Headline of the week

Yes, it’s only Tuesday but Charles Sturt U keeps it succinct and informative with, “Charles Sturt celebrates milestone in national dung beetle research.” It’s part of a plan to release new breeds of beetles across south east Australia.

There’s more in the Mail

In Features this morning Cathy Stone (Uni Newcastle) on the mass of students who don’t study on campus and why universities should stop policies and processes designed for school leavers,  here .

It’s a new op ed in Commissioning Editor Sally Kift’s series in what we need now in teaching and learning.

And, an insider’s view of NHRMC Investigator Grant peer reviews by Wendy Ingram (Adelaide Medical School, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University of Adelaide) here .

Charles Darwin’s new brand puts students at the centre

Charles Darwin U has a new brand and recruitment campaign, “You make CDU,” based on students’ efforts to get there and what they will accomplish

“Positive change will be created by people like you. Your diverse background will help us break new ground and your fresh perspective is what we’re looking for. We believe, you make CDU the new world university,” is the core of the campaign.

Creative includes mothers telling daughters how proud they are that their child is studying at CDU and of the opportunities she will grasp.

Good lord a recruitment campaign that isn’t about the university’s achievements and how lucky students are to be allowed in.

Two wins for Uni Newcastle

Another deal in Thailand

Uni Newcastle announces a two-degree programme with the snappily titled University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and consultants Nurture Higher Education. It allows business and commerce students to earn a Uni Newcastle degree in Thailand, or transfer to UoN in Singapore or Australia, with full credit for completed subjects.

It follows a Uni Newcastle MOU signed in July with the Thai Chulabhorn Royal Academy, to develop four-year degree in medical innovation and engineering taught in Australia and Thailand, (CMM July 17).

A new ARC research centre

The university is to host the new Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Beneficiation of Minerals. For readers who share CMM ‘s cluelessness on what this means, apparently, it is about, making mining more, “efficient for mineral separation, minimising losses of high-value minerals, developing new ways to remove solids from waste stream tailings and maximising water recovery.”

Uni Newcastle has long-established expertise in increasing the efficiency of mineral processing. The university’s much-honoured Graeme Jameson’s cell extracts minerals for waste streams

First pre-season announcement

La Trobe U  announces a 25-year partnership with the Northern Football Netball League

LT U will have naming rights for “at least” 20 years and the NFNL will be based at the university’s Bundoora campus sports precinct. But what strange game is football netball, you ask (oh go, on). It’s not one but two, presumably an ampersand got left out.

What staff like, and don’t about, Deakin U

The union asked staff what they wanted the new VC to know

The campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union has sent VC Iain Martin the results.  Overall the survey shows that the Deakin U brand is in-line with the way staff see the university. Strengths they nominate include, innovative culture, student-focus, community and industry engagement, and “strong, responsive leadership willing to listen to staff and take on feedback.”

Some of the things they don’t like are not unique to Deakin, including what the union describes as “excessive casualisation of teaching work and exploitation of casual staff” and “unrealistic, unsustainable and excessive academic workloads”. Survey respondents would also like a review of the “efficacy” of the trimester system.

They are also point to areas as problems, that outsiders see as Deakin strengths, notably, “poor student culture and engagement, and an overemphasis on cloud teaching, which fails to live up to the ‘spin’.  “We need to invest in our teaching and support services to ensure we can support our students to succeed, and provide them with meaningful learning experiences while maintaining teaching quality and rigour,” the NTEU reports participants warning.

TAFE, it could be Australian for training

Craig Robertson is positioning TAFE as a public good

The TAFE Directors Australia chief presents his members as a national resource which merit different treatment to private training providers.

Yesterday he was wondering why TAFE is regulated on the same basis as private trainers.

“We are asking … why public providers, subject to the oversight of their government and accountable to voting citizens, cop a policy based on low trust compliance. Why is it that public providers with this system of quality control from their owner endure additional measures that are effectively designed to guard against the excesses of private VET activity? There may be a risk-based approach to compliance but checking and reporting requirements based on the lowest common denominator too quickly sap educational spark.”

Last week he questioned the efficacy of micro-credentials in training, warning “it is inevitable for these bite sized learnings to be celebrated as the full extent of VET.”  And he made the case for what TAFE does, “reliable quality control gives the public and employers confidence in the capability and skills of a person awarded a qualification. The more assurance there is, the more good providers can invest with confidence to develop their education services. That’s why we should be pleased ASQA is pursuing robust assurance across the sector, provided it is fair.”

Appointments, achievements

Deakin U announces three new Alfred Deakin professors, its highest academic honour; Brett Bryan (global change and environment), Alison Hutchinson (nursing), Craig Olsson (development psychology).

Mark Rose becomes Deakin U’s first PVC for indigenous strategy. He joins from RMIT

The Queensland literary awards short-list is out, including:

Fiction: Melissa Lucashenko, (Southern Cross U) Too much lip

Non-fiction: Alice Gorman, (Flinders U) Dr Space Junk v the Universe

History: Judith Brett (La Trobe U), From secret ballot to democracy sausageElizabeth Malcolm (Uni Melbourne) and Dianne Hall (Victoria U), A new history of Irish in Australia. Clare Wright (La Trobe U), You daughters of freedom.