Articles on Universities

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Collegiality is dead in the new corporatised university

The collaborative spirit once embraced by universities in the pursuit of community service is giving way to confidentiality and secrecy as top-down managerialism takes hold, a conference on higher education…
Overstretched casuals hold little hope of getting more secure work. Flickr/hackNY

Career prospects are grim, say casuals on campus

Casual academics are deeply pessimistic about the prospect of ongoing employment, according to a study that shows only one…
International students in Sydney demand greater equality and cultural tolerance. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Australian universities losing their appeal in ‘Asian century’

The “comprehensive failure” of Australian universities to engage with Asia is rapidly unravelling their appeal to the biggest…
When jobs are disappearing, why are we training more journalists? flickr

Can journalism graduates get jobs?

It usually begins mid-way through their university career. My office begins to fill with panicked journalism students who have seen the dismal job vacancies in their field and are starting to think their…
The mining boom has protected Australia from ill economic winds but will not continue forever. AAP/Le May

Why 2012 will be a crucial year for Australia

2012 will be a critical time in our development as a nation with huge uncertainties in many areas both in Australia and globally. Over more than ten years we have lived through a remarkable mining boom…
China’s government has made a massive investment in research, and student funding. Australia can learn a lot. AFP/Information Services Department

Keeping up with the Joneses: Why Australia is falling behind the neighbours on higher education

In recent weeks two commentary strands have intertwined and are extremely important to Australia’s future, and with special resonance for the higher education sector. Beginning with the announcement of…
Chinese students may have a different take on the media, but universities in Australia can learn from them. Flickr/badbrother

Different media: Why universities should learn from international students

There is a vast difference between how China is reported inside and outside the country. And that extends to how media and communication is taught in China and Australia. One of my new PhD students, who…
An Indonesian stamp marking a 1959 Colombo Plan conference. flickr/karen horton

Colombo Plan: An initiative that brought Australia and Asia closer

AUSTRALIA IN ASIA: In the sixth part of our series, David Lowe of Deakin University examines an education project which brought us closer to our Asian neighbours. The Colombo Plan for aid to South and…
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser is ‘uneasy’ about Liberal leader Tony Abbott because he is unpredictable. AAP

Malcolm Fraser: ‘we have lost our way’

Welcome to our “In Conversation” between former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and Melbourne University political scientist Professor Robyn Eckersley. First elected to Federal parliament in 1955, Fraser…
Speedy and decisive action is needed from the government to ensure our future energy security. Flickr/Cayusa

Eureka! Teaching threshold concepts to students

That “Eureka” moment when a student thunders over an educational hurdle opening up a new realm of learning, is the holy grail for educators. The technical term is a “threshold concept”, and they’re being…
Universities need to remember why they research: to advance knowledge. Flickr/Gates Foundation

Forget profits. Universities need morals.

Steven Schwartz, vice-chancellor of Macquarie University, recently claimed that universities should break from being treated as businesses and recapture their moral purpose. He used the example of Jonas…
More maths teachers means better outcomes for students. Flickr

Mathematics: Why we need more qualified teachers

There is a crisis in the education system, and it’s affecting the life chances of many young Australians. The number of secondary teaching graduates with adequate qualifications to teach mathematics is…
International education might not be as healthy as it seems Tim Ellis/Flickr.

Figures for international student enrolments can be misleading

International education has become a vital industry for the Australian economy, in recent years rivalling coal and iron ore as one of our largest export industries. But the way we’re calculating international…
Academics should talk more openly about their research and help influence public policy AAP.

Why academics should get involved in public debate

Raymond Da Silva Rosa’s article, also published on The Conversation, kindly refers to my recent piece in the Australian Literary Review, which examined why generally academics exert so little impact on…
Are these the sorts of speakers you go to a university to hear? AAP.

Why academics should steer clear of public debate

The most important issue raised by Lord Monckton’s controversial appearance on two Western Australian campuses is not the limit of free speech or Monckton’s scientific competence. Rather it is whether…

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