Keep calm and carry on, and on, and on

In breaking news the Treasurer warns older Australians to keep working

No, it’s not Peter Costello in the first  Intergenerational Report, who called for “mature age participation in the workforce,”  it’s Josh Fydenberg, now.

The present treasurer wants the old and the bold to retrain and work-on. CMM proposes a marketing award for education recruitment campaigns targeting new students over 65 – the Hip Replacement.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features, chapter three of Dobson and Mulder on international alumni as recruiting resource. Plus Sally Kift on Connectedness 2.0, the best higher education chance for all.

More local achievers

First HiCi awards from Clarivate now researcher achievers from Scopus

On Tuesday night Clarivate (Thomson Reuter as was) released its research Web of Science Hi-Citation awards. And yesterday for-profit publishing giant and data analytics behemoth Elsevier announced its ANZ researcher awards, badged for Scopus (its abstract-citation database product).

Sustainable future research: Melanie Zeppel –plants’ responses to climate change (Macquarie U).

Early career research: Yang Bai – quantum dots for photovoltaics and optoelectronics (Uni Queensland).

Group of Eight HiCi researchers … tojours excellent

The research university lobby advises its members are home to 162 of Australia’s 271 highly cited researchers in the Web of Science list, released Wednesday

“Having researchers of this quality is vital to the Go8 maintaining its position of having more than 99.9 per cent of its research ERA- rated as world class or above,” CEO Vicki Thomson says.

The Eight certainly account for a substantial part of Australia’s overall HiCi growth – there were only 80 such researchers, across all universities in 2014.

Ms Thomson, also points out that her members have more HiCi researchers than all of France (156).  CMM is sure the Elysee will not dislike the comparison and ask Ms Thomson to return the Ordre des Palmes Académiques the Republic awarded her in 2016 (CMM March 16 2016).

No free pass as Uni Canberra keeps promotion scheme

The assistant professor scheme was always going to continue – but reviewers made a case for change

The assistant professor scheme is designed to improve the university’s academic performance rankings, by giving high-performing the incentive of continuing employment. But it is not popular with all participants and some other academics (CMM October 19 2018) – it places a strain on individuals and university resources. So, after continuing criticism VC Deep Saini established an independent review in April (CMM April 1).

The result was never in doubt, given the terms of reference did not include ending the programme.

But there was no free-pass from review chair Kevin Hall (DVC, Uni Newcastle) and colleagues.

“Many of the current problematic issues surrounding the program would disappear if the university reconceptualised the program as one suited only to elite, highly successful early career researchers who already have a mature research track record. The latter can be thought of as the equivalent output normally achieved during at least one postdoctoral appointment, with high quality publications and research funding already evident. Such a program would appeal to the type of person whom the panel believes the program was originally intended to attract: high performers with demonstrated potential. There would be many fewer academics in the program than at present, and these would be nurtured by the best mentors and supervisors available.”

Overall the university responded favourably in whole or part, to 12 of 16 policy and operational recommendations. There are outrights noes to:

*  restricting the scheme to research-teaching and research-focused academics

* a specific appeals process for participants rejected for promotion

* considering changes to the opt-out option of the programme for people starting before March ’18, and;

* an ombudsman for assistant professors.

Vice Chancellor Deep Saini leaves for a new VC job in Canada at Christmas but says (CMM Tuesday) he will get the agreed changes moving before then.

Admin jobs to change at Deakin U (but which ones?)

The university wants to restructure professional service functions – the union wants more information sooner rather than later

Management wants to restructure admin units in the business and law faculty and create a university-wide finance unit, to replace existing decentralised functions.

While individual roles are not yet on the agenda and the structures are still out for consultation, CMM hears the National Tertiary Education Union has gone to the Fair Work Commission asking that the university provide it with position descriptions.

Word is that 100 plus roles in business and law may be involved and while there are not expected to be overall headcount cuts there will be some spilling and filling from old to new positions. Around 140 roles are involved in the planned finance consolidation, with 30 to transfer and the rest of the positions to be made redundant, with people able to express interest in the same number of new jobs.

FWC Deputy President Gostencnik has reserved his decision

Times Higher med science discipline ranking

Australian universities in the global top 200 for clinical, pre-clinical and health sciences 

Uni Melbourne, 1st in Australia, 14th in the world. Uni Sydney, 2nd and 39th. Monash U, third and 42nd. UNSW, 4th and 59th. Uni Queensland, 5th and 66th. ANU, 6th  and 71st, Uni Adelaide, 101-125. Uni Canberra, 101-125. UWA 126-150. Macquarie U, 176-200. Curtin U, 201-250. Flinders U, 201-250. Griffith U, 201-250. La Trobe U, 201-250. Uni Newcastle. 201-250. QUT, 201-250. Western Sydney U – 201-250.

If they don’t mind Trump …

As Australian universities pitch to India, the US demonstrates it may not be all over for the China market

There were 1.095m international students in the US for its 2018-19 academic year, a marginal rise on the previous 12 months.  China continued the largest source of students, with 365 000 across all programmes, up 1.7 per cent.  The number of Chinese students in the US has grown through the trade-war Trump presidency.

But if China does turn-down for Australia, India is a better bet than the US. Australia does not rate a mention on the list of US students preferred study-abroad destinations.

Appointments, achievements

David Abramson wins the Pearcey Foundation’s (for ICT technologies) medal for life-long achievement. Professor Abramson is director of Uni Queensland’s Research Computing Centre. If there is award for IT theatricals he would win that too – in 2016 his play about research integrity, “Purely Academic”, was performed at the university (CMM October 25 2016).

Urban water researcher Peter Coombes joins Southern Cross U as chair of engineering.

 Tracey Horton is named chair of the Commonwealth’s new Australian Industry and Skills Committee. Ms Horton is a former business dean at UWA and chair of Navitas.

Karl Kruszelnicki (Uni Sydney) wins UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for popularising science.

The Victorian Government’s prizes for science and innovation (via VESKI) go to, Michael Berk (Deakin U) – mental health and Anthony Burkitt (Uni Melbourne) – bionic eye, artificial vision

 Macquarie U announces six new distinguished professors, “the highest academic honour the university can bestow,” (for staff).

* Catriona Mackenzie (Philosophy), * Deborah Schofield (Business School), * Ian Wright (Biological Sciences), * Ingrid Pillar (Linguistics), * Phillip Taylor (Biological Sciences), * Stephen Foley (Earth and Planetary Sciences)