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How teaching funds research in Australian universities

28 November 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… A report by the Grattan Institute report finds that universities earn up to $3.2 billion more from students than they spend on teaching, and have powerful incentives to spend the extra money on research. International students, who usually generate more revenue per student than domestic students, contribute a substantial proportion of this surplus. The report’s author, Andrew Norton, says the finding is concerning because, while university research matters to Australia, the evidence that it improves teaching is less clear. He observes that direct spending on teaching, by contrast, is far more likely to ensure that universities … [Read more...]

Keeping public priorities in public universities

The Conversation     |      28 May 2015 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………   The main purposes of Australian public universities — teaching, research and community engagement — are well established in law and practice. But differences of opinion exist on priorities, interpretation and accountability. A key tension is between academics as the strongest advocates of knowledge for its own sake, and government, students and the general public seeking practical uses for knowledge, writes Andrew Norton. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……   For academics, passion for a field of study, opportunity to develop new knowledge, and autonomy in working life are among the most … [Read more...]

Shift happens

 14 May 2015 Redefining education   ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Digital technology has changed how society relates to knowledge. Deloitte’s Australian Centre for the Edge has investigated how this change in our relationship with knowledge might affect the education sector. Its White Paper, Redefining Education, released on 11 May , explores the future of the education sector and what it means to be ‘educated’. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Digital technology has changed how society relates to knowledge. Deloitte’s Australian Centre for the Edge has investigated how this change in our relationship with knowledge might affect the education sector. Its White … [Read more...]

ACER Higher Education Update July 2014

  As Australian higher education institutions begin second semester and the new academic year fast approaches elsewhere, the attention of educators is firmly on the common goal of improving learning and teaching in higher education for a positive impact on students today and into the future. This edition of Higher Education Update explores a number of different areas of work in which ACER research is contributing to this goal. Articles span the exploration of work integrated learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines; university completion for disadvantaged students; improving our understanding of the … [Read more...]

2014 NMC Technology Outlook

26 May 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The 2014 NMC Technology Outlook for Australian Tertiary Education: A Horizon Project Regional Report is a collaborative research effort between the New Media Consortium and Open Universities Australia to help inform Australian education leaders about significant developments in technologies supporting teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in tertiary education. Following is the executive summary describing the project. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… This report was produced to explore emerging technologies and forecast their potential impact expressly in a tertiary education context. In the effort that took place … [Read more...]

No choice over embracing online education

Australian Financial Review    |    3 June 2013 University of Queensland vice-chancellor Peter Hoj is preparing his institution for massive change in higher education, warning that it needs to build its reputation as a global university.  In an address to university staff on 31 May, Hoj said if change in higher education are“as large scale as some envisage, then it will be unsettling for most of us”.  A focus of his speech was the rapid growth in online education and he warned the advent of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, “could fundamentally change the way we need to operate”. Last month the University of Queensland joined the edX MOOC consortium, led by Harvard and MIT, with … [Read more...]

Education faculties slammed over poor results

The Australian    |    13 December 2012 University education faculties and state education departments have been singled singled out to shoulder some responsibility for the shockingly poor results for Australian primary students in international reading, maths and science tests. The tests reveal that about 25% of students in Year 4 failed to meet the minimum standard while students' results in maths and science have stagnated during the past 16 years. Kevin Wheldall, a leading researcher in the teaching of reading, accused university faculties and education departments of stubbornly refusing to accept the evidence of the most effective way to teach reading. Wheldall, a member of … [Read more...]

High-quality, small-group learning says Uni of Adelaide Plan

University of Adelaide Newsroom    |    3 December 2012 The University of Adelaide's new 10-year strategic plan Beacon of Enlightenment signals what the university describes as a “fundamental paradigm shift towards smaller classes, and delivering a premium student experience”. In launching the plan vice-chancellor Warren Bebbington committed the university to “transformation rather than growth" and pointed to the alternative drift towards massive enrolments and `dumbed-down' content over the past 20 years in Australian and UK universities and the subsequent risk to quality higher education. The ideal of the modern university, the union of teaching and research has been lost.  The … [Read more...]

Evans dumps CLA test

The Australian    |    21 November 2012 The Gillard government has dumped plans to use the  controversial US generic Collegiate Learning Assessment test to measure student outcomes, accepting the advice of a reference group that CLA not be used because it is “unreliable and not fit for purpose”. Tertiary education minister Chris Evans committed to introducing a new university experience survey from next year, the results of which are to be published on the MyUniversity website. A graduate-outcomes survey will also be developed and introduced next year. The survey outcomes are a high-stakes issue for universities in the new competitive student market and will be used by government to … [Read more...]

UC set for growth

Canberra Times    |    21 November 2012 The University of Canberra will increase students from 14,000 to 21,000 by 2018 with the help of $26 million in Commonwealth funding signed off this week. The plan to increase enrolments by nearly 50% over the next six years is one of a number of reforms, including broadening student intake through improved pathways through the University of Canberra College and additional learning support for students who might not otherwise get a place. UC will also redesign its curriculum, and invest in flexible learning technologies and collaborations and partnerships with other tertiary institutions - most notably with Holmesglen TAFE in Melbourne … [Read more...]