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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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…
The debate around the size of Queensland’s surplus or deficit is shortsighted: governments should have room to move if they need to, and controlling waste should be the issue. AAP

Qld Budget deficit irrelevant: waste should be the issue

Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls’ second budget has the usual collection of initiatives and some very good ones at that. Increased spending on education, disability services and health will nearly always…
Nearly half of Australian adults are functionally illiterate, with manufacturing workers having some of the country’s lowest literacy levels, a significant issue as the industry continues to shed jobs. AAP Image/Julian Smith

The future for Ford workers: literacy will be key

Yesterday’s announcement that Ford will close its manufacturing operations in Geelong and Broadmeadows by 2016 at the cost of 1,200 jobs raises questions of what the workers’ future employment options…
Children are getting their (mis)information about some scientific concepts from mass media sources. Genetics image from www.shutterstock.com

‘You catch criminals with DNA’: What kids know (and don’t know) about genetics

“DNA is your blood in you, we can use DNA as evidence if someone’s been stabbed. We can run tests in suspects.” (Girl, 12, central Queensland) “DNA has to do with blood types and fingerprints, it helps…
NAPLAN tests are only measuring a very small part of literacy and learning. Writing image from www.shutterstock.com

NAPLAN only measures a fraction of literacy learning

Students across Australia in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are currently sitting for the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests. These tests are supposedly designed to identify whether…
Here’s why the old teaching methods are not necessarily the best. School image from www.shutterstock.com

Why we should never return to the three Rs

Ongoing calls for a rejection of “intellectual fads” and a return to “more traditional teaching methods” seem to be ramping up in the education debate. But if these advocates were talking about rejecting…
Blackouts remind us what life was like before cheap, readily available electricity - but it’s time to think about the true price of our power. Candle in the dark image from www.shutterstock.com/Ronen

Save now, pay later: the hidden costs of lower electricity bills

No lights, no power, no internet - and no easy solutions. Fumbling around in a middle of a blackout, hoping to find a torch or some spare batteries, I was struck by just how utterly dependent most of us…
A demonstration in Dublin following the death of Savita Halappanavar. AAP

Systematic failure and grey areas: abortion in Ireland

Savitia Halappanavar was a symbol of all that is positive about cultural diversity in Ireland. A young Indian Hindu, she had embraced Irish culture, partaking in St Patrick’s day festivities and playing…
All cut out to fit the same mould? We can’t assume that all universities are trying to be the same. Flickr/walterh

Universities can’t all be the same – it’s time we embraced diversity

James Cook University drew a lot of attention in the higher education sector recently by publicly “opting out” of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University rankings. Their reason was simple enough…
Voltaren is commonly used by arthritis sufferers for pain relief but it’s been found to harm heart health. e b e cd z/Flickr

Over-the-counter painkiller may increase risk of heart attacks

Causing constant pain from inflammation of the joints, arthritis is common and debilitating, especially in older people. Adding to the woes of arthritis sufferers, a recent study has highlighted that commonly…
The US FDA is moving to regulate medical mobile apps linked to instruments it currently oversees.

Open app and say aah: the perils of medical diagnosis on a mobile

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to regulate some medical mobile applications, or apps, in an apparent bid to protect consumers from harming themselves or others. At first sight…

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