The Noticeboard | June update

Posted in Noticeboard on 6 June 2024

Welcome to the June 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.

Special Interest Groups on AI and future of the Honours program established

We are excited to announce the 2024 special interest groups!

This year we thank Professor Mia Lindgren (UTAS) and Professor Samantha Bennett (ANU) for taking up the leadership of a group focussed on Artificial Intelligence.

And thanks to Professor Kristin Natalier (Flinders), Professor Thea Blackler (QUT), Professor Alexandra Ludewig (UWA) and Professor Katharine Gelber (UQ) for taking up leadership of a group focussed on the future of the Honours program in the arts, social sciences and humanities.

Look out for updates, events and information! A program of events is being formulated which will culminate in interactive workshops on day one of the DASSH conference on September 18 in Adelaide.

July Member Gathering

Our second member gathering will be held in Melbourne in July. It’s a chance to meet with colleagues from around Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand and discuss pressing issues, complex questions and share what is working well at your institution.

We also discuss current policy debates especially where there is an opportunity for DASSH to contribute to national conversations. We welcome members to set the agenda ahead of time as well as arranging guest speakers and hosting workshops. More detail will be available soon so register now!

Wednesday 24 July
10am – 2pm

You can register for the event here.

JSA information and feedback session rescheduled

DASSH will be hosting an information and feedback session with Jobs and Skills Australia’s (JSA) Director of Tertiary Skills and Pathways, Abbey Hall and Assistant Director Krisztian Baranyai for all members on July 18.

The JSA Tertiary Skills and Pathways team has been developing a machine learning model concept called ‘skills mapping’, to test how the Australian Skills Classification can be used as common language to connect units and courses in VET and higher education, as well as occupational needs.

The team will present the skills mapping concept, as well as work and findings to date. The team invites discussion on the utility of skills in education and how they might support connectivity across the education system and the labour market.

Zoom details will be sent via email.

National Competitive Grants Program submission

DASSH made a submission to the National Competitive Grants Program policy review last month.

Here’s the feedback our members had for the ARC:

  • We need more funding for pure and applied research
  • Expand funding arrangements to better support research translation
  • Greater recognition of wider research impacts and the value of novel contributions to knowledge
  • Expand the largely STEM-based research priorities within industrial transformation schemes
  • Adopt a stronger focus on interdisciplinarity
  • Ensure that the eligibility and assessment criteria for funding schemes properly aligns with the different stages of academic careers
  • Greater support for Indigenous researchers through a dedicated funding scheme
  • Further refinement of the EOI process

Read our submission here.

In the news

DASSH President Nick Bisley was recently interviewed for an article in the Australian Financial Review. Nick said the Job-ready Graduates scheme has not succeeded in turning students away from studying arts degrees but the scheme remains flawed, particularly in terms of the impact of student debt on disadvantaged and low-SES students. Read the article here.

Future Campus also reported on our recent submission to the National Competitive Grants Program policy review. Read the article here.

2024-25 Budget statement

The Australian government delivered its budget on 14 May. While DASSH welcomes the government’s announcement that it will be implementing a needs-based funding scheme to come into effect from January 2026, the government has missed an opportunity to reform the Job-ready Graduates scheme which has unfairly targeted students in the humanities, arts and social sciences.

The government has also indicated that it will be adopting the target put forward by the Universities Accord Review Panel to reach 80 per cent of the working age population obtaining a tertiary qualification by 2050. We have previously advocated in our submission to the Universities Accord for the introduction of a needs-based funding scheme which will be necessary to drive this higher rate of participation.

Other policies outlined in the budget and announced recently by the government include:

  • Lowering HECS indexation, removing around $3 million in student debt
  • Students studying social work, nursing, midwifery and teaching to be paid for mandatory placements
  • FEE-FREE Uni Ready preparatory courses to support students entering higher education
  • Establishment of the Australian Tertiary Education Commission by July 2025
  • Commissioning an independent review into research and development
  • Establishment of a National Student Ombudsman
  • Introduction of a Managed Growth Funding System for Commonwealth supported places to meet student demand
  • Implementation of a National Higher Education Code to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence

Read our statement here.

Capping international student enrolments

The Australian government has introduced legislation to parliament which would allow the Minister to determine enrolment limits on international students, including limits for individual institutions or courses.

Read more here.

Australian Tertiary Education Commission

The government has announced that the Australian Tertiary Education Commission will be established by July 2025. ATEC was a recommendation of the Universities Accord Review Panel, but the government has decided not to incorporate TEQSA and the ARC into ATEC as was recommended by the Panel.

Read more here.

Suburban University Hubs

The Australian government has announced that it will be establishing 14 new Suburban University Hubs in outer suburban areas across the country. This is in addition to the 34 Regional University Stubs across Australia. Nominations for the new university hubs are now open, closing 29 July.

Read more here.

New Zealand budget

The New Zealand government released its budget on 30 May. In it, the government signalled its intention to waive fees for final-year students instead of the current policy of waiving fees for first-year students. The changes will come into effect in 2025.

Read more here.

New QILT data

Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching has released its latest Graduate Outcomes Survey. It shows that graduate full-time employment is at its highest level in 15 years.

Read the report here.

Exploring Indigenous Research: Conducting ethical research and improving access of research outcomes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Thursday 13 June, 12-1pm
Register here

Register now for an interactive online webinar to develop your understanding of ethical and responsible research practices within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Engage with leading researchers, stakeholders, and institutions as they share insights and practical guidance on conducting ethical research and enhancing the accessibility of research outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Member gathering
Wednesday 24