And that’s a wrap
FOI laws should assist academics: they aren’t helping
What the Accord must provide for student success
Another ad for Any University of Australia
Interchangeable uni ad of the day
UNSW has a PG student recruitment 30 second social media spot, “the world needs U.” It’s using it to promote, the “Careers Unlocked” event.
“You’re the person the world needs,” is the pitch.
“You may not know how or why yet but you know you are here to make a difference. Few people have great ideas, even fewer make them happen. It takes a dreamer, a researcher, a leader, a thinker. It takes someone like you.”
As to why UNSW is the place one needs to be is not explained. Another excellent advertisement for Any University of Australia.
There’s more in the Mail
In Features this morning
Ashleigh Prosser and Shannon Johnston (Murdoch U) on Murdoch U’s new teaching and learning building and the CHAT it makes possible. New in Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s celebrated series, Needed now in teaching and learning.
plus Nicholas Fisk and Daniel Owens (UNSW) on why research grants don’t fund all the work involved – like $5.8bn a year worth of work. It’s a problem they say the Accord must address, HERE.
The precariat has had it with poverty
There’s a petition to the House of Reps for a $10 000 increase in Commonwealth PhD scholarships, to match the $39 000 minimum wage
“ PhD students contribute enormously to Australia’s research every year, with their time accounting for 56 per cent the total research output. … We believe the government should support higher education and ensure a competitive standing for Australia,” petitioners state.
Their point is accepted by various universities who responded to the arrival of inflation by increasing what they add to the Commonwealth stipend. ANU added $5000 last September and at UNSW a two-stage increase will go to $37 680 next year (CMM September 19 and December 7 ’22).
And Universities Australia’s Catriona Jackson warns PhD graduate numbers are falling and the stipend rate must rise to “a more liveable level,” (CMM May 5).
But paid by who, universities or the Commonwealth?
Given the public opinion hiding unis have taken over low pay and no pay for the casual teaching precariat, including PGs, institutions are obvious targets to take the blame – and the government is not about to correct the impression.
Uni Wollongong good to go in India
With a tick from Prime Minister Modi, no less
The university can establish it’s long-planned “teaching location” in custom-created financial hub Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, following Mr Modi signing off, in a Friday meeting with UoW VC Patricia Davidson.
It follows Deakin U which was approved in March to set up there – to be the first international university with its own campus in India (CMM March 9).
UoW will start this year with a grad cert in computing and master of computing for finance. It plans masters of applied finance and financial technology for ’24 and bachelors in business and computing in ’25. The university is also working with India’s national stock exchange on a capital markets research centre.
The university is silent on enrolments but Indian media quotes Professor Davidson as stating an initial intake of 50, scaling up to 4000 over five years.
It appears the two Australians will coexist rather than compete. DU will start with masters in cyber security and business with more to follow from its science, engineering and built environment and business-law faculties. UoW’ student fees in India will be 50 per cent what it charges internationals in Australia, matching Deakin U’s pricing.
There is no over-estimating the two universities achievements in the vastly complex Indian education market. Brigid Freeman set the daunting context for CMM Expert Opinion, HERE.
India was not UoW’s only international win last week – also announcing a data science research centre in Dubai, where it has had a campus for 30 years. The new venue is what was Australia’s pavilion at the 2020 World Expo, gifted by to the university by the Commonwealth.
What the WA uni review is costing
The price of the inquiry into merging the state’s public universities is in the WA budget papers – $400 000 this financial year and $289 000 next
Sandra Harding (ex JCU VC), Peter Shergold (ex head, PM&C and recently departed Western Sydney U chancellor), Ian Watt (also former head, PM&C) and John Williams (Uni Adelaide) are doing the reviewing.
WA appears to be a getting a good deal. The SA state government’s 2022 budget allocated $1m for a commission to advise on a universities merger (although it does not look like being needed – with Uni Adelaide and Uni SA working on terms.)
Need to know on understanding open access
Green and grey OA look the same? COKI can help
The naming convention for open access is to use colours, gems and metals, with no standard distinguishing descriptors – which makes it hard to distinguish the charges that will make publisher an obscene amount of money from those where the sum is just vulgar.
Which is where the excellent Curtin U Open Knowledge Initiative comes in and comes in again.
First up COKI created new category names for types of OA, without preferencing publishers over repositories.
Second, it built a dashboard that sets out OA stats for hundreds of countries and thousands of institutions.
“By providing timely, transparent, and useful information on open access performance we aim to support advocates in making the case for change, to provide data for decision makers, and to change our shared ideas of what makes a good university,” a COKI team writes.
PM goes the big Ben, again
Mr Albanese opened a high tech factory Friday where the written text of his speech includes, “one of the things we learned from the pandemic is that if we’re at the end of supply chains, we’re vulnerable for global shocks that we don’t see coming”
It was a lesson learned first in WWII, when a shortage of motor vehicles and parts, led to PM Ben Chifley driving the first locally manufactured Holden off the assembly line. A point the PM likes to make.
Mr Albanese added Friday that while Australia is good at science and innovation it’s not so strong on commercialisation and “we need to make sure we back the innovators.”
Good-o, except there aren’t always backers , as Tim Cahill and Andreea Papuc Krischer (Research Strategies Australia) discovered when they looked at outcomes in advanced manufacturing research, a fave of the previous government (CMM May 9). They found that publications slowed from 2018 and that patents based on Aus publications . ““Companies … are also looking at Australian research and seeing commercial opportunities that Australian companies aren’t,” they warn.
Uni Queensland’s lime of defence
Australia could be saved from citrus disease ravaging the US and Africa by genes in local limes
There are five that are resistant to “citrus greening,” and Uni Queensland researchers have sequenced the genome of local hero, the Gympie Lime, with others to follow. The idea is to identify a gene that protects them as an alternative to using chemicals to protect commercial crops.
Gail Bray joins Victoria U as ED, Digital Transformation and Quality Learning, she moves from director of Wyndham Tech School.
Laura Mackay (Doherty Institute) receives a Leo Foundation Award for the Asia-Pacific for work on T cells in immunology. The Danish foundation supports skin health research.