Uni Southern Queensland announces a “soctackular”

USQ students whose dreams of avarice extend to socks can go in the draw to win one of four pairs branded with the university logo. That must have been blown the student support budget.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Matt Bower (Macquarie U) and Penny Van Bergen warn the Federal Government has abandoned innovation in learning and teaching. “The need is particularly acute in 2021, with unprecedented upheaval in HE brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and other policy forces,” they write. It’s this week’s piece in Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s long-celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.”

Tech-eng peaks want more STEM in school

But for now, they will work with what they can get

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, Engineers Australia and the Australian Council of Engineering Deans “support the aims” of the present review of the Australian School Curriculum.

What they really want is, “an in-depth and future-focused review of whole of STEM school education that was obviously outside the scope of this curriculum review.”

But for now, they recommend;

* technology-learning compulsory from Year Eight, “including more explicit references to ‘engineering’ ”

* applied sciences, including engineering explicit in Science and Technology Learning areas, to ensure a focus on STEM careers and learning, “not just ‘discovery science’”

* Indigenous science, particularly aligned with “sustainability principles should be explicitly included”

* digital literacy and specific skills “such as coding” should be “a key priority”

Cool for cats at Monash U

Monash U’s Education Innovation team has guides to using Tiktok for teaching – on Tiktok 

There’s one on the basics of recording editing and publishing, a step by step DIY demonstration and another on “dueting” – the example is video of a cat drinking milk with a split screen of musicians playing. Yes, it is a cat video but it is tech to make a teaching difference for anybody with a phone and imagination.

Call to end UWA cuts

Supporters of UWA social sciences are petitioning university chancellor Robert French and top management to call off the cuts

The change proposal for the School of Social Science (CMM yesterday) effectively abolishes anthropology and sociology and reclassifies positions across other disciplines from teaching and research to teaching only.

“We believe the proposed changes will undermine the reputation of the University of Western Australia as a world class institution of learning and research.”

The change proposal is open for consultation to July 20.

U Tas targets professors for redundancy

The university wants senior Australian Maritime College academics to leave

Management warns salary costs exceed revenue and something has to give. The preferred choice in a university change proposal is for five professors/ associate professors to go, out of 12 FTE positions.

This is the only staff cut proposed, but without it 7-8 lecturer roles would be abolished, meaning continuing staff would have share 35 per cent more teaching, compared to up to 21 per cent if the professors leave. Plus, if they do go, unspecified Fixed Term staff with five years minimum service could be converted to permanent positions.

But one apparent down-side for junior staff is that some of them will have to move to teaching only positions, which a college-watcher describes as “a voyage to nowhere at the university.”

In case anybody misses what management is offering, the change proposal states, “alternative options have been considered, however the proposed reduction in senior academic FTE represents the most effective and efficient means of achieving a financially viable and sustainable outcome, with the least impact on staff and the learning and teaching programme.”

Last night U Tas stated, “We are consulting with staff and unions on a change proposal that would see a small reduction in staff – 4 or 5 FTE out of a workforce of more than 110 FTE – and the conversion of a number of positions from fixed-term to permanent roles.”

“Every effort is being made to minimise the impact on people, and voluntary options and potential redeployment will be explored through the consultation process.”

So, with professional staff  out of scope and no plan to change the AMC structure, the proposal will be very painful for not many people.

Unless as observers suggest, it is but the first proposal and there will be more to come in other academic units – which has just become easier for management to organise.

In June 2020 U Tas and the National Tertiary Education Union varied the enterprise agreement to address COVID-19 concerns. Among the terms, management agreed that,  “during the life of this schedule there will be no forced redundancies as a generalised cost-cutting measure which are not connected to a reduction in work.” The deal expired on July 1.


Rob Hyndman (Monash U) receives the Statistical Society of Australia’s highest honour, the Pitman Medal. Professor Hyndman became a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in May (CMM May 26).

The Australian Academy of the Humanities announces its travelling fellowships for humanities scholars to undertake research overseas. Hopefully none are in a hurry to get moving. * John Burtt (Macquarie U) * Chris Cottrell (Monash U) * Jacqueline Dalziell (Macquarie U) * Bernard Keo (Monash U) * Frederic Kiernan (Melbourne Conservatorium of Music) * Natalie Lazaroo (Uni Queensland) * Sheng-Hsun Lee (Uni Queensland) * Jennifer McLaren (Macquarie U) * N. A. J. Taylor (Deakin U) *  T. J. Thomson (QUT) * Janet Wade (Macquarie U) * Kate Warren (ANU), The David Phillips fellowship, for study of racial, religious or ethnic prejudice goes to Tets Kimura (Flinders U).