What’s next as global rankings turn 20

In Features this morning Angel Calderon (RMIT) on what’s changed, what’s about to, two decades in

“Australia is a lucky country. Over the past twenty years, Australia’s scholarly output growth was above the rate of the United States and the United Kingdom and many other Western countries, but significantly below the rate of China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. However, Australia’s growth rate over the past five years is weakening,” he writes, HERE

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 the Accord must address, HERE.

Donation of the day

James Packer, and his family foundation donate $7m to UNSW to establish a chair to study mood disorders, such as bipolar disease

Mr Packer states, “it is no secret that I have struggled with mental health problems in the past.”

Alternative to the Adelaide universities merger

the best universities in the world tend not to be large sausage factories”

Neil Weste (Uni Adelaide) has created a manifesto in the form of a petition against the in-planning proposal to combine Uni Adelaide and Uni SA.

Geoff Hanmer (Uni Adelaide adjunct) makes much the same case HERE.

Professor Weste suggests 24 reasons not to make them merge, including:

* cost, leading to financial instability

* loss of “local control and less competition”

* disrupted academic programmes

* “negative” impact on research

* impact “on community partnerships”

“to treat universities as if they were corporate entities, forming corporate style mergers and acquisitions, without regard to the community they serve runs against university ethos,” he argues

there’s another way

He proposes,

* consolidating Uni SA on its City West campus with Uni Adelaide taking the City East space, “to construct new world-leading strategic laboratories to maintain international competitiveness.”

* increase PhD scholarships, “the impact on ranking will potentially be significant and the cost would be small compared to a merger”

* rewrite the university Act (which one is not specified), “:so that it represents the traditional purpose of a true university rather than an extension of immediate corporate needs”

Charles Darwin U backs The Voice

The Northern Territory university says endorsing the yes campaign for the referendum, “makes a strong statement as to how CDU values First Nations peoples”

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to affect real change for more First Nations peoples in Australian society. CDU has always been a strong advocate for respecting First Nations leadership,” VC Scott Bowman says.

CDU is offering a 12 lectures over six weeks not for credit, course on-line, “Achieving a Voice” which sets the context of the referendum – which is good.

It would be better if the university was not charging $1000 for it.

Colin Simpsons ed-tech must reads for the week

Deskilling on the job from Danah Boyd | Apophenia

The question of how Generative AI technologies will change the future is frequently asked and even more frequently (and badly) answered but rarely as thoughtfully as in this post from Danah Boyd, a researcher at Microsoft. She approaches it through the simple frame of whether work will be automated or augmented and raises the vital issue of how we prevent core skills from atrophying if we outsource our tasks to the machines.


The impact of ChatGPT on higher education: what have we learnt? Webinar from TEQSA/CRADLE, Monday June 5th 2-4pm (AEST)

For a more immediate perspective, it is coming up to six months since ChatGPT was released and we have now had a teaching period or two to see how this is reshaping learning and teaching in Higher Education. This joint webinar from TEQSA and Deakin’s CRADLE brings together Rowena Harper (ECU), Simon Buckingham Shum (UTS), Phillip Dawson and Margaret Bearman (Deakin U) and Helen Gniel (TEQSA) for an academic perspective on where we are.


49th edition of Professional Development Opportunities in Educational Technology and Education from Clayton R Wright

This thesis length document is probably the most comprehensive listing you will find of conferences, webinars and other events in the education technology and education space. US based events are heavily represented but there are also a host of events from around the world. If you are of a mind to plan your travel/PD through to September 2026, this is the list for you.


Google Announces 8 New Top Level Domains Including One For Lawyers from Search Engine Journal

There are two reasons this story matters. The mild one is that you can now register a web domain ending in either .phd, .prof or (if you feel fancy) .esq. The more eyebrow-raising one is that this list also includes .zip and .mov. Given that these are both common file extensions – .mov representing Apple video files – the potential for confusion and malfeasance in web links is alarming. Be wary.


Elsevier is losing editors from Dr Glaucomflecken

The recent mass exodus of editors from Elsevier’s NeuroImage journal is discussed beautifully in this biting video from ophthalmologist and academic TikTok comedian Dr Glaucomflecken.

Colin Simpson has worked in education technology, teaching, learning design and academic development in the tertiary sector since 2003 at CIT, ANU, Swinburne University and Monash University. He is also one of the leaders of the ASCILITE TELedvisors Network. For more from Colin, follow him on Twitter @gamerlearner (or @[email protected] on Mastodon)

Securing essential skills

The SA Government is talking to Flinders U and Uni SA, “to support a pipeline of social workers coming into the child and family support system”

It’s part of the response to the Hyde and Alexander reviews of the state’s child protection system.

It follows Victoria looking to universities to provide skilled staff for specific state programmes. The state government is subsidising 300 early childhood teacher places at Victoria U (CMM May 18 2022) with the NSW Government following (CMM June 16 2022).

Uni Wollongong alsos now has a new two-year degree in early learning, to upskill diploma qualified people after winning a tender from the state government. (CMM March 2 2023).

Appointments, achievement

Rhonda Faragher (Uni Queensland) has a 2023 British Academy Visiting Fellowship at the University of Stirling, to work on reducing the fear of dementia for adults with Down Syndrome.

Jenny Fereday (Uni SA) wins for research and knowledge translation at the SA Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Awards.

The Health Assessment Technology and Assessments Policy and Methods Review is chaired by Debora Picone (U Tas). Members include Andrew Roberts (WEHI- formerly Walter and Eliza Hall Institute) Andrew Wilson (Uni Sydney).

 New appointments to the Commonwealth’s advisory board for the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations include, Courtney Fung (Macquarie U), Sharon Lewin (Doherty Institute), Richard McGregor (Lowy Institute), Rory Medcalf (ANU) and Brian Schmidt (ANU)