Universities Australia has launched a print advertising campaign in over 80 regional and local areas around the country, aimed at informing residents of the potential consequences to local economies of the Government’s $2.8 billion in cuts to university funding and student support measures. The regional and local advertising blitz forms part of Universities Australia’s $5 million Smartest Investment Campaign which has been running nationally on TV, radio, print and online since the end of February…..[READ MORE]…..
Australian research bodies have come together to urge non-partisan support for science and all forms of research, demanding that all parties make a commitment to the fundamental value of research in the physical, biological and social sciences, through to engineering and humanities. The research alliance has a broad base, including researchers across business and industry, universities and medical research institutes. The call comes from peak bodies from across the research spectrum, in science, education, social sciences and humanities and from our eminent scientists and engineers, including Australia’s most recent Nobel Laureate, Brian Schmidt…..[READ MORE]….
In a move aimed at buttressing its position as a leader in online education, Deakin University launched its first massive open online course (MOOC) on 17 June and plans to use it as a test-bed for redeveloping its full learning environment. Unlike the MOOC offerings from most universities, Deakin’s free online course will be a taster designed to promote fee-paying courses and will offer students a pathway to earning academic credit (for a fee)……[READ MORE]….
A Senate estimates committee has been told that the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), the national vocational training regulator, has deregistered or refused to re-register 127 providers since it commenced operations almost two years ago. This comprises about 8% of the 1600 Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) audited so far. Another 1000 RTOs are currently being assessed or have been “earmarked for audit”, chief commissioner Chris Robinson told the Senate Economics Legislation Committee….[READ MORE]….
An attempt by Swinburne University to certify a non-union agreement with a small group of newly appointed staff at its subsidiary Swinburne College, which offers courses in Foundation Studies, Pathways, and English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students, has failed. The move was challenged by the National Tertiary Education Union, which described it as an attempt to slash working conditions, and Swinburne College ultimately withdrew the application. Swinburne College was ordered by Fair Work Commission Deputy President Smith to pay $33,655 in legal costs of the NTEU…..[READ MORE]….
A sprawling former hospital site in inner city Melbourne has been sold by the state government to Melbourne University for $37 million and is to be transformed into a ”living laboratory” for sustainability research as part of the university’s new precinct called Carlton Connect. Lord mayor Robert Doyle said a new ”university town” is emerging from RMIT in the CBD to Melbourne University in Carlton and Parkville – “like a Boston … like a Harvard cluster” – which would have a transformative effect on the city…..[READ MORE]….
14 June 2013 | Following an extensive independent review, Sydney University is set to focus its health and medical research on four priority health and medical priority areas – obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental health and neuroscience and infectious diseases…….[READ MORE]….
14 June 2013 | Registered Training Organisations face tougher regulation after tertiary education ministers approved a shift from registration to licensing. Under the change, the right to issue qualifications – now an automatic entitlement for registered colleges – will require a licence. ……[READ MORE]….
14 June 2013 | The impact of the $2.3 billion cut from the university sector to fund schools funding reform appear not have been properly analysed, it has emerged at a Senate estimates committee hearing. ….[READ MORE]….
14 June 2013 | RMIT University has reinstated a professor, in line with a Federal Court order, after deciding not to appeal a judgement upholding claims she had been unfairly dismissed. Judith Bessant, professor of sociology and youth studies, had been dismissed after raising various complaints against her supervisor, including bullying allegations. She was reinstated on 7 June……[READ MORE]….
14 June 2013 | Monash University staff will push ahead with plans to withhold students’ results, prompting university management to withdraw from negotiations over pay and conditions. The National Tertiary Education Union has notified Monash management that it would implement a series of bans, including processing results, overtime and participation in events such as open days…..[READ MORE]….
14 June 2013 | Yarra Ranges Council will attempt to buy part of the Swinburne University Lilydale campus in a bold attempt to maintain the site as an education centre. The council plans to build its new $14 million offices on the site, a strategic move it claims is the only way post-secondary education will remain in Lilydale. ….[READ MORE]….
14 June 2013 | RMIT University is expanding its presence to Europe by establishing a site in Barcelona, Spain, to build its European education, research and student mobility activities. ……[READ MORE]….
Following federal elections some policy promises bear fruit, others vanish or, worse still, get in the way, writes Merlin Crossley (UNSW).
During the 2010 election campaign, tertiary sector policies were strangely absent. In 2007, with its education revolution, Labor had a lot to offer.
In the research policy arena, the big non-starter was hubs and spokes, a vision of research collaboration and engagement that we don’t hear much about these days. Hubs and spokes had several features that were politically attractive. No university would miss out and no matter where you were, you could dream of being a hub but you could still be a spoke if that wasn’t to be.
The policy picked up the idea of critical mass and precincts (hubs) and regional support and inclusivity (spokes). Hubs and spokes sang of collaboration but also paid lip service to the reality of prioritisation.
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…one begins to look not for an educational revolution, nor for masterly inaction, but for consolidated moderate investment and a research strategy – an end to the uncertainties of start-stop funding.
The National Centre for Vocational Education Research is Australia’s principal provider of vocational education training research and statistics. NCVER’s monthly newsletter reports on its latest research findings and publications.
In a response to Alecia Simmonds (Why Australia hates thinkers), John Armstrong (University of Melbourne) suggests that in a manifestly imperfect world we might do worse than instutitionalise Jamie Oliver’s approach to life, working from sympathy rather than disdain.
We can readily be forgiven for thinking that these are the worst of times: our collective institutions seem feeble in the face of our needs and hopes.
The Christian churches – which were once powerful and noble in intent, look deranged and broken. Government seems preoccupied by short term advantage and factional squabbling; the capitalist economy is (in many parts of the world) in disrepair; the media is fragmenting, in financial trouble and driven downmarket.
These troubles share an underlying logic. It is easy to imagine things going better, yet all plans to make them better run into the same obstacle.
Starting from low expectations – rather than from ideal hopes – changes the picture. The modern world, with all its defects, is a tremendous achievement. Australia is astonishingly decent and sane, in comparison with what might have been.
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Jamie Oliver shows how to combine friendship with our ordinary selves and the longing for noble ideals. He wants people to be healthy, eat organic produce, work hard, care about quality. But he does not hate, or look down on, people who are not like this.
This Fulbright Scholarship is for employees within the vocational education and training sector or training leaders in business and industry. It is not for university academics that study VET as an academic discipline. Applications close 14 August 2013.
ACPET National Conference
29-30 August | Adelaide
ACPET’s national conference is the largest gathering of private and not-for-profit educators and trainers in Australia and provides an opportunity for networking and professional development.
Higher Education Policy Seminar
La Trobe University Friday 21 June 12.30-2.00
The tertiary education system has evolved from central control to demand driven. This seminar will explore the trajectory of the demand driven system and provide insight into future funding models. The speakers are Associate Professor Leesa Wheelahan (University of Melbourne) and Andrew Norton (Grattan Institute).