News & Views Index
August 2005


Will an AVCC Divided be Able to Stand?    (31/08/05)

    A couple of weeks ago TFW reported on a significant difference of opinion between the Vice-Chancellors representing the Group of Eight (Go8) universities and many of the other members of the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee. [More]


Listen up, dickhead, if u have a problem with getting a degree by doing no work then bloody well keep it to yourself, damn communist, because I am quite happy with mediocrity --Letter in Honi Soit.    (28/08/05) [More]


"Une Petite Revolution". New French National Research Agency (ANR) to Distribute Research Funds on Competitive Basis.    (28/08/05)

    In France research funds are traditionally given in block grants to institutions and labs to be distributed to individuals. Now, beginning in October, the newly organised National Research Agency (ANR) will follow mechanisms well known outside France. [More]


The Minister, the Doorstop and Voluntary Student Unionism.    (25/08/05)

    The Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, was at the steps of the Art Gallery of New South Wales yesterday and took time to give a doorstop interview. Not surprisingly journalists were interested in getting the minister's latest views on the issue of voluntary student unionism. On careful reading it looks as if minister is leaving himself just a bit of wiggle room. [More]


Feisty Former President of the AVCC Reckons It's Past Its Used-by Date.    (24/08/05)

    Sir Bruce Williams, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Sydney (1967-1981), President of the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (1972 - 1974), Boyer Lecturer (1982) has just had his latest book published, Making and Breaking Universities. [More]


University Receives 16% of its 2005 Budget from Uncontested Federal Government Grants.    (24/08/05)

    Sydney Universities Vice-Principal, Don Wilson in the August issue of The University of Sydney Gazette told his readers that "in 2005 the University will receive only 16 per cent of its more than $1 billion budget from uncontested Federal Government grants." [More]


DEST Announces Australian Government to Invest $19.4 Million to Fund Nine Projects Under the Systemic Infrastructure Initiative (SII).    (23/08/05)

     Within the Government's first Backing Australia’s Ability, 2001-2006, programme the Systemic Infrastructure Initiative (SII) was promulgated. Its stated aim is to upgrade research infrastructure at Australia's universities and to that end provide $246 million over five years. [More]


An International Alliance of Eight Possibly Ten Universities.    (21/08/05)

    From July 24-26 the Australian National University's Vice-Chancellor, Ian Chubb, hunkered down at New York's Yale Club with nine other university representatives to determine initial areas on which to concentrate as a conglomerate. [More]


7:30 Report Reports on "Government  to Face Next Battle on University Student Union Fees"    (19/08/05)

    KERRY O'BRIEN: With the Telstra debate apparently now resolved - at least within Coalition ranks - the Federal Government faces another internal challenge over its determination to stop compulsory union fees on university campuses. Debate on the so-called voluntary student unionism, or VSU, legislation should reach the Senate at the next sitting in two weeks... [Full transcript]


Research Quality and the Rating Game.    (18/08/05)

    With the meeting tomorrow of the Expert Advisory Group working on models for an Australian Research Quality Framework (see the immediately preceding News and Views) Nature's editorial on "Ratings Games" appears timely. [More]


Research Quality Framework's Expert Advisory Group to Meet Amidst Controversy.    (17/08/05)

    This coming Friday, August 19, the Expert Advisory Group chosen by the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, to advise him on the development of a research quality framework (RQF) to codify how Australia should examine the quality of research at its universities and publicly funded research establishments is to meet to attempt to come closer to reaching a consensus on the model to be used for the assessment. [More]


Some Interesting Statistics Regarding Teaching Maths.    (16/08/05)

    The Sydney Morning Herald's Linda Doherty has been nosing around to find out what's rotten in the state of teaching mathematics in Australia's public schools and has returned with some interesting findings and observations, but do they really matter, and if so where does the buck stop? [More]


University Rankings for 2005 by the Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.    (16/08/05)

    Continuing its annual release of rankings of the world's top 500 research universities begun in 2003, the Institute of Higher Education of Shanghai Jiao Tong University has just published its 2005 assessment. [More]


Australian Government Approves $3.9 million for 10 Projects Under the Collaboration and Structural Reform Fund to Support the Development of Partnerships Between Universities and the Broader Community.    (15/08/05) [More]


AVCC Releases Figures on Student Services.    (14/08/05)

   The Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Abolition of Compulsory Up-front Student union fees) Bill has been strongly criticised by the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee. [More]


Former Premier of the Canadian Province of Ontario Has His Say on Investing in Universities.    (13/08/05)

     "Education matters. It matters for each of us as individuals. It matters for our society and our economy. Yet higher education has not been the public priority it should be. The picture that the public has of our colleges and universities is a relatively benign one. The result has been benign neglect." [More]


Oligarchy and the Federal Cabinet.    (12/08/05) [More]


Sam Pitroda: "In India, you have to aim at the moon to touch the roof."    (12/08/05)

    Two decades ago, Sam Pitroda was called upon to transform India's telephone system by developing exchanges rugged enough for rural India. Now India's Prime Minister has called on him to develop initiatives to have India emerge as a hub for innovation and knowledge generation. [More]


What Price Voluntary Student Unions.    (10/08/05)

    While the Federal Coalition has the nation's attention trained on whether or not university student unions and the services they provide ought to supported by compulsory or voluntary contributions... [More]


The Wheels of the Expert Advisory Group for Australia's Research Quality Framework Grind Slowly but How Fine?    (10/08/05)

    In a July 16 opinion piece "Change can Equal Progress or Regression" the point was made that there was no compelling data that the UK's Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) per se was responsible for improvements in British research prowess. [More]


Eureka Prizes for 2005 Announced.    (10/08/05)

    Over $230,000 was presented to the winners of 24 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes yesterday. [More]


Canadian National Science Advisor to the Prime Minister Replies to Critics of the Government's Research Co-Funding Policy.    (05/08/05)

    On June 24 Science published a letter signed by forty Canadian researchers titled "Problems with co-funding in Canada". Now the National Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada has responded to the criticism. [More]


Australia's Top Ranked University's Institute of Advanced Studies Rumoured to be Facing Stringent Belt Tightening.    (05/08/05)

    As a result, serious cuts to the existing programs of the IAS are foreseen and significant staff redundancies appear to be inevitable. [More]


A Quiet Voice of Reason is Added to the Debate About "Voluntary Student Unionism".    (04/08/05)

    Catharine Lumby as well as being a card carrying print journalist and TV reporter is associate professor in Sydney University's Department of Media and Communications. [More]


Will the Real Virtual Australian International University Put Its Hand UP?    (03/08/05)

    First it was the Australian Financial Review and now The Australian's Dorothy Illing in the August 3 "Snitch" column reports on the spoof Australian International University. [More]


On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection -- Intelligent Design and US President George Bush's Statement.    (03/08/05)

    The part of the text of a roundtable interview of President Bush by reporters from Texas newspapers on August 1, 2005, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House dealing with evolution and intelligent design. [More]