set a provider back $992, the proposed charge for a complex registration renewal is $163 000.

Submissions are due on June 3

Bad time to green-light journal changes

In 2020 UK scholarly publisher Emerald piloted outsourcing publication management to “publishing partners’ in India”

The pilot was successful and so Emerald restructured its content management team. Problem is the un-named publishing partners in India are feeling the impact of the pandemic.

And so Emerald director Tony Roche warns authors, “it is physically not possible for our publishing partners to consistently maintain usual service levels. This will mean “some delay, specifically in the production process … until this current wave subsides.”

“Our publishing partners are actively recruiting to ensure operations continue in light of absences directly related to the pandemic,” Mr Roche writes. But, “there may be a longer time to publication for authors.”

Appointments, achievements

Karyn Kent (Study Adelaide) is appointed to a new Commonwealth-appointed panel to advise on recovery in the visitor economy.

Sam Robertson (Victoria U) is announced as a member of the AFL’s new Game Analysis Committee which will consider game data, “for the future of the competition.” Professor Robertson leads VU’s sports performance and business programme.

 Across the ditch, the Royal Society Te Apārangi has inducted its new fellows.  Honorary Fellows are, Penelope Brothers (ANU) and Ravendra Naidu (Uni Newcastle).