Scientists need to communicate better: Chubb

Ian Chubb

The Australian   29 March 2012 Scientists need to be more skilled in using the media to sell the message that what they do is relevant and vital, according to Australia’s Chief Scientist Ian Chubb. "Science is not doing itself any favours," Chubb has told an information and communications seminar. "Despite a specialisation called 'science communication', communication between science and the media is patchy, science makes an uneven use of the media to get its message out."  He endorsed the UK's Science Media Centre philosophy that "the media will do science better when scientists do media better". NewsEXTRA Desk... … [Read more...]

ANU cuts to be strategic

29 March 2012 Following the announcement that the Australian National University is looking to find $40 million in savings, including cutting 100 to 150 jobs, V-C Ian Young has said that instead of making cuts broadly across the university, areas of underperformance would be targeted.  “We are not proposing to do an across-the-board cut as some institutions have done, because that means everyone has less resources to do their work,” he said.  He also affirmed that “areas of national importance” would be maintained, even if they had low student demand and did not have “cutting-edge performance”.  However, the university’s strategic plan – ANU by 2020 — clearly sets out the parameters which … [Read more...]

Warning that decline in entry standards will lead to decline in quality

29 March 2012 Analysis by ACER of university admission data (you have to subscribe to access this report) has created excitement that standards are slipping.  The report says that Australian Tertiary Admission Rank entry scores on average are declining.  “The main issue relating to ATAR points is identifying the extent to which a decline in scores is likely to compromise quality,” the report says. It reveals that 96% of university applicants in NSW and the ACT were offered a place to study this year.  That was followed by Western Australia at 87.8%,Victoria at 84%, and South Australia and the Northern Territory at 78.4%.  The national average for being offered a place increased from … [Read more...]

New ACT tertiary institution put on ice

Canberra Times   29 March 2012 The proposed University Canberra Institute of Technology (UCIT) has been put on ice - and possibly off the agenda altogether - while the ACT Government negotiates future vocational and training reforms with the Commonwealth.  ACT Education Minister Chris Bourke says the Government will wait until the Council of Australian Governments meeting on 13 April to see what new Commonwealth funding will be available to the ACT before it commits to any formal links between the University of Canberra (UC) and the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT). The proposed UCIT, announced by the ACT Government last December, was an 11th-hour compromise to create a new … [Read more...]

What’s the deal on reduced ATARs?

We aren’t quite sure why this should come as a surprise to anyone: enrolments have increased by 27% since 2007 therefore the general level of ATAR for university admission has obviously gone down...? The Go8's conclusions seems reasonably sound: Australian higher education is evolving from a mass to a post-mass or ‘universal’ system.  This is consistent with the policy intent of the Bradley Review of 2008.  The Government’s response to the Bradley Review has been enthusiastic, but partial. As in other countries, growth and diversification in the sector have outpaced policy development.  Elite models of university entry are less appropriate in a ‘universal’ system.  But more open access to … [Read more...]

29 March 2012


Control and click headlines and highlights to link to articles Links may not work unless you or your organisation is a paid subscriber to the originating media outlet.  Check with your communications people about subscriptions. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Synchnotron funding deal secures future  Australia's synchrotron will be able to continue operating, under a joint funding agreement between the Victorian and Commonwealth governments.  The facility was built after intense lobbying by the previous Victorian Labor government.  The Baillieu Government had been reluctant to allocate funding … [Read more...]

New media: Flinders Indaily


28 March 2012 Flinders Indaily is a recent significant expansion of an existing relationship Flinders University had with Solstice Media, an independent Adelaide media group. Solstice established Indaily nearly three years ago, with Flinders being a foundation sponsor. At that time Flinders contributed one page of Flinders news to Indaily each fortnight. Last year, Solstice proposed a Flinders Indaily which would take all of the Indaily content, add one page of Flinders news, views and video content each day and distribute to a new database of subscribers to be developed under a Flinders masthead. The new site was launched on 6 February this year. According to the university, … [Read more...]