In UNSW the w stands for worldbeater. Its departments are in the world top 500 for 50 of 52 ARWU ranked disciplines  


plus: all the ANZ universities with departments in the world top 50s


Hoj warns government funding cuts to universities risk the economy’s resilience


and: why UniSydney approved then suspended a big research project

Land of the long weekend

Some 10 of the world’s top 50 universities in tourism studies are in Australia

Add in New Zealand its 12. Griffith is number two in the world and the University of Queensland is third in the new Academic Ranking of World Universities discipline list. As the classic campaign put it, Queensland: beautiful one day, perfect the next.

What’s in a name

University of Sydney academics used fictitious names in emails to academics for a research project – now they are using their real names to explain

The other day University of Sydney international relations academics Benjamin Goldsmith and Megan Mackenzie emailed academics for a research project, “An Open Door? Experimental Measurement of Potential Bias in Informal Pathways to Academia.” Messages were sent “under different sender names” to “test their effects on response rates from a large number of academics across Australia.”

Outrage ensued among recipients who did not like being duped and who took the time to respond to the email and on Tuesday the two associate professors wrote to the mailing list, using their real names assuring everybody, “this deceptive claim was a necessary element of the experimental design.”

“The data collected are anonymous, the study has the approval of the appropriate ethics committee, the deception was absolutely necessary for the integrity of the research, and only aggregate response patterns across groups, fields, and universities will be studied,” they added.

But it seems the human ethics committee in the research office has changed its mind, stating, that in response to complaint the project “has currently been suspended.”

Both Goldsmith and Mackenzie are experienced researchers. Aspro Mackenzie secured $385 000 from the Australian Research Council in 2014 for a comparative study of the exclusion of women from combat duties in armed forces. Aspro Goldsmith has won three ARC grants worth $1.5m since 2010.

Last night the university stated it “has received a number of complaints about a research project evaluating whether unconscious bias could influence access to postgraduate studies.

The research, which was approved by the University of Sydney’s Human Research Ethics Committee, has been suspended while the university conducts a review in relation to the issues raised. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) has written to the complainants today and will continue to update them.”

More MBA from UniSA

The University of South Australia has created a new leadership role for its MBA and executive education programmes

Peter Stevens moves from Hewlett Packard to manage growth and strategy as executive director for postgrad biz ed. He starts next month.

Hoj hammers feds over funding

Federal funding cuts to universities reduce the economy’s resilience against global shocks  Group of Eight chair Peter Hoj warns

University of Queensland VC and Group of Eight chair Peter Hoj has called on the Senate to block the “most brutal cuts by a federal government in more than 20 years” warning that if senators stay their hands; “the proposals will give away a national competitive advantage, and weaken the economy’s economic resilience in the face of undesirable – but not unthinkable – global jolts.”

In a National Press Club address yesterday Professor Hoj, speaking as chair of the Group of Eight research universities, said reductions in public funding over time plus the government’s present plan “to take $2.8bn of direct commonwealth funding out of the system,” is “tilting the funding balance in the extreme away frommajority public ownership.”

Public universities contribute enormously to national prosperity and social cohesion, and are an asset that any government determined to deliver jobs and growth would wish to keep in public ownership.”

In addition to proposed cuts to Commonwealth grant scheme cash and higher course costs for students Professor Hoj reiterated existing government failings, which, “compound serious systemic flaws in our national policy, that impact particularly on research-intensive universities.” In particular, he specified the failure of the feds to meet the full cost of research, warning the Group of Eight have to find over $3bn for research from “non research-specific funds. Often funds derived from activities in teaching and learning.” And he warned the government’s proposal to create a new coursework masters scholarship programme will create new inefficiencies, “and build new and costly bureaucratic structures within government.”

Professor Hoj also repeated his previous warning that funding cuts “may lead some institutions to consider taking more international students.”

“For research universities, determined to maintain the quality of Australia’s research and innovation capability and also committed to making university accessible to capable students of all backgrounds, the decisions may be particularly difficult.”

International ed numbers up, again

Where would we be without China

New figures show the number of international students was up 14 per cent January-April, to 495 000, on the first four months of last year. There was growth across the board with higher education and VET numbers up 15 per cent, English language 5 per cent, schools 13 per cent and non-award 21 per cent.

As usual China is the largest market, providing 30 per cent of students, followed by India (11 per cent) and Malaysia (4 per cent.)

Crunch time

The Melbourne Business School is hosting a datathon for 250 people who can really count

The contest starts this weekend with 60 teams using big datasets to address public policy problems and business challenges as part of the MBS Business Analytics Conference.

The anonymised raw material they work with includes banking transactions, basket-level grocery sales, airline loyalty programme stats, and “open-governmenthealth data. Business partners will provide participants with analytic software visualisation tools and access to the Amazon cloud.

The teams will present their solutions in a number-crunching coliseum for a $25 000 prize pool on July 13.

Dolt of the day

Is CMM who had University of Melbourne VC Glyn Davis departing at the end of the year in yesterday’s email edition. He leaves at the end of ’18.

