News & Views Index
February 2005



French Public Research Fourteen Months Later.    (25/02/05)

    Now comes the next chapter and the Chirac government is seeing just how few additional resources it has to allocate to public research to quell the "insurgents". [More]   


The National Collaborative Research Infrastructure 2004 - 2011.    (24/02/05)

    Under Backing Australia’s Ability II the Federal Government has committed $542 million to fund a National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) from 2004/5-2010/11. Significant funding is promised to begin in 2006/07. [More]


Australia's Oldest and Australia's Best Join Forces With a Stated Aim to Challenge America's Best.    (23/02/05)

    Gavin Brown, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney and Ian Chubb, Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University, during a tour of a Chilean winery last year took the opportunity to talk sort of merger. What the twelve month gestation brought forth at parturition might be termed the Brown/Chubb Compact. [More]


Just Whose Rump is Being Covered?    (23/02/05)

    At the end of last year the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, and to whom the Australian Research Council (ARC) is responsible overrode the assessment of ARC peer reviewers and canned several approved research grants. The matter has now been raised by a Senate's Estimates committee. [More]


Is the Real Glyn Davis Standing Up?    (21/02/05)

    "If Brendan Nelson [the Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training] can articulate what he wants to do with the authority he is seeking [as regards his plan to take over the states' responsibility for universities], he will be in a stronger position to argue the case." [More]


US Republican Senator Makes a Case for "Nurturing the Next Einsteins".    (18/02/05)

    Lamar Alexander (64) is the junior US Senator from Tennessee having been installed in 2003. He is currently chair of the Senate Subcommittees on Energy and on Education and Early Childhood Development. [More]


Harvard's President Under Attack at Meeting of Faculty of Arts and Sciences.    (17/02/05)

    According to the Harvard Crimson, a meeting of Harvard's powerful Faculty of Arts and Sciences on Tuesday was attended by over 250 academic staff. They were there to confront Harvard's President, Lawrence Summers. [More]


"The Problems That Face Newcastle University Relate to the Crippling Way in Which That University and Others are Being Administered Across Australia." Brendan Nelson    (16/02/05)

    Dr Nelson appears to believe or would like us to believe that the real problem with universities lies with mismanagement and comes the new Senate he'll fix that. But Federation Fellow Graeme Hugo says, "Australian universities in the next two decades will face an academic staff recruitment challenge of greater magnitude than they have confronted since the 1960s." [More]


Taiwan Adopts A$2 Billion 5 yr Upgrade for Its Research Universities.    (15/02/05)

    On January 20 this year the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan voted to allocate A$402 million per annum over the next five years to renovate its most productive research universities. [More]


Development of Australia's Research Quality Framework Gets Some Media Attention.    (14/02/05)

    On December 21st last year TFW reported that when Backing Australia's Ability II was announced the Coalition Government committed itself to developing a framework on which to base the quality of publicly funded research. It's time to get on with it. [More]


What Price the Bush Vision?    (12/02/05)

    The American Physical Society's Bob Park published the following item in his weekly column, What's New. [More]


Squeezed Between the US' Costly Adventure in Iraq and Multi Billion Dollar Tax Cuts US Science Looks Toward Leaner Times.    (11/02/05)

    It's now the turn of the US House of Representatives and Senate to introduce their modifications. How will such programs as the International Space Station and the proposed manned missions to the Moon and Mars fair? [More]


Harvard's President Moves to Deflect the Flak.    (11/02/05)

    Science reports that a "month after making controversial remarks about why men outnumber women in most scientific disciplines, Harvard University president Lawrence Summers last week set up two task forces on campus to change the situation. The first, led by historian Evelyn Hammonds, will work to improve faculty searches and create a senior administrative position for improving gender diversity. The second group, chaired by computer scientist Barbara Grosz, will probe why women are underrepresented." Whether or not this will allow him to get on with implementing his vision for revamping the university, which must have been in the balance, remains to be seen.


Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds You the Biggest Biscuit.    (09/02/05)

    The Australian's Dorothy Illing has an irreverent streak which at times rivals that of The New York Times' Moreen Dowd. The following appeared in Illing's "Snitch" column this week: It worked! Education Minister Brendan Nelson's salvo at the Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee has elicited some warm, fuzzy statements. [More]


Australian Universities' Global Student Recruitment Company IDP Education Australia Continues to writhe Under its Financial Problems.    (09/02/05)

    Over the past year IDP, the principal instrument through which Australia's 38 public universities recruit undergraduates from overseas has been in severe financial difficulties, and the universities to which it is responsible have had to kick in to keep it afloat. [More].


Oxford Consults on Academic Strategy.    (07/02/05)

The University of Oxford published on the 4th of February a 16 page Green Paper Oxford's Academic Strategy. "The document reviews the current performance of the University, highlighting both its strengths (such as the quality of staff and the impacts of recent governance reforms) and potential weaknesses (including the lack of an international strategy and declining staff/student ratio)." [More]


UK Universities Remain Under Financial Pressure - Chemistry and Physics Continue in Decline.    (06/02/05)

    UK Labour MP Ian Gibson has launched a broadside which may bring a wan smile to Aussie academics. "[university administrators] will teach anything to get students." [More]


The Upgrading of the German University System Continues to Fall Between Two Stools.    (06/02/05)

    In January last year TFW reported "Germany's Governing Social Democratic Party (SPD) Publicises Plans to Raise  Nation's Game in Higher Education and R&D". Over a year has passed and politics continues to impede progress. [More]


Ernst Mayr, Dead at 100.    (05/02/05)

    The Harvard Gazette yesterday announced that the foremost living exponent of Darwinism died on February 3rd  at a retirement community in Bedford, Mass. after a brief illness. [More]