We need to talk about feedback
The Leiden rankings: a remarkable achievement for Australia
Merlin Crossley on risk taking, leaps of faith, the pleasure of being right, and Nessie
Spot the difference
A learned reader points to similar-approaches in print creative from Flinders U and the U of Adelaide. Flinders long-established house style is yellow on black – the university is using it now for a mid-year undergraduate entry campaign, “make one day day one.” UniAdelaide launched a similar style in March, using red type on black for its mid-year recruitment campaign, “life moves fast.”
There’s more in the Mail
Today in Features – David Myton’s regular wrap on what’s happening across the world in highered.
Jane den Hollander to leave Deakin U
Jane den Hollander will retire from Deakin University either at or before the conclusion of her second term as vice chancellor, on June 30 next year. Chancellor John Stanhope announced her decision yesterday.
While there is ample time for things to go wrong an early judgement is Professor den Hollander will go in glory, with the university stronger in research and more well regarded for what and how it teaches than when she took over in 2010. She is a woman of convictions – calling on her executive to address unconscious bias on what men and women at the university are paid. And she is a woman of her word – she said Deakin would not close the Warrnambool campus, which Deakin was failing to make work, if no other institution wanted it. None did and Deakin is still there
Blockchain believers at UTS
“Believe the hype, blockchain … is set to transform, well everything, UTS announces a free mini-MOOC on how blockchains, “can solve some of the most critical issues for online transactions,” yesterday. Led by law lecturer Philippa Ryan the free online course focuses on IP, transactions and integrity and ‘includes “insights” from the UTS juris doctor and IP masters.
As a way of presenting UTS to potential paying students this is hard to beat – as are the other 12 UTS open courses, which all engage with particular programmes.
To get government and unis talking focus on what middle Australia wants
Robert Griew observed the past five-years’ policy shambles from within and without government. And the now Nous Group consultant suggests three ways universities can escape the deepening morass that has government and universities unable to find solid and common reforming ground.
“Get out of the beltway:” “In terms the community understands, which relate to middle Australia’s priorities – good jobs, decent services, growing businesses, community harmony and safety – universities need to articulate convincing reasons why it is important for something approaching a half of young people to get a higher education.”
“Engage beyond the club:” “No doubt there is risk in any watering down of the protected term ‘university,’ however, there is also real danger in presuming its indefinite dominance and stability. The challenge this time is to take on the questions in a way that is focussed on the much bigger group of students now in the system, seeking more variety of outcomes. … Universities could ask what is to be learnt from the best of work-based learning in the VET system. Or how efficiently could university teaching be organised in a way that puts a complete focus on student outcomes and experience, as many of the NUHEPs will tell you is their mission and pleasure.”
“Making life easier for education ministers:” “It is not (ever) a bad time to consider fairer and more efficient ways to make savings, measures that are less prone to distort investment, institutional or individual decision making. Whoever occupies the Treasury benches after the next election (and indeed until then) will be grappling with fiscal as well as policy issues.”
Gold for Griffith
Just before the Commonwealth Games launched on the Gold Coast last night, the CG Federation and GC games partner Griffith U announced, who would ever have guessed, the Commonwealth Sports Universities Network. Partner universities will work with the CGF, “maximising opportunities for coordination, knowledge exchange, internship opportunities and research priorities across recent, future and prospective Commonwealth Games hosts.” The other four universities are Ottawa, Toronto, Johannesburg and Strathclyde University. The 2022 games will be in Birmingham in the UK.
Voting stalled before it starts at UniMelbourne
Union members at the University of Melbourne want to vote on taking industrial action, in the hope that action will hurry up enterprise bargaining with management. But National Tertiary Education Union branch president Steve Adams and colleagues says the university isn’t helping, not accepting the union’s assurance that its preferred administrator of an electronic ballot was fit and proper. Mr Adams adds this has delayed organising the vote as a second supplier has to be signed up.
“We have to remember that all we are seeking to do here is to survey our own members about what forms of industrial action they would be prepared to take,” he adds.
Helen Lochead’s roll rolls on. The dean of built environment at UNSW is newly appointed as the chair of the state government’s South Sydney Planning Panel and to the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (CMM January 22). She is also now the incoming president elect of the Australian Institute of Architects.
Christopher Lawrence is appointed inaugural director of indigenous engagement in the faculty of engineering and IT at UTS.
Hillary Winchester joins the Australian Institute of Business as chair of academic board.
Why STEM must be a buzzword
Last month NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes criticised the focus on STEM in schools and talked up the study of the western canon (CMM March 26). Engineers Australia CEO Peter McIntyre agrees, “the best education is a diverse education,” he said yesterday. Up to a point, a very sharp point.
“With more than 58% of our engineering workforce now overseas-born, you could be excused for saying we have a problem. Sadly, without real investment in getting our youngsters STEM-savvy, there’s a very real chance that Australia’s STEM workforce will be one that we borrow from overseas,” he yesterday.
If we have to risk making STEM a buzzword with all that this entails, then bring it on. I am proud to be part of a movement that will shore up Australia’s future and deliver the kind of country that can effectively compete on the world stage. If this zeal is considered a fad, then we should wear the badge with pride.”
SA TAFE out of strife
The Australian Skills Quality Authority has lifted its December suspension of ten TAFE South Australia courses. TAFE appealed in March and ASQA has now found it “had expended significant effort and resources in order to successfully achieve compliance.” ASQA adds it will have another look at TAFE at an unspecified date this year.