UNSW’s huge win in subject rankings

From Columbus to Kensington the universities whose discipline departments lead the world

The University of New South Wales has had a huge win in the Academic Ranking of World Universities discipline analysis, released yesterday, appearing in the top 500 universities in the word in 50 of the 52 subject listings. It’s a feat matched only by the Columbus campus of Ohio State and exceeded by none. UNSW also had 18 listings in the global top 50 institutions per each subject.

UNSW DVC R Nicholas Fisk describes the result as “an exceptionally good news story …  a real testament to the breadth and depth of UNSW research and our new positioning as Australia’s most comprehensive research-intensive university.”

The ARWU bases the ranking on a range of research indicators; number of papers published in the relevant area, paper impact as measured by citations, papers with international co-authors, significant discipline awards won by staff and papers published in what ARWU considers “top journals.”

At a global level however it is the same-old, same-old, with US research universities leading the world, being numbered in 32 of the 52 disciplines. Harvard is number one in 15. In the Asia-Pacific, China (including Hong Kong) has eight first places. Nanyang Technological University in Singapore has two.

Australian and New Zealand universities in the world top 50 by discipline

Both UNSW and the University of Queensland have 18 discipline areas in the ARWU top 50 universities. Other universities with over ten top 50 departments are the University of Melbourne, Monash University and the University of Sydney.

Other notable achievements include Griffith University rating second in the world for tourism, the University of Newcastle tenth for automation and control.

Australian and New Zealand universities in the top 50 for each discipline are:

Physics: Australian National University (34)

Earth Sciences: ANU (36)

Geography: ANU (seven), University of Queensland (nine), University of Melbourne (19)

Ecology: UoQ (three), James Cook U (eight), UniMelb(22), University of Western Australia (22), University of New South Wales (45)

Mechanical Engineering: Monash University (43), UNSW (45)

Electrical Engineering: ANU (42), University of Adelaide (44)

Automation and Control: University of Newcastle (ten), UniMelbourne (14), ANU (15), UniAdelaide (42)

Telecoms Engineering: ANU (41), UNSW (42)

Computer Science: UniMelbourne (31), UNSW (40), UniAdelaide (43), University of Technology, Sydney (48)

Civil Engineering: University of Canterbury (ten), UNSW (11), University of Sydney (32), UniAdelaide (36), University of Auckland (39)

Chemical Engineering: Monash U (31), UoQ (41), UNSW (44), Curtin University (45)

Energy Science: Monash U (28) UoQ (37), University of Wollongong (42)

Environmental Science: UWA (16) UoQ (19)

Water Resources: UNSW (six), UoQ (eight), Flinders University (18), Monash U (36)

Food Sciences: UoQ (39), Massey University (45)

Biotechnology: UoQ (seven)

Aerospace: UoQ (35), UNSW (47)

Marine Engineering: UWA (nine), UNSW (18), Griffith University (28), UniNewcastle (32), UoQ (44)

Transport Science: UniSydney (seven), Monash U (20), Queensland University of Technology (22), UNSW (41)

Remote Sensing: UNSW (33)

Mining Engineering: UoQ (two), UWA (seven), UNSW (12), Curtin (19), Monash U (23), UniMelbourne (25), University of South Australia (28), UniNewcastle (29), UniAdelaide (42)

Metallurgy: Monash U (nine) UoQ (16), UWA (seven), UniSydney  (36), Deakin University (40)

Biology: UWA (30), UniMelbourne (45)

Human Biology: UniMelbourne (24)

Ag Science: UWA (14), UoQ (23), UniAdelaide (39), UniSydney (=44), University of Tasmania (=44), UniMelbourne (47)

Vet Science: UoQ (24), UniSydney (26), Massey U (35), UniMelbourne (39)

Clinical Medicine: UniMelb (20) UniSydney (33), UWA (42)

Public Health: UniSydney (18), UniMelbourne (21), UoQ (22), Monash U (29), UNSW (31)

Dentistry: UniAdelaide (39)

Nursing: UTS (nine), Griffith U (14), UoQ (17), UniSydney (19), University of Western Sydney (22), Curtin U (24), UniMelbourne (36), Monash U (39), QUT (46), Australian Catholic University (50)

Pharmacy: Monash U (22)

Economics: Monash U (43), UniMelbourne (47),

Statistics: UniMelbourne (29)

Law: Monash U (28), UNSW (37), Griffith U, (38), ANU (39)

Political Science: ANU (24), UniSydney (31)

Education: Monash U (19)

Communications: UniSydney (45), QUT (48)

Psychology: UoQ (37), UNSW (47)

Business: UniMelbourne (31), Monash U (38)

Finance: UNSW (ten), UniMelbourne (27), Monash U (34), UniSydney (47)

Public Administration: ANU (eight), UniMelbourne (27)

Hospitality and Tourism: Griffith (two) UoQ (three), University of Otago (14), University of Waikato (16), James Cook U (19), Monash U (21), Southern Cross U (22), UniSA (26), UNSW (30), Victoria University (35), Curtin U (43), UniWollongong (47) UniCanterbury (48)

Library and Info Science: UNSW (27) UniSydney (44)

(With apologies to any missed.)

ANZACs did not bother the scorers in maths, chemistry instruments service, biomedical engineering, material science, nanoscience, medical technology or sociology.