No issue Monday

CMM is off for the public holiday in the ACT, NSW, Queensland and SA. Back, if the fates allow, Tuesday.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features today

Merlin Crossley (UNSW) on the power of learning locally. “The real interactions students have with their teachers and with each other will sit within their memories and help shape their identities.”

plus Peter Woelert (Uni Melbourne) on administration burdens in universities – the where, why and what can be done. “What may look like increased administrative efficiency if one looks from the top-down may actually look considerably less so if one looks from the bottom-up,” he writes

and in Expert Opinion

Brett Mason talks about his new book on the achievements of Florey and Oliphant (Ep 17 HERE )

More changes to presenting the ATAR

The way HE providers present admissions info is required to be clearer

The Higher Education Standards Panel (which advises the minister) has proposals out for consultation. It’s the result of a brief last year from then education minister Alan Tudge, on transparency of admissions information for postgrads and international students CMM June 24 2021) and that perennial favourite, use of the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank for entry.

CMM thought ATAR transparency was sorted by the terminology changes established by the Admissions Transparency Implementation Working Group (CMM February 8 2018), but apparently not.

Mr Tudge asked HESP to advise how to, “ensure the inclusion within student ATAR data profiles of all recent secondary education students, regardless of whether ATAR was a factor in the student’s admission.” Perhaps this will assist with culture-warring complaints about teacher-education entry standards, Hopefully   ensuring quoted ATARS for entry reflect reality might mean people don’t give up on applying for courses that look harder to get into on the ATARs quoted than they are.

The admissions information extension for internationals and coursework postgrad applications will bring the markets into line with what is available for domestic undergrads.

Responses to HESP’s thinking on what needs be done and how to do are due by November 2.


Ways back to basics in research

The previous government was keen on accelerating the economy by commercialising research. The plan seems to have stalled

The plan was to fund research from lab to market, with industry advisors to make biz connections and a commercially focused board to oversee progress (CMM February 3) – presumably because a business focused committee would be quicker than a university one.

But although the new government has not formally nixed it,  the accelerator looks like yesterday’s idea.

For a start ministers now like nimble, Jason Clare and Ed Husic  yesterday announced 2000  “HECS style” scholarships to fund student/recent grad entrepreneurs to work on their business plans in university incubators.

And as the Productivity Commission points out in a new paper on innovation there is more to applying research than a quick map to market.  “Recent policy initiatives to increase knowledge transfer are too narrow in their scope in that they focus on direct commercialisation activities and advanced manufacturing industries,” the Commission writes.

“By focusing on research commercialisation, policy initiatives to increase knowledge transfer treat knowledge transfer as synonymous with commercialisation, even though other channels (e.g. consulting by academics) may be more relevant for certain types of firms and industries (especially service industries), research areas (e.g. social sciences) and research institutions.”

Chief Scientist Cathy Foley also has ideas on how economy-growing research happens, using “the rapidly developing field” of quantum information science and technology as an example. Dr Foley points to two crucial factors in Australian Research Council funding of 12 centres since 2003 that helped created Australia’s strength in QIST;

* “explicitly funded basic science research without commercialisation requirements (although end-user engagement was a key performance indicator)”

* no priorities in research. “The growth in Australia’s QIST capacity therefore happened as a natural consequence of research freedom and excellence in relevant areas.

As to what can happen next, Dr Foley suggests,

“virtuous cycles in other STEM industries can be created through patient investment in foundational research, coordinated efforts across institutions, world-class STEM education and support for attraction, retention and development of a diverse STEM-skilled workforce at all career stages.”

Which would be a tough-sell to an advisory board who want to forecast earnings for the foreseeable future.

The arts of changing minds at Federation U

Last month executives did not want an arts degree at all – now they want a “world class one”

VC Duncan Bentley announces a review of the arts degree – how a future one could link to other courses, connect with technology, and so on.

Management has been ambivalent about arts. In August acting VC Wendy Cross announced it was would be no more from ’23 (CMM August 8) but a week later another acting VC, Liam Sloan announced arts would stay and that a group of employers, students and staff will, “redesign the BA so that it is contemporary, multidisciplinary and digitally driven to meet student and industry needs,” (CMM August 15).

And so, Professor Bentley is now asking staff for input, for a degree that will fit Federation U’s new co-operative education model, “bridge campus-based learning with learning in the workplace,” (CMM August 22).

Appointments, achievements

of the day

Jane Angel is the next ED of the Council of Australian University Librarians. She moves from Uni South Australia, where she is deputy director, resources and tech services. She starts in November, replacing Mark Sutherland who is retiring (as in giving up work).

The Australian Academy of the Humanities announces its 2022 medal for translation. It goes to Robert Savage for his translation from German of Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger’s biography of Maria Theresa.

of the week

Michael Adams becomes academic director of Uni New England’s Sydney campus. He continues head of its School of Law.

The Australian Research Council’s working group for a new Excellence in Research for Australia metric is * Michelle Duryea (convenor,Research Officer Directors Special Interest Group, Australasian Research Management Society) * Dom English (First assistant secretary Department of Education) * Nick Fisk  (DVC R UNSW) * Duncan Ivison ( former DVC R Uni Sydney) * Steve Larkin (PVC-Indigenous Engagement Uni Adelaide) * Kate McGrath (DVCR UTS) * Alistair Maclean (CEO Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency) * Chris Moran (DVC R Curtin U) * Cameron Neylon (humanities, Curtin U) * Tony Sheil (Director, Griffith U resarch office) * Mary Spongberg (DVC R Southern Cross U) * Vicki Thomson (chief executive Group of Eight) * Marnie Hughes-Warrington (DVC R Uni SA) * Judi Zielke (ARC CEO -chair).

Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities new board is, president: Nick Bisley (La Trobe U). VP: Robert Greenberg (Uni Auckland). treasurer: Matt McGuire (Western Sydney U). secretary: Heather Zwicker (Uni Queensland). NZ officer: Cynthia White (Massey U). members: Kate Darian-Smith (U Tasmania), Lori Lockyer (QUT), Deborah Gare (Murdoch U).

Susan Emery (Uni SA) wins the Women in Games award for games/esports educator.

Nicolas Hart moves from Flinders to UTS, where he will programme director of clinical exercise physiology.

In January, Tracy Humphrey will become Uni SA’s executive dean, Clinical and Health Sciences – she will move from Uni Queensland.

Amanda Morris is the new director of Charles Darwin U’s Academy of the Arts. She moves from ED, Conservatoire (leadership of higher education programmes) at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

Janine O’Flynn (Uni Melbourne and ANZ School of Government) becomes a fellow of the (US) National Academy of Public Administration.

At UTS, Robynne Quiggin become interim PVC, Indigenous Leadership and Engagement, replacing Michael McDaniel who moves to special advisor to the VC on Indigenous priorities.  Nareen Young becomes Associate Dean, Indigenous Leadership and Engagement in the UTS business school, replacing Professor Quiggin.