We’re getting smarter…


The Australian    |    31 October 2012 ...well better qualified, anyway. Education levels in Australia are rising, with the latest census figures showing a dramatic rise in the number of people with a tertiary qualification, with an extra 27% of Australians now holding  a bachelor degree (of the population) up from 11.6% in 2006 to 13.5% in 2011. Over the same period, more than 200,000 extra people gained a postgraduate degree, with 3.6% of the Australian population now holding the qualification and women closing the gap with men, rising from 42.9% to 46.4%. The most popular courses are in management and commerce, completed by 18% of people aged 15 years and over, and engineering and … [Read more...]

NSW introduces travel concessions for international students


The Australian    |    30 October 2012 NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has announced the extension of public transport concessions to international students  during a visit to India, leaving Victoria as the only state that doesn't provide such concessions. It also addresses a major grievance of international students, who consider concessions an equity as well as a cost issue. However, the concession comes with strings attached:  unlike local students who receive 50 % off any ticket they buy, the concessions will apply only to 90-day and annual "MyMulti" tickets for services operating in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. The Council of International Students Australia national … [Read more...]

Michelangelo’s Masterpiece

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31 October 2012 On 31 October 1512, the "Warrior Pope" Julius II held a simple vespers prayer service for 17 cardinals to mark the completion of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling.  Michelangelo's masterpiece, one of the great marvels of human achievement, is officially 500 years old today.  This article was published by The Smithsonian  in 2009 commemorating  the beginning of Michelangelo's work ceiling. In the spring of 1509 a Florentine named Buonarotti was beginning to work on one of the defining masterpieces of Western Civilization.  His first name—Michelangelo—would also reverberate through the ages.  And his ceiling frescoes in Rome’s … [Read more...]

MCD University of Divinity appoints its first professors

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MCD News    |      25 October 2012 Australia’s first "university of specialisation",  MCD University of Divinity,  has announced the appointment of its first professors.  Ten of MCD’s most senior scholars have been recognised by the university for their outstanding scholarship, teaching excellence, and leadership within and beyond the academy. MCD's vice-chancellor, Professor Peter Sherlock, said: The ten professors have brought great distinction to themselves and to our institution over a long period. Each one has made a mark internationally. They have an impressive record of service to the academy, the churches, and most importantly their students. Their areas of expertise … [Read more...]

IRU poised for the Asian century

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IRU Newsroom    |    29 October 2012 In this Asian Century, IRU universities will continue to play a leading role in engagement with the region,  says Professor Ian O'Connor, Chair, Innovative Research Universities (IRU).   For several decades Australian universities, including IRU network members, have built lasting relationships with universities, industry, Government and community partners throughout the Asian region, including campuses in Singapore. These partnerships have contributed to capacity building in the region and the rapid development of Asian nations. The Government's Australia in the Asian Century white paper confirms the value of these efforts, providing impetus for IRU … [Read more...]

Curtin deal sets standard

The Australian    |    29 October 2012 Curtin's staff agreement sets the standard for universities across the country, writes Stephen Matchett.  While NTEU officials at state and national levels say the creation of teaching only positions opens a career path for casuals which is not there now, the teaching fellow strategy constitutes a concession on the union’s standard position.  Under existing university agreements permanent academic staff generally spend 40 per cent each of their working week on teaching and research with the balance allocated to administration. However, the union expects this to change.  According to NTEU official Kevin Rouse: Teaching only (positions) reflect … [Read more...]

Curtin 17% wage deal

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NTEU  Newsroom    |    26 October 2012 Staff at Curtin University in Perth have won an in-principle agreement to provide 17% wage increase over 4 years.  The in-principle agreement, which has been endorsed by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Executive and members, is the first to be negotiated in any of Australia’s 37 public universities in the current round. Key improvements in the deal include: Reasonable salary increases Firm workload caps for academic staff Equal treatment for general and academic staff in serious misconduct and unsatisfactory work performance issues The creation of more secure work for casual staff with the introduction of Scholarly Teaching … [Read more...]