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Articles on Universities

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Ranking universities is useful for only understanding the bigger picture. University image from www.shutterstock.com

Limited numbers: what university rankings can (and can’t) tell us

The release of The Times Higher Education World University Rankings will be welcomed by many people in the Australian university sector. See the full list of The Times Higher Education World University…
Ah, excuse me, I’d like my money back. University image from www.shutterstock.com

Are Australian universities being honest with their students?

Would you like to go to a university where “free thinkers from all over the world come together to make a difference” or, if you like getting to know people, you could go to a university where you can…
La Trobe’s Vice-Chancellor John Dewar defends his cuts to the humanities program. ABC News

Vice-Chancellor: La Trobe protestors abused freedom of speech

On Sunday, La Trobe University held its most successful Open Day ever, with more than 19,000 visitors. But the day was disrupted by student protests against recently announced changes to our Faculty of…
The pressure on academics is becoming too much, there needs to be cultural change. Stressed image from www.shutterstock.com

Cracks in the ivory tower: is academia’s culture sustainable?

The pressure is on. More and more universities and academics are working in a culture that is untenable and cracks in the ivory tower have already begun to appear. The work environment is now characterised…
By deliberately making false historical sources, students can learn to think more critically. Historical hoax image www.shutterstock.com

Teaching students to lie: historical method through hoaxes

What happens when you teach students how to lie? Answer: they become better historians. More than a decade ago, back in the days of Web 0.5, a student of mine submitted a generally well-written essay on…
The rise of open online courses will affect almost every part of higher education, including the international student market in Australia. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Online open education: yes, this is the game changer

Mass Open Online Courseware (MOOCs) is less than a year old but it is already clear this will be the game changer in higher education worldwide. Right now it is reverberating through Australian universities…
According to new rankings, Australia now has more elite universities. University image from www.shutterstock.com

World ranked Australian universities go for gold

More Australian universities are now in the top 100 ranked universities in the world, according to the Academic Ranking of…
Education minister Peter Garrett along with his state counterparts have agreed upon some pretty big changes to teacher development. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Building a profession: teacher performance reviews not just about ‘bad teachers’

Finally, perhaps the time has come. The Australian Charter for the Professional Learning of Teachers and School Leaders and the Australian Teacher Performance and Development Framework, both signed off…
UNSW Vice-Chancellor Fred Hilmer at the National Press Club in Canberra. AAP/Alan Porritt

Hilmer: unis should copy approach of mining industry

Universities must adopt the campaign tactics of the mining industry if they are to have any chance against oppressive government…
Much like the development of the railway in the 19th century, the National Broadband Network (NBN) will transform our society. Wikimedia Commons

How the NBN will change education: Australia’s “Last Spike” moment

When I grew up in Canada there was a famous painting on the wall of nearly every primary school classroom. It was called “[The Last Spike](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Spike_(Canadian_Pacific_Railway…
Entire universities may one day fit in students’ pockets. KidzConnect

Tech for teaching: five trends changing higher education

More than 1,000 years of formal university learning and teaching does not change quickly, or without a struggle. But we are starting to see some key tech trends engaging staff and students – and therein…
Students from the next generation are heading to university, how should we teach them? Flickr/iwouldstay

A lecture on the art of lecturing: A how-to guide to teaching young people

Narcissistic, lazy, and overly confident – this is the way some see the new generation of young people starting to go to our universities. According to teacher Lynn Van Der Wagan, who sparked an online…
Future students need more than rankings to make the best choice. AAP Image/Julian Smith

University ranking rankles: playing the prestige game

Australian universities compete with providers all over the globe. The stakes are high and it is hard to ignore world rankings. In The Conversation recently, however, University of Southern Queensland’s…
The global movement towards open access publishing has taken another step with the release of the Finch report. Flickr/liikennevalo

Finch inquiry’s open access tune won’t resonate in Australia

A committee convened to examine how UK-funded research could be made more accessible released its report this week. The committee, chaired by Dame Janet Finch, was set up last year by Minister for Universities…
There were protests against cuts to the ANU’s school of music, but the changes were sorely needed. Flickr/Orangedrummerboy

ANU music school cuts: Musicians need to keep in time

The current crisis at the ANU School of Music has widely been reported as being, fundamentally, about money. The Australian National University’s (ANU) Vice-Chancellor Ian Young has cut ten academic and…
How best to quantify the performance of Australian researchers? Storyvillegirl

Strength in numbers: do ERA rankings add up for universities?

The Excellence in Research for Australia Initiative (ERA) is the federal government’s latest attempt to quantify the “excellence” (or otherwise) of Australian researchers. And just a few short weeks ago…
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…

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