University of Southern Queensland

The University of Southern Queensland gained University status in 1992. It is one of Australia’s leading providers of on-campus and distance education programs in Australia and is at the cutting edge of flexible delivery of resources and technology.

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Earth was treated to a magnificent show during the Perseid meteor shower in 2010. Will the northern hemisphere get a similar show with the Camelopardalis shower on Saturday? ESO/S. Guisard

A night’s tale: will a new meteor shower light up northern skies?

Across North America, Europe and Japan, skywatchers will be out in force this weekend with high hopes of catching a never-before-seen meteor shower. Predicted to peak this Saturday, May 24, the shower…
Education Minister Christopher Pyne wants Australia to have universities comparable to Harvard, but at what cost? Shutterstock

Australian changes may saddle students with US-style debt levels

Proposed changes in the budget to higher education fees and loans have sparked widespread protests by students. They argue the university sector without a cap on fees, as the budget proposes, will become…
Budget results are in: universities will be able to charge students whatever they want from 2016. AAP

Federal budget 2014: education experts react

The government has unveiled a higher education deregulation agenda in Tuesday’s budget, including continuation of the demand driven system in public universities. In a major shake-up, universities, TAFEs…
Education Minister Christopher Pyne thinks of education as a cost to government, but really it’s an investment. AAP

Pyne misses the point in education reform

Tonight’s budget will produce few surprises for education funding. The deregulation of university fees, increased support for independent public schools, re-prioritised research funding and a commitment…
Beta Pictoris b spins faster than the fastest spinning planet in our solar system. ESO/L. Calçada & N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)

A different spin – exoplanet’s ‘day’ is measured for the first time

Over the past two decades, almost 1,500 exoplanets have been discovered orbiting distant stars – but Dutch astronomers have determined for the very first time just how fast one of those exoplanets is spinning…
Two dozen ships anchored outside Gladstone harbour in 2008, waiting to load coal. milton.v1/Flickr

Australia’s biggest coal state plans for life beyond coal

We are in the coal business. If you want decent hospitals, schools and police on the beat we all need to understand that. – Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, June 2012. It was a rare moment of unscripted…
Do we know where to find the most credible information in an age of digital literacy? Shutterstock

Navigating the online information maze: should students trust Wikipedia?

Being literate used to be about knowing how to read. In the 21st century it also means knowing how to negotiate through the torrent of information coming at you from all directions. Information Fatigue…
Protesters are furious at recent decisions over the Great Barrier Reef, but how much power does its official guardian have? AAP Image/Supplied by Greenpeace

Reef authority caught between the devil and the deep blue sea

Seeing the fierce debate sparked by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman’s recent article on The Conversation about the Abbot Point coal port expansion, I can sympathise with the dilemma…
Years of schooling separate the rich kids from the poor kids. www.shutterstock.com.au

Why poor kids continue to do poorly in the education game

The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. Here, Stewart Riddle outlines the correlation between low socioeconomic backgrounds…
What’s going on up there? VinothChandar

Why is the sun going quiet?

The sun is our nearest star and the source of all our light and heat on Earth but recent reports have highlighted an ongoing steep decline in solar activity. This story is a reminder that our sun is a…
The emphasis on grammar and language construction in the current national curriculum is stronger than in many previous state curricula. So why the attacks on it? AAP/Stefan Postles

Curriculum review set to reignite the ‘literacy wars’

Kevin Donnelly, the conservative education critic who is set to review Australia’s national curriculum, has a long history of partisan criticism of teachers, teaching subject associations, academics and…
Jetstar Hong Kong remains grounded, as it awaits government approval. danzden/Flickr

Asia should shine brighter for blinkered Qantas

The downgrade of Qantas’ credit rating to junk status by Standard & Poor’s has sparked serious concern for the future of the airline. But the fact is the airline industry has largely been unprofitable…
International tests show a decline in Australian educational outcomes, but even more serious than that, is the story of educational disadvantage. Class image from www.shutterstock.com

Australia’s PISA slump is big news but what’s the real story?

The 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) results out today will no doubt see shock headlines about Australia’s falling education standards and our failing school system. PISA – which…
We know what better literacy can do, so what would a more literate world look like? World image from www.shutterstock.com

What would a more literate world look like?

Let us suppose for a moment that there is a magic bullet for curing illiteracy. In fact, what if we were able to take the global literacy rate from 84% worldwide to something closer to 90% or even 99…
Does poor literacy come down to a matter of teaching bias? Reading image from www.shutterstock.com

My first ideology: teaching reading falls victim to the culture wars

When teaching students how to read, teachers are ignoring the best, scientifically-proven approaches according to a report out this week from libertarian research institute the Centre for Independent Studies…
Is it fair that parents on 457 visas need to pay for their children to access public education? School image from www.shutterstock.com

Free universal education? Not if your parents are on a 457 visa

Last week Western Australian state treasurer Troy Buswell announced as part of his budget that any temporary 457 visa holders would be charged A$4,000 a year to send each child to state schools. Justifying…
We’re shortchanging our students by waiting to introduce the big scientific ideas until high school. Young mozart image from www.shutterstock.com

Searching for scientific Mozarts: get em’ while they’re young

MATHS AND SCIENCE EDUCATION: We’ve asked our authors about the state of maths and science education in Australia and its future direction. In this instalment, Jennifer Donovan, Carole Haeusler and Ian…
With English rapidly becoming a ‘global’ language, should we begin to call it something different? EPA/Christopher Jue

Renaming English: does the world language need a new name?

English is rapidly becoming a lingua franca in international communication for commerce and trade, education, science, international relations and tourism. It is the fastest growing language in the world…

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