Adelaide’s Bebbington gives demand driven funding a fail

Plus Western Sydney U goes to town

And first shots on the western front

Silence shouted

Despite Dami Im not winning the Eurovision Song Contest the University of Queensland is still more than pleased. “Ecstatic congratulations to UQ music grad pipped at the post,” it tweeted yesterday. There will be nothing silent in the sound of UoQ using Ms Im’s near-win to promote music degrees. Griffith U will do the same – reminding us yesterday that she is also a graduate of its Queensland Conservatorium of Music.


UA keeps Clever campaign to make its case

Universities Australia is launching the second stage of its “keep it clever” campaign designed to put higher education funding centre of the national agenda. In a speech this morning UA chair Barney Glover will warn the old economic base of mining and construction will not transform into a knowledge based economy, “without a strong university sector; one that produces a highly skilled workforce and generates new jobs and new industries to replace the ones that are disappearing.”

The new print, broadcast and digital media campaign, “will highlight the integral role of universities in the creation of new jobs and industries – by telling the stories of graduates and research breakthroughs that save lives, create new businesses, and generate economic growth for Australia.”

The campaign extends the case UA made earlier this month, that universities expand the overall economy, with research demonstrating that every 1000 graduates generated 120 jobs for people without higher education qualifications (CMM May 2).

Despite it’s timing Professor Glover says it is not about “influencing voting behaviours. “This may be a campaign in an election but it is not an election campaign.”

“Rather, we want to remind all Australians – and all candidates and political parties – of the enormous contribution that universities make to almost every aspect of Australia’s economic and social wellbeing.”

Smallwood moves to CQU

Gracelyn Smallwood has joined CQU in Townsville as a professorial fellow charged with expanding indigenous enrolments in health and opening new clinical placements. This is a coup for CQU. The prominent community leader has had a long association with neighbouring James Cook U.

A fail for demand driven funding

Warren Bebbington is escalating his argument that demand driven funding isn’t effective. Last week the University of Adelaide VC suggested DDF left universities under-resourced to educate everybody admitted, instead of “adequately supporting a finite number of students, chosen equitably from all parts of society as those with demonstrated aptitude to succeed at university,” (CMM May 12). On Friday he told an Adelaide lunch that scholarships for “disadvantaged high school students of ability would be a more powerful way of lifting disadvantaged success in university than the present unlimited entry.”

“The sure way to increase disadvantaged student success at university is by improving aspiration and preparation for university in disadvantaged schools, so their students can meet entry standards.”

Ah, entry standards. Professor Bebbington is also a supporter of the ATAR calling it “a reasonable predictor of success at university,” CMM January 21). With the ATAR unpopular and demand driven funding still widely supported this is a calculated assault on the orthodoxy. It must have gone done well with DDF supporter Education Minister Simon Birmingham, who was at the same lunch and would like a nice quiet education election.

DIGITAL MARKETING Strategies for Higher Education

Non sequitur of the morning

Victoria has some of the world’s best universities and I congratulate Monash for striking such an important MoU with Mass Rapid Transport Jakarta,” Victorian VET minister Steve Herbert on a new consultancy for Monash U’s Institute of Railway Technology.

Western Sydney U expands east

Western Sydney University is expanding east, to offer degrees at the Sydney CBD base of private provider Navitas. From June WSU will teach business and accounting courses in the city, followed next year by arts, health, engineering and ICT qualifications. The new campus will cater to the international market and a full list of courses registered by the university with CRICOS is here. WSU and Navitas also offer cooperate on pathway programmes in Parramatta.

Late Friday the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union expressed concern when they heard about the plan, which was only announced this morning. “Clearly some of these new course offerings will impact on the student numbers in courses on other campuses, some of which rely upon overseas students to get by,” union president Jan Falloon told members.

Legacy advertising

The University of Notre Dame’s brilliant results in QILT demonstrates it is in touch with its students. So what was with advertising its performance in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald, not read by many, indeed any, 18 year olds, or even their parents? Unless of course they were not the market and this is the sort of for-the-record advertisement university marketers use to show their older managers, who still read newspapers, they are doing something, while getting on with the real marketing in social media.


Leeder edits again

Stephen Leeder is the incoming editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology. The University of Sydney professor of public health will take over at the start of next year . Professor Leeder was editor in chief of the Medical Journal of Australia 2013-15, leaving when the Australian Medical Association outsourced production to for-profit journal giant Elsevier, “which has an approach to business that worries many academics and researchers,” he wrote in May 2015, (The Conversation May 6). However it seems it is specifically Elsevier, rather than commercial journals in general, Professor Leeder does not like. His new title is published by Oxford University Press, which provides some of its content open access but other articles cost $40, the going rate among many for-profit journals.

Brief goodbye

UNSW abolishes CIO role: New data, digital executive roles created.” The university tweeted Friday. Hell of a way to announce the departure of long serving, Michael Kirby-Lewis, chief information officer for eight years.

Beginning as they mean to go on

In Western Australia the National Tertiary Education Union and the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association are arguing about arguing. With three of the state’s universities the first starters in the new round of enterprise bargaining neither side is prepared to concede anything. The union says VCs of Curtin, Edith Cowan and Murdoch universities have not met their commitment to begin bargaining by the end of March. AHEIA replies the university managements are in fact negotiating by talking to their staff, that they are not obliged to present a log of claims and that the union should withdraw its assertion. Nothing doing says the NTEU, arguing that it has presented its claims and that that managements have not responded. AHEIA has now gone to Fair Work Australia asking it order the union to delete its statements.

The two sides are beginning as they mean to go on. Enterprise bargaining in WA sets the tone for the rest of the country. In the last round healthy pay rises there set a base for bargaining all over the country. This time management is intent on giving nothing away early and the union recognises that managements have toughened up.

CMM ads10


Multiskilled marketer

The University of New South Wales is looking for a marketer for its international education consultancy, UNSW Global. The post (which isn’t listed under jobs on the UNSWG website) sounds standard enough, although there is one hint about strategy, that overseas experience in Asia and the Middle East will be “particularly … well regarded.” What, and where, does UNSWG have in mind?