Tag: Universities

Part-Time Faculty at New York’s New School Are on Strike

Why aren’t the backbone of the 50k untenured lowly-paid university lecturers, tutors and researchers striking here in Australia? Universities in Australia are paying administrators millions to turn our Universities into Corporate businesses for profit on the backs of false promises while fleecing and driving the next generations into debt for certificates of little or no use. One degree no longer guarantees anything. Two are a risk. MBAs are now commonplace and we now have the most educated but too few tradies on the planet.

Doing courses in introduction to the right people clubs and social networks would lead to greater opportunity than any degree. Apprenticeships guaranteeing the right match, far better than any degree, when it comes to social mobility. Assistance in crossing social barriers would be far more useful than the current promise of education that leads to Uber driving.

Part-time faculty at the New School and Parsons School of Design in New York City went on strike last week. Jacobin spoke with striking workers about their demands for job security and wage increases to keep up with the cost of living.

Source: Part-Time Faculty at New York’s New School Are on Strike

Political interference poses ‘existential threat’ to universities, ANU chief warns | Australian universities | The Guardian

Student accommodation at the Australian National University in Canberra

On Monday Prof Brian Schmidt said he was “dismayed” that the education minister had interfered in the awarding of Australian Research Council grants before Christmas, and took aim at both major parties for backing the power to override independent recommendations. On Christmas Eve the acting minister, Stuart Robert, revealed that the government had nixed six grants for proposed research relating to climate activism and China, prompting a widespread backlash from academics.  Academics condemn government’s ‘shortsighted’ decision to veto research grants

Source: Political interference poses ‘existential threat’ to universities, ANU chief warns | Australian universities | The Guardian

Australian Universities Are Finance Investors With a Side Hustle in Education

Thanks to neoliberalism, Australia’s universities have become profit-seeking businesses. But they don’t just sell education: University executives are increasingly transforming their institutions into financial speculators and real estate investors.

Source: Australian Universities Are Finance Investors With a Side Hustle in Education

Melbourne University’s Robert Menzies Institute Is a Right-Wing Con

After starving universities of funding, Australian conservatives now want to set up an institute dedicated to right-wing leader Robert Menzies. Its only purpose will be to shift public debate to the right and provide Liberal hacks with subsidized employment.

Source: Melbourne University’s Robert Menzies Institute Is a Right-Wing Con

If Australian Universities Are Going To Survive, They Can’t Just Produce “Job-Ready” Graduates

After decades of chalking up record profits, Australian universities are now mired in a deep crisis. But if we’re going to defend — let alone rebuild — the sector, its champions have to reject the subordination of education to the bottom line.

If Australian Universities Are Going To Survive, They Can’t Just Produce “Job-Ready” Graduates

Federal Government launches investigation into foreign interference at Australian universities – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

a colourful wall with pro-hong kong and pro-beijing signage

In Australia our Universities are as Multicultural as as Australia is so what is “foreign interfernce” on campus? Conservatives like Andrew Bolt claims Universities as structurless free for all places of opinion any thing goes and he could be appointed a Professor. That would be “foreign interferance” (ODT)

via Federal Government launches investigation into foreign interference at Australian universities – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Is the University of Sydney’s vice-chancellor Michael Spence trying to undermine Western civilisation?


It seems to me there is a concerted right wing push to take us back to the intellectual Dark Ages under the guise of Free Speech reasoned or unreasoned there is no difference. They believe the lecture hall need to be thrown open to debate whether or not Andrew Bolt is an Indigenous Australian. That every aspect of campus life need be deregulated and privatised and a free market reducing Sydney University to a a precinct for shouting babble in which the loudest and most powerful win. So much for the Ramsay Center and why it ought have no place on or in a multicultural campus.

Courses in Western Civilisation already exist on campus along side studies on Nazism Islam and Revolution. None of which demand the structure within which they are taught needs  dramatic changing or any takeover by assimilationists of Right-Wing Culture. The ideas on the benefits of coal and CO2 are already present on Campus as are their opposites. The fact that they have a larger say and want an even greater one is the very reason the tail wagged and keeps on wagging the Liberal Party dog ensuring Australia has no effective government.(ODT)

“Sydney University is a global centre of religious superstition that would make the Spanish Inquisition look like a model of tolerance and empiricism,” Cameron says.

“Free speech would be exhibit A.”

Unsurprisingly, Spence rejects this. It is not clear the two men will ever be able to “disagree well”. But there might be a way to settle things.

