Universities Australia has hosted a meeting of 20 professional peak bodies who are calling on the Commonwealth government to remove a $2,000 per year cap on tax deductions for self-education, which is due to come into effect next July. Belinda Robinson, chief executive of Universities Australia described the cap as “a tax on learning at the very time when we need to encourage continuous up-skilling of the qualifications needed for a productive, diverse, innovative, knowledge based economy.”…..[READ MORE]…..
With the merger of the University of Ballarat (UB) and Monash University’s Gippsland (Churchill) campus proposed to take effect on 1 January 2014, the Victorian government has introduced legislation to amend the University of Ballarat Act 2010, to change the name of the university to Federation University Australia. The university says the new name will “reflect the partnerships, collaboration and co-operation among a federated network of campuses in regional Victoria which collectively provide a new and different Australian University that is regional in focus, national in scope and international in reach.”…..[READ MORE]…..
The Commonwealth government has announced $36 million in funding over 10 years for a $60 million National Centre for Asia Capability, which will be administered by the Australian School of Business at UNSW and by the University of Melbourne, in a collaboration between business, government, philanthropy and the tertiary sector. The Centre will combine the expertise of government, business and universities to build an Asia capable workforce through training programs, research and the development of regional networks…..[READ MORE]…..
The site of a historic women’s venereal disease clinic in Melbourne’s Little Lonsdale Street will be reborn as a 32-storey ”vertical campus” for Victoria University, the latest tower proposal approved by the state government. The redevelopment, expected to cost about $100 million, will enable more than 25,000 students to attend the university, and was in keeping with the heritage value of the site. The tower will allow the university to move from three separate locations in the city. A completion date is yet to be determined…..[READ MORE]…..
5 July 2013 | The Australian National University (ANU) will cut 230 general staff, as part of sweeping savings to cover a $51 million federal government budget cut. Between budget cuts revealed in October’s mid-year economic forecast and the efficiency dividend in the federal budget, the ANU is forecast to lose $23 million next year and $28 million in 2015. The package of budget measures announced by vice-chancellor Young at a meeting with staff and students on 2July includes a voluntary early retirement scheme to ageing academics, a student recruitment drive, increased fees for international student and energy savings…..[READ MORE]…..
5 July 2013 | The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has rejected Deakin University’s proposed salary increase of just 3% a year over 4 years. NTEU Victorian Division Secretary Colin Long says staff “expect a realistic offer that both protects their existing working conditions and recognises their work in generating record profits for the institution.” An analysis of Deakin’s annual reports by the NTEU ”reveals a university with extremely strong income, profits and operating cash flows, and high holdings of cash and investments.”…..[READ MORE]…..
5 July 2013 | Open Universities Australia (OUA) has fully bought Interact Learning Pty Ltd, trading as e3Learning – a leading online training and compliance provider to Australia’s corporate sector. According to Paul Wappett, OUA chief executive, the acquisition reflects OUA’s strategic objective to broaden its student offering, as well as meeting corporate demand for education, training and compliance…..[READ MORE]…..
The Grattan Institute’s Andrew Norton argues that abandoning the demand driven system would be a major policy blunder.
Australia may be going through higher education ministers at an extraordinary rate, but they seem determined to use their time in office. First Craig Emerson announced major funding cuts to universities, and now new minister Kim Carr is publicly reconsidering the demand-driven funding system.
This funding system is former prime minister Julia Gillard’s big higher education reform. She flipped publicly-funded higher education from being supply-dominated to demand-driven. Under the old system, the total number of university places was set by government. Now it is set by universities and students. Any university applicant offered a place can have one.
Universities responded to this change more enthusiastically than the government anticipated. With rapidly increasing student numbers, budget forecasts of future higher education expenditure were regularly revised upwards.
Carr, echoing statements by some university leaders, is suggesting that standards and quality may have been compromised by all these new students.
The demand-driven system is the big higher education achievement of Labor’s term in office. It would be a policy tragedy to start unwinding it now.
Reposted 31 May 2012
But the positive effects of regular meditation is gaining increasing recognition in the workplace, including major corporates such as Caltex, Nestle, IBM and Blake Dawson, according to the Australian Financial Review (15 July 2011).
The Harvard Business Review noted there are all sorts of good reasons to meditate. Jon Kabat-Zinn, in his book Full Catastrophe Living, offers good instructions on how to meditate and examines persuasive research into how it reduces stress, speeds up healing, decreases pain, and increases presence. Kabat-Zinn is a bit of an expert: Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
But it’s not just about “personal development”. Losing awareness of how we’re feeling or what we’re thinking affects our relationships, our decisions, and our actions. Those are business issues.
While many meditation traditions have religious associations, there are plenty of secular varieties these days as well.
Just Google to find a practice near you that suits your proclivities.
It can’t hurt, can it?
Check out The Guardian (UK) Headspace meditation podcasts.
ACPET National Conference
29-30 August | Adelaide
The creation of MOOCs opens up many questions both in the short term future with regard to the viability of the current MOOCs model, as well as in the long term with reference to the democratisation of education and what it means for the future of universities. Such complex and far reaching consequences raise significant questions for Australian universities across a spectrum of issues.