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Higher education: a “public good” or “pernicious welfare” ?

20 June 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… In this op-ed piece originally published in The Australian, Ben Etherington (Univeristy of Western Sydney) takes issue with John Roskam's proposition that "taxpayer-subsidised higher education is one of the more pernicious forms of welfare".  Among other things, Roskam queried the relevance of studying the “emergence of poetry in various Caribbean Creoles”,  Etherington's current project. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… “In an era of busy government and constant change, it’s insufficiently recognised how often masterly inactivity can be the best contribution that government can make to a particular sector. A period … [Read more...]

Unis seek delay in deregulation

Fairfax Media     |    21 May 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… University vice-chancellors are arguing for a delay  in the deregulation of course fees, set to take place in 2016. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The university leaders fear as many as 160,000 school leavers nationwide could select a course without knowing whether they will pay tens of thousands of dollars in extra fees, which some students would struggle to pay. University of Western Sydney vice-chancellor Barney Glover asked for the postponement of the planned fee deregulation during talks with the office of Education Minister Christopher Pyne last week. Glover said funding changes outlined … [Read more...]

The philosophers’ song

The Future for the Humanities and Social Sciences in a Global Era Melbourne, 18 and 19 March 2014 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… This two-day comparative symposium will bring together leading academics to examine questions around the future for the humanities and social sciences in Asia, North America, and Australia. It will ask how these disciplines might situate themselves in an increasingly globalised higher education system. The most followed philosopher on Twitter is Alain de Botton with 422, 381 followers (he follows 4,818 Tweeters).  de Botton tweets about once a day. … [Read more...]

The UWS Academy

UWS News Centre  |    26 February 2014 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… The  University of Western Sydney has created The Academy, an interdisciplinary, community-engaged program which it describes as the first of its kind across the higher education sector. ………………………………………………………………………………………………… While undertaking their advanced academic studies, students in The Academy also participate in programs focused on civic engagement and citizenship – professional and personal development opportunities, volunteering projects, and mentoring and leadership programs which aim to create a well-rounded graduate who can meet the challenges of an increasingly complex and globalised … [Read more...]

New University of Western Sydney College for Bankstown

UWS Media Centre | 20 February 2014 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… The University of Western Sydney is expanding its highly successful pathways program – UWSCollege – with the opening of a new multi-million dollar facility at the University’s Bankstown campus. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… The new UWSCollege Bankstown building was officially opened on 20 February 2014 by the Federal Minister for Education,  Christopher Pyne. The university says UWSCollege is having a transformative effect on students’ lives and the higher education participation rates in Greater Western Sydney, with thousands of students having successfully enrolled in and completed a … [Read more...]

UWS launches inter-disciplinary program “shaping future leaders”

UWS News Centre | 26 February 2014 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… The University of Western Sydney has launched The Academy  which has an emphasis on student volunteering, ethical leadership and creating a new generation of ‘citizen scholars’. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Academy brings together the best and brightest students from across Greater Western Sydney who clearly demonstrate a commitment to using their opportunities in life to give back to society and to create a better world. While undertaking their advanced academic studies, students in The Academy also participate in programs focused on civic engagement and citizenship – professional … [Read more...]

Forrest donates $65m to WA universities

ABC News   |  15 October 2013 Mining billionaire Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest has made one of the biggest single philanthropic donations in Australian history, and called on other tycoons to share their wealth. Forrest will contribute $65 million to higher education in Western Australia.  He says he wants the money to attract some of the best minds in the world to West Australian universities. I expect this to be one of the best, if not the best, investments we ever make.I'd like to see the University of Western Australia and the other four or five universities in Western Australia really excel through having some of the greatest minds in the world attracted to it. Philanthropy Australia … [Read more...]

The Scan | #137 | 12 September 2013

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Australian unis rate highly but slipping The 2014 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings show that while the majority of Australian universities have slipped on the ladder of the world's leading institutions, seven still in rank in the world top 100  and twenty universities - half of the entire system - make the top 400.The top universities in Australia were: ANU at 27 (down 3 places from last year), Melbourne, (31, up 5 places) Sydney (38, up 1 place), University of Queensland (43, up 3), University of NSW (52, steady) Monash … [Read more...]

Rankings show ‘steady as she goes’ for Australian universities

The Conversation    |     15 August 2013 The University of Melbourne has once again improved its position and remains Australia’s best university according to new university rankings released on 15 August. The Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University has five Australian universities in the top 100, including University of Melbourne (54), the Australian National University (66), University of Queensland (85), University of Western Australia (91) and University of Sydney (97). Most Australian universities in the top 100 improved their position from last year’s ranking, except ANU which dropped two places (down from 64) and Sydney University which … [Read more...]

Australian unis rank highly

The Australian    |     16 August 2013 With five universities in the world top 100 and 19 in the top 500, Australia has one of the strongest higher education systems internationally – in spite of scarce research dollars and small population and economic scale, according to Ying Cheng, the head of international university ranking agency Academic Ranking of World Universities. Australia has 5% of universities in the top 100, ranking it third (behind the US and Britain)...by GDP it ranks 12th in the world (2.1% of the world total GDP) and it only has 0.33% of world population. Australia has 19 top 500 universities.  Other countries that have a similar number of top 500 are France … [Read more...]