Have a beer with Edith

Western Australia could expand tourism by promoting its craft beers, say Edith Cowan U researchers Nevil Alexander and Abel Duarte Alonso.  Perhaps it could work in the international student market, where WA lags eastern states. To prove it would be educational EC could throw in a free enrolment in its diploma of micro-brewing.

There’s more in the Mail

Tomorrow in CMM David Myton is in conversation with 2018 Australian of the Year and world-leading quantum computer physicist, UNSW’s Prof Michelle Simmons.

Discipline review at UniNewcastle

University managements have pushed to simplify staff discipline procedures in new enterprise agreements – it’s a stumbling block at the University of Queensland – and now the union says the University of Newcastle is having a go According to the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union, management wants to end the existing arrangement where performance and misconduct matters are assessed by a committee consisting of a management person, a union rep and independent chair and replace it with an independent reviewer.

However new enterprise agreements at other unis have come with a compromise, with discipline rulings by committee subject to review by an independent arbiter who looks at process and whether the matter merits the proposed

Unis give TEQSA a tick

The Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency has released results of its second user survey with an overall 80 per cent good or excellent rating. Universities are happiest but not everybody is pleased; “smaller, for profit providers were less positive about TEQSA’s performance,” and overall approval is down, a bit, on the 2016 result, the agency advises. Case management is a biggish problem, with 23 per cent of respondents saying their experience had got worse over the year. The main reason for this appears to be changes in institutions’ case managers.

“Importantly, overall TEQSA has continued to be well-regarded as a regulator assessing the quality of Australia’s higher education,” the agency advises.

The agency has also released a guidance paper for institutions on how to meet the new undergraduate admissions requirements and will hold capital city forums this month on what must be done.

Advisor to bank on

Ian Narev is named advisory board chair for the UNSW Gonski Institute for Education. Mr Narev will stand down as CEO of the Commonwealth Bank in April. The GIE is led by former NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli.

Competing on price and convenience

edX is spelling out its core benefits – professional education and training at a lower cost and greater convenience than university study. The MOOC provider is offering 10 per cent off the price of 130 micromasters and professional certificates, when all of the units are bought as a bundle. The course that leads the high-profile examples is Curtin U’s Internet of Things micromasters.

Dealing with Demons

Chisholm Institute announces it is the Melbourne Football Club’s “preferred education and training provider.” Good to see that some TAFE’s have budget to spare but what happened to the University of Melbourne which signed an MOU with The Demons back in 2015?

Last year the university was giving away tickets to Demons games as part of its “ongoing engagement relationship” ( CMM August 8).

Perhaps there are degrees of preferment – Chisholm says it is engaged with Demons on three levels, its training academy, the club’s state league team and signage on the coaching box for AFL games. There is no mention of Chisholm branding on Demons guernseys in the national league. UniMelb says its 2015 memorandum with the club covered “promoting sporting, cultural and educational collaboration,” and runs until 2020.

Press one for a bot

Digital consultants Ignia are working on chatbot for the University of Sydney, “to remove the administrative burden on the finance department,” by dealing with orders and invoice inquiries. The bot is now in “production-polished” pilot stage and Ignia is “exploring other use cases.”

Frank self-interest from grad research managers

Just about every lobby opposing the government’s legislation reducing the HELP repayment threshold to $45 000 argues it is unfair to low SES graduates in general. But not the Australian Council of Graduate Research. The forum for “university representatives engaged in the leadership and management of graduate research” is more hard-nosed in its opposition.

“The increased personal debts that will be accrued by students seeking a postgraduate qualification may inadvertently, and potentially inappropriately, drive more to consider a master by research, rather than coursework masters and honours options. This in turn will drain the existing and finite research training programme funding pool, meaning that less funding will be available (per enrolment) for universities to support high quality research programmes.”

Full marks for frankness

Big Parkville project

The University of Melbourne announces architects for the planned $229m student precinct project on the Parkville campus. Principal providers Lyons Architecture will collaborate with US practice Koning Eizenberg, plus Aspect Studios, Breathe Architecture, NMBW Architecture Studio, Greenaway Architects, Glas Urban and Architects EAT.

UNSW leads for MBAonline

The AGSM at UNSW represents Australia in the Financial Times top 20 online MBAs.  The UNSW course rates 8th in the world, four places down on last year and in the same spot as 2016.

Up where Aus belongs, for now

A learned reader points out that in the international education market what goes up can come down and quickly (CMM yesterday). While Chinese student numbers grew by 56 per cent between 2009 and 2017, to 130 000, there was a biggish dip between 2011 (93 000) and 2013 (85 000). Similarly, enrolments from India declined between 2009 and 2012 by 60 per cent, to just 12 000. Changes in country-markets can happen fast.