Entertaining ANU

When too much Netflix is too much

The ever-enthusiastic ANU library suggests locked-down alumni dig into a bunch of on-line resources they can access to pass the time. Beats digging an escape tunnel to another dimension. It’s the sort of info-evangelising activity the library does – like the time it celebrated International Happiness Day (oh come on, you remember happiness) with links to theses on joi de vivre.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning

Lisa Andrewartha (La Trobe U) on the challenges study involves for people with caring responsibilities and how to help them. This week’s piece in Contributing Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed Now in Teaching and Learning.

Plus, Angel Calderon’s (RMIT) analysis of THE rankings (look outside the top 100 for the big Australian achievers)

And Tony Peacock announcement – late but great (scroll down).

Wait worth it for CRC P announcements

Round Eleven of the CRC Projects programme was announced Friday, which ended a bit of wait for applicants, who submitted in March and expected to hear mid-year

There are 22 projects funded, way more the nine in Round Ten.

CRC Ps (three years max), get not much money to combine industry, university and public sector researchers to “develop a product, service or process that will solve problems for industry and deliver real outcomes.

In Features this morning CRC veteran, Tony Peacock analyses the round and suggests the model can deliver more; “if the Government sees R&D needs coming out of the banking or aged care royal commissions, or from issues in the NDIS or other portfolios, throwing resources to the CRC-P, makes a lot of sense.”

On your marks

And get set for the Regional Universities Network conference

RUN unis are the heart of their communities, pumping job-generating money into cities, circulating ideas that improve lives and industry and energising the next generation of leaders they educate. How they do it and what they need to do more of it is on their on their conference agenda .

Pandemic leave in NSW

Macquarie U creates two long weekends for staff

Vice Chancellor S Bruce Dowton announces MU “will effectively close down” on Monday September 20 and Friday October 22, “to allow staff to stop work and take time to rest and recharge.”

“I want to acknowledge the Macquarie community for their dedication and resilience shown during this difficult period,” he said Friday.

He also urges everybody to make noon – 1.30pm meeting and phone-free every day, “to ensure staff have some time to step away from their desk, have a proper lunch break, spend some time with their family or take a walk. ” Professor Dowton adds the university executive will ask its leadership teams to implement.

The VC also asks managers “to be accommodating” of the need for work flexibility among staff with carer/parenting responsibilities, those who need can take a day a week of family/carer leave.

Paid pandemic leave is common in Melbourne but this is the first example CMM knows of in NSW – as lockdown continues there may be more.

Time for jabs at Uni Sydney

Uni Sydney permanent and continuing staff can now take vaccination time as leavecasuals can claim it as COVID-19 “special leave.” Uni Sydney is the sixth NSW university t provide jab leave, following Australian Catholic U, Uni Newcastle, Uni New England, Uni Wollongong and Western Sydney U.

ACU buys into peer-support provider

The university likes what it gets from student support platform Vygo it bought a share

Vygo established an open-source platform to train student mentors and provide peer support in 2019 (CMM November 11 2019). Great timing given the unforeseen but imminent pandemic  (CMM March 26). Vygo says universities in the UK and Aus are now using the platform, including Australian Catholic U– which has invested $850 000 for an equity share.

The jobs new students want

It means recruitment campaigns based on idealism and adventure are so 2019

A major survey of career-searches finds Australians want working lives that are solid, secure and virus-resistant.

Creating great resource for post school recruiters, the Good Universities Guide and HE marketing consultant Twig Marketing analysed millions of on-line career-search inquiries over 18 months to find big changes in what people aspire to.

Some are directly driven by what the pandemic permits. There was a 40 per cent drop in travel-related careers.

Other changes appear grounded in peoples’ experience of lockdowns. Interest was up in outdoor jobs and trades but down for office-work, too much Zoom can do that. Endless on-line classes might also be why the appeal of “university lecturer” dropped from 19th to 40th place with aspiring academics fearing that what they saw might be what they become. But demand was up for front-line medicine and health, interest in psychology and nursing increased.

