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Articles on Higher education

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The Review panel was chaired by Adelaide-based Jane Lomax-Smith, a former medical researcher and former ALP politician. AAP/Steve Larkin.

Fairness of Higher Education Base Funding Review’s fee policy questioned

The Higher Education Base Funding Review’s blanket dismissal of all possible arguments supporting varying the level of government subsidies across disciplines, as happens now, is the “single weakest aspect…
Australian universities must raise their game to compete in the global education market. Flickr/Reality-check

Sink or swim? Australian universities in the next decade

The world is in a state of transition. The Indian and Chinese economies continue to grow at around 9 and 10 per cent respectively each year, while the North Atlantic economies - the 20th century epicentre…
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…
Australia would do better to shed light on Indian affairs. Media coverage of the country is dominated by corruption scandals, terrorism or cultural festivals like Diwali. EPA/Sanjeev Gupta

Connection with India vital to Australia’s future

CHOGM As Julia Gillard chairs the Commonwealth Heads of Government in Perth, she would do well to pay special attention to her Indian colleague at the table, Vice-President Hamid Ansari. Brian Stoddart…
Working to improve the performance of the resources sector is a challenging, yet important research focus. AFP/Christian Sprogoe/Rio Tinto

Research funding does not have to equal industry bias

There is common assumption that those of us who undertake applied research with the commercial world must be biased. This month the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI), which…
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…
The new bill goes some way to reversing Voluntary Student Unionism rules introduced in 2006. Flickr/publik15

Universities win right to collect student services fee

Universities and the National Union of Students have welcomed the passage of a bill giving universities the right to collect fees for campus services but the law prohibits students using the money for…
University of Melbourne was ranked 37 in the world and top in Australia by the Times Higher Education World university Ranking system in 2011. Flickr/Pip_Wilson

Times Higher Education ranks University of Melbourne Australia’s best but experts urge caution

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings has named the University of Melbourne Australia’s best university, but higher education experts have warned that such rankings tables are easily misinterpreted…
It will be easier for people to study in Australia following the relaxation of visa requirements. Flickr/reality-check

Universities welcome Knight Review of international student visa rules

Australian universities have welcomed the release of a long-awaited review of international student visa rules, saying that immigration reforms and the removal of tough financial requirements could give…
Today’s students have unrealistic expectations of what university and the workforce requires of them. flickr/Banksy

Gen Y can’t I have everything I want … and now!

Every adult generation in history has worried about the young people following in their wake. Youth have almost always been found wanting, seemingly lacking the attributes and qualities necessary for lifelong…
Younger academics and researchers need clear career paths, job security and to be freed from red tape, the report said. Flickr/Argonne National Laboratory

Talkin’ bout my generation: young academics on why so many eye uni exit

Nearly 40% of academics under 30 and one-third of staff aged 30-39 years plan to leave the Australian higher education sector within 10 years, according to a new report, raising the prospect of severe…
A Universities Australia report estimates that implementing the Bradley Review’s vision would add 5.6% to national productivity levels by 2040 and 6.4% to Australia’s GDP. Flickr/iansand

Hiking uni funding beats NBN as a GDP booster: report

Implementing the vision of a government report that called for more university funding could boost Australia’s national productivity levels by 5.6% by 2040, according to a study commissioned by a university…
The ARWU ranking system scored the University of Melbourne as Australia’s top research university, and number 60 in the world – up two places on last year’s rankings. Flickr/Pip_Wilson

University of Melbourne moves up global rankings

The University of Melbourne has pushed out the Australian National University (ANU) to claim the number one spot in a table ranking the best universities in Australia, and has been listed among the top…
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…
Universities already stockpile academic papers so they can report their output to the government. But stockpiling the wrong version of the paper can restrict their right to make the paper available on open access. Flickr/Gideon Burton

How one small fix could open access to research

Providing equitable access to the findings of scholarly research is an expensive and vexed business, as many recent stories here on The Conversation have highlighted. Open access offers a way to freely…
A new generation of architects is needed to build our cities. Flickr/MorBCN

Building the future with the next generation of architects

The “future” is something which manifests nowhere more potently than in our cities. Yet a substantial transformation over the past twenty years in the way cities are being made – both in terms of their…
Breaking free of the stranglehold of academic publishers holds appeal – but what are the dangers? Flickr

The pros and perils of ditching academic publishers

There are three tensions in the field of academic publishing (1) who pays to publish research? (2) who decides what gets published? and (3) who takes any profits? In the traditional model, based on publishing…
Frustration with copyright restrictions placed on scholarly work in many journals has helped fuel the Creative Commons and Open Access movements. Flickr/TilarX

Copyright or copywrong? How journals control access to research

Back in 1991, in the very earliest days of the internet, a group of high energy physicists began sharing their findings on a Los Alamos-based online archive called Arxiv. Their early experiments in the…
A growing number of academic institutions are building free online databases of their scholarly output. But publication in a big name academic journal still holds cachet for most academics. Flickr/mandiberg

Explainer: Open access vs traditional academic journal publishers

As the cost of accessing academic journal articles increases, a growing number of academic institutions are building publicly accessible databases of scholarly work. But how much of a threat to the traditional…

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