Articles on University students

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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…

Students disconnected from political news

Student engagement with political news is generally sporadic and superficial, a post-Super Tuesday survey of 200 US undergraduates…
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…
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…
Asking what higher education students should pay is a deceptively straightforward question. University image from www.shutterstock.com

Public vs private benefit: what do subsidies for university fees pay for?

The Grattan Institute’s most recent report Graduate Winners by Andrew Norton has generated valuable debate about what financial subsidy government should provide for university students. But before adjusting…
The government is trying to entice more young people to go to university – but can they do it? AAP Image/Julian Smith

Creating university places is easy, motivating students to take them is hard

In 1973, the Whitlam Labor government abolished university tuition fees. In 1987, the Hawke Government radically created thousands of extra university places by creating a national system, financing it…
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…
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…
The ongoing decline in international students is placing Australian universities under financial pressure. AAP/Julian Smith

Budget relief for unis, but financial strain lies ahead

Anxiety gave way to relief across universities last night after Labor handed down a higher education budget that maintained…

Texting in class affects learning

Tertiary students who send text messages during lectures pay less attention and demonstrate lower levels of learning as a…
The My University website could provide a distorted impression of life on campus. AAP/Luis Enrique Ascui

Uni comparison site ‘must be treated with caution’

Students from today can compare Australia’s 39 public universities on course satisfaction levels, staff numbers, drop-out…
University managers are concerned that students are dropping out because they do not receive enough support from overworked casual staff. Debconf5

‘Invisible’ casual staff get little support on campus

University students are often in the care of casual staff who have not been inducted into the job, receive no support or…
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…
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…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao. AAP

Learning to live in the Asian century

AUSTRALIA IN ASIA: In the fifth part of our series, Kathe Kirby of the University of Melbourne examines whether our education system is preparing children for the future. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has…
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…

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