Uni Queensland reduces Pavlou penalty

The university Senate’s disciplinary appeals committee has reduced a serious misconduct penalty against undergraduate Drew Pavlou

Mr Pavlou is a fierce critic of the university’s connections with the Chinese Government.

The previous penalty was two-years suspension, now reduced to one semester. Two of a said to be 11 allegations against Mr Pavlou are upheld.

“Neither of the findings of serious misconduct concerned Mr Pavlou’s personal or political views about China or Hong Kong,” the university stated last night, adding “this should finally put to rest false allegations that the university process was an attack on freedom of speech.”

This does not seem likely, with Mr Pavlou rejecting the committee’s conclusions and looking to the courts for vindication.


There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Joanna Tai (Deakin U) and colleagues on being better at  feedback. It’s Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s new selection in here series on what is needed now in teaching and learning.

Merlin Crossley on risk-taking researchers, “gambling on a scientific hypothesis is nearly always a two-way bet and the odds are actually stacked in the scientist’s and society’s favour.

Angel  Calderon (RMIT) analyses Australian universities performance in the new Leiden ranking.

The VCs manufacturing a new research system

 (Another) great eight is set to start work on a design for the government’s National Priorities and Linkage Fund

Attila Brungs (UTS) is chair and other members are vice chancellors Alex Zelinsky (Uni Newcastle), Brian Schmidt (ANU), Helen Bartlett (Uni Sunshine Coast), David Lloyd (Uni SA), Barney Glover (Western Sydney U), Eeva Leinonen (Murdoch U) and, Deborah Terry (now Curtin U, about to be Uni Queensland), (CMM July 1).

The $900m in block grants will fund industry-institution research links, STEM student internships and graduate employment.

Another Siemens’ star

Education Minister Dan Tehan gives the illustrious eight an idea to work with, announcing $3.7m for industry 4.0 tech giant Siemens and partner universities to develop an associate degree in applied technologies.

Partners are Uni Queensland, Uni SA, U Tas, UTS and UWA.

Siemens is a poster-corporate for industry-education cooperation. MD Jeff Connolly is an adjunct chair at Swinburne U and the company has donated digital manufacturing software to unis across the country, including Uni SA, and Uni Queensland – UWA has a virtual LNG plant.

Last year Siemens, Swinburne U and the Australian Industry Group trialled an “industry 4.0 apprenticeship” leading to a diploma and associate degree.

Plus Telstra

Telstra is contributing $5.14m to an “world-leading fabrication and prototyping lab at Uni Melbourne. It is expected to be open to students next year.

Counting MOOCs of the morning

The feds allocate $9.5m for maths education

The University of Adelaide will work with Education Services Australia to create “a series” of MOOCs for foundation to Year Ten maths teachers, plus a resources hub for school communities. They will roll-out from year’s end.

“We have a responsibility to give Australian students a strong foundation in areas of expected employment growth and demand including science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Education Minister Dan Tehan says.

CMM wonders what universities with maths teaching courses will think.

The young don’t rate VET

The feds have got around to releasing research for the Joyce Review of VET (CMM November 30 2018)

Craig Robertson (TAFE Directors Australia) came across it and suggests it shows young people’s education aspirations are a big recruitment problem for VET. Too right, he’s right.

A  survey of 17-22 year olds found 63 per cent want jobs that requires a bachelor qualification and they assume jobs that require a VET qualification are lower paid.

But new news this is not. The estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research, was pointing out HE enrolments were way up, long before demand driven funding, while apprentice and trainee numbers declined.

Fixing this is going to take more than media campaigns with TV tradies

Kristen Osborne and Michele Circelli set out five reasons why school-leavers give VET a miss; * negative views of VET quals’ values, prestige, importance, * a “mis-alignment” between school-leaver occupational and education aspirations, * costs of study and loss of income, * low peer opinions, * young women don’t consider apprenticeships, (CMM March 23 2018).

Major resource for micro-credentials

Open Universities Australia is increasing its micro-credentials capacity, signing with services provider OpenLearning

The partners will provide OL’s cross-sector micro-credentials framework, Open Creds, to OUA participating universities.

It’s a necessary move for OUA as the market for digital short courses and micro-credentials grows and changes. There are now 370 government-funded short courses for people looking to retrain during the COVID-19 crisis. And institutions are exploring their own badged micro-credentials, like pioneering Deakin U which also signs to use the OL platform.

Southern Cross U announces voluntary redundancy round

There will be more savings to come

The National Tertiary Education Union at SCU made the most of its Friday win, when the university community voted against an enterprise agreement variation to end and defer pay rises (CMM yesterday). Yesterday the union again urged Vice Chancellor Adam Shoemaker to engage on ways to save money while securing jobs.

And the Community and Public Sector Union, which had backed the university’s proposal, accepted defeat and lined up with the NTEU. “Our focus must now shift to doing what we can to support our members, ensuring that staff wellbeing is paramount in all our discussions with the university”

“We have spoken with management representatives and emphasised our ongoing willingness to engage in collaborative negotiations,” the CPSU said.

But the university is not for talking on alternative savings. Late yesterday Professor Shoemaker acted on his previous statement to find savings under the terms of the existing enterprise agreement, announcing a voluntary redundancy round.

And there will be more to come; “other steps will clearly be required,” he said.


Uni Melbourne announces the McKinnon Prizes for Political Leaderships

This year’s winners are NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian and lord mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp

The prizes were established in 2017, “recognising those who have driven positive change and sparking a national conversation about the role of politicians and our aspirations for leadership in Australia,” (CMM November 28 2017)

Premier Berejiklian is honoured for successfully managing an abortion law reform bill through parliament, although opposed by half the members of her state parliamentary Liberal Party.

Lord Mayor Capp’s prize is for her leadership of the city after predecessor Robert Doyle’s resignation following sexual harassment allegations, which he denied.


Jill Slay is to leave La Trobe U to join the University of South Australia and the Smart Satellite Cooperative Research Centre in September. Professor Slay will take up a chair in cybersecurity.

Johanna Macneil joins RMIT as dean of management. She moves from the University of Newcastle.