The Noticeboard | December update

Posted in Noticeboard on 19 December 2023

Welcome to the December edition of the Noticeboard, a monthly update with news and opportunities from around the sector. If you have anything you’d like to share with members please contact our Policy and Communications Officer Rebekah Harms.

The DASSH Lounge

Join the DASSH Lounge, our exclusive LinkedIn group for DASSH Members where we share the latest news, jobs and opportunities from DASSH and around the sector.

Thank you to all our members for their contributions and engagement throughout the year.

We will be closed from 25 December to 8 January but we will back with more news from around the sector in the new year.

In the meantime, wishing you all a safe and happy holidays.

News from dassh

ARC Review statement

DASSH welcomes the tabling in parliament of the Australian Research Council Amendment (Review Response) Bill 2023. The Bill amends the Australian Research Council Act 2001 to establish an ARC Board as the accountable authority of the ARC which will appoint the ARC’s Chief Executive Officer. The Board will approve research grants under the National Competitive Grants Program with rules to be set by the Minister. This legislation can only be reformed under an act of parliament. Read our statement here.

The Senate has also referred the Bill to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee. Submissions in response to this inquiry are due by 19 January. See here for more details.

Climate Education Strategy

DASSH, together with a number of Australian universities and organisations, has called on the government to develop a Climate Education Strategy to build the skills that are needed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This includes incorporating climate skills in all relevant university courses. Read the statement here.

Around the traps

Gender-based violence

The Australian government has released a Draft Action Plan on gender-based violence in higher education. They recommend that a National Student Ombudsman be established. This Ombudsman would have investigative and dispute resolution powers. They also recommend that universities implement a whole-of-institution approach to prevent gender-based violence. Read the Action Plan here.

Arts central to productivity growth

A recent report from think tank A New Approach shows that arts, culture and creativity help drive productivity growth in Australia through employment, trade and innovation. Read the report here.

A Bachelor of Arts is a ticket to ride

Vivienne Pearson wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald about being proud and quietly terrified her daughter is choosing to do an arts degree next year. Prof Sophie Gee and Robert McLean then countered the myth that arts graduates are unemployable in their opinion piece in The Age. Emeritus Professor Graeme Turner also responded with his thoughts on the debate sparked in recent days around the value of a liberal arts education.


National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education Visiting Fellowships

Applications are invited from researchers, educators, policymakers and practitioners passionate about student equity in higher education to participate in the NCSEHE Visiting Fellowship initiative.

Now in its tenth year at Curtin, NCSEHE is a What Works Centre dedicated to advancing equity in higher education through research, trials and evaluation and data-driven collaborations. NCSEHE Visiting Fellowships are an opportunity to engage in capacity building research, produce tangible policy and practice outcomes, and exemplify the conduct of research in the student equity field.

Fellows will be funded up to AUD$9,000 for domestic (Australia-based) applicants and up to AUD$12,000 for international applicants at all career stages to join NCSEHE at Curtin University in Western Australia and spend between 30 and 60 days focused on making a difference.

For more information, please visit NCSEHE’s website. Applications close at 4pm (AWST) on Wednesday, 24 January 2024.

Save the date: 2024

Announcing scheduled events for the 2024 calendar year.

Member gathering
Wednesday 10 April

Member gathering
Wednesday 24 July

DASSH Conference
Wednesday to Friday, late September, date to be confirmed

Member gathering
Wednesday 13 November

2023 in review

A selection of highlights

Universities Accord: We consulted widely with membership as part of our submissions in response to the Universities Accord Discussion Paper and Interim Report. With seven consultations including three in person, the DASSH team was able to draw on the generous contributions of more than 100 members. The process is still underway with the Advisory Panel due to report to the Minister for Education Jason Clare any day now.

We are poised for a year of policy action as the findings are acted on and changes are implemented.

Network of Associate and Deputy Deans: The Network of Associate and Deputy Deans welcomed its new Special Interest Group Leaders Assoc Prof Gail Crimmins (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion), Assoc Prof Sandra Phillips (Indigenous) and Prof Craig Batty (Research). The network hosted six webinars hosted by group leaders and facilitated direct feedback sessions with the Australian Research Council. The conference events included international and Australian speakers. Thank you to Convenor Andrea Rizzi for his contributions over the last 18 months. We appreciate the energy you’ve brought to the role!

First Nations Voice: The DASSH Board released a statement in support of a First Nations Voice being enshrined in the constitution.

2023 DASSH Conference: Members gathered in Perth for this year’s Conference, featuring an array of speakers from around Australia and the world. We had about 80 attendees and some fascinating conversations – you can read a wrap up here.

Submissions: We gave feedback on the draft National Science and Research Priorities as well as providing feedback on a number of other important issues. You can read them here.

Research projects: We are currently conducting a mapping project of humanities, arts and social sciences disciplines since 2011 to give us a clearer idea of the current landscape. We are also compiling two reports which explore the economic value of the humanities, arts and social sciences in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.