Cameron wants to book Sydney University’s renowned sandstone Great Hall and deliver a public lecture on why Trump may be the greatest US president since Abraham Lincoln.

The university says that would be absolutely fine – as long as Cameron pays the venue hire fees, including the costs of any extra security.

via Is the University of Sydney’s vice-chancellor Michael Spence trying to undermine Western civilisation?

Are Universities Actively Thwarting Efforts to Combat Climate Change? | The Nation

Universities are wonderful places. They are centers of learning, thinking, and social experimentation, and at least some of them prize truth for its own sake. They are also one of society’s special tools for solving problems.

Source: Are Universities Actively Thwarting Efforts to Combat Climate Change? | The Nation

Universities to regain hundreds of millions of dollars if Senate blocks bill

Education protests

Opposition and Greens won’t support legislation to enforce Gillard government’s university ‘efficiency dividend’ cuts, which were part of the Gonski reforms

The Abbott government could be forced to repay hundreds of millions of dollars it has withheld from universities if legislation for an “efficiency dividend” does not pass the Senate by early next year.

Most of the public debate about university funding has focused on the 20% average cut to course subsidies that would coincide with the Coalition’s deregulation of tuition fees from 2016.

But the government has already reduced payments to universities to reflect a separate Labor-initiated efficiency dividend that has not yet been put to a vote in the Senate.

Department of Education officials have justified reductions in 2014 “advance payments” on the basis the Coalition intends to proceed with the legislation. Officials admit the government will have to correct the amounts owed to universities if the bill has not passed by the time of the standard “reconciliation” of payments in the first half of 2015.

The former Gillard government proposed efficiency dividends on university funding of 2% in 2014 and 1.25% in 2015 as part of a plan to fund the Gonski school reforms. It was estimated to raise about $900m over four years.

But when the Abbott government sought to legislate the measure late last year, Labor decided to join with the Greens in opposing it, saying the Coalition had undermined Gonski.

The bill remains “before the Senate” – meaning it is yet to be formally rejected or passed. In the meantime the government has made payments to universities assuming the efficiency dividend will pass.

A spokesman for the education minister, Christopher Pyne, said the government intended to proceed with the legislation. “The Higher Education Support Amendment Bill 2013, which covers commonwealth grant arrangements for 2014 and 2015, remains before the Senate as a monument of Labor’s hypocrisy in not passing their own bill and rectifying the debt and deficit legacy the previous government left behind.”

Labor’s higher education spokesman, Kim Carr, said Labor was “adamant” in its decision to oppose the bill because the government had reneged on school funding.

Carr said the Senate’s decision in July to strike down an associated regulation indicated the will of the upper house was against the higher education cuts.

The government would have to correct any underpayments in the funding reconciliation process in March or April next year, he said.

“The government has claimed that the legislation allows them to withhold the money, legislation-pending. The point is that there comes a time when that cannot be sustained,” Carr said.

“While the government can delay, they can’t in the end refuse to pay [the funds] without a deliberative vote of the Senate.”

The Greens senator Lee Rhiannon said universities were firing staff and shifting to a more casualised workforce and the government was “egging them on by stripping back funding”.

“Despite lacking parliamentary support for his $900m cut to university funding, Mr Pyne has gone ahead and implemented the cuts anyway – hurting universities, students and staff this year,” she said. “It displays a fundamental lack of respect for the democratic process and for the university sector.”

In January this year, after Labor and the Greens opposed the efficiency dividend legislation, Pyne’s office said the government had told universities it was “considering its options” but in the meantime advance payments would be made “without the efficiency dividend yet applied”.

National Tertiary Education Union’s policy and research coordinator, Paul Kniest, said the government needed to explain why it ended up applying the efficiency dividend to advance payments, without seeking to put the legislation to a vote.

He said: “Why has it left universities high and dry, not receiving the money this year?”

Christopher Pyne

The verdict

There is strong evidence showing Chinese universities are moving rapidly up the world university rankings, however there are still no Chinese universities in the top 100.

During the last decade Australian universities have also moved up the world university rankings.

It’s unclear how much universities would charge after the Government’s proposed deregulation, and whether universities would spend money on measures that would make them more internationally competitive.

On the available evidence, without Mr Pyne’s reforms, it seems unlikely Australian universities will slide into mediocrity.

Mr Pyne’s claim is far-fetched.