“The changes in the data are extraordinary, but also underline the failure to help families and young people look beyond the immediate, and consider what jobs might be really needed a few years down the track when they have trained for whatever new career they have chosen, Tim Winkle from Twig Marketing says.

However, there is no suppressing demand for that most Australian of fascinations – property prices. There was a 350 per cent increase in searches for careers in real estate.

Copies of the report from, [email protected] or [email protected]


Working out what was agreed at Uni Newcastle

The enterprise agreement not entirely clear

Last year Uni Newcastle told professional staff they had to take extra owed leave as a savings measure (CMM November 26). Fair Work Deputy President Booth responded nothing-doing and so the university restored the days to people’s holiday balances (CMM December 7). But the university appealed, not to have another go at making staff take their leave but against some of the  reasons in the ruling.

The National Tertiary Education Union got involved but the parties reached an agreement – observers suggest a statement from management might be issued this week. In the end a full bench allowed the appeal on a narrow reading of three clauses in the enterprise agreement, applying to staff leave.

So that’s that, not that either side covered itself in industrial glory. As the bench which heard the university’s appeal put it, “the parties have understandably had a high degree of difficulty in considering these agreement clauses, and have not reached a concluded view on their operation in this case.” They suggested they should sort this out and not rely on the relevant section, 93 (3) of the Fair Work Act.

However, there is a statement in the original judgement stands, that Uni Newcastle did not, “take into consideration the individual needs of employees in relation to the taking of leave or the timing of taking the leave. It was weighted towards the needs of the university.”


National Student Safety Survey launches today

The all-uni survey will collect data on student experience of sexual assault and harassment and run to October 3. It’s a project of Universities Australia, designed by Anastasia Powell (RMIT) and managed by the admirable Social Research Centre (which conducts QILT).

UA is anxious to discourage comparisons between this survey’s results, whatever they might be, and those in its 2016 predecessor. “Due to a change in methodology, the prevalence rate arising out of the 2021 survey cannot be directly comparable,” a point UA also made in two previous announcements (CMM May 26 and August 17).

Uni SA’s (really) big deal with consulting giant Accenture

Alan Tudge wants new products in international education – this looks like one

The university and the US $44bn revenue global tech service and consulting company are combining to offer a bized degree and short courses for a global market.

Their joint venture, the Innovation Academy in Digital Business will launch a Uni SA bachelor degree in digital business in June, followed by “practical upskilling” PD programmes, featuring “tailored digital business training modules.”

The degree programme will sell to Australians for the Commonwealth Grant Scheme rate, although it seems Uni SA is over-enrolled in business for federal funding and will forego the modest gvernment contribution. The digital business degree will be taught on-line via the Uni SA platform.

The short-courses will be jointly developed, with a case-study approach to suit Accenture’s enormous global client base and presumably its 569 000 workforce, (including 150 000 in India).

Apart from Accenture’s research and course content arrangement with MIT, the ten-year Uni SA deal is said to be its first education partnership, and follows two-years of talks and six months of product development.

It’s a signature project for Uni SA VC David Lloyd, who started and conducted discussions and was central to the content creation.

This is a big win for Uni SA – it could be transformative, creating an international education product designed for people who want recognition of a globally recognised skill-set but can’t afford to travel to internationally. And while many of them may not have heard of Uni SA a bunch of them will know about Accenture.

Back in March Education Minister Alan Tudge called on HE providers to diversify their products and customers. “The global on-line e-learning market is forecast to grow from $130 billion to more than $470 billion by 2026. This growth is driven by students around the world seeking lower-cost education, as well as greater flexibility in how and where they learn,” he said.

Uni SA-Accenture looks like what he has in mind.

Appointments, achievement

Bonnie Dean is the new head of academic development at Uni Wollongong’s Learning, Teaching and Development Centre.

Lorraine Finlay (Murdoch U) is appointed commissioner at the Commonwealth’s Human Rights Commission.

Grace Karskens (UNSW) wins the NSW Premier’s Australian History Prize for People of the River: Lost worlds of early Australia (Allen and Unwin). Professor Karksens is also joint winner of this year’s Ernest Scott Prize (CMM May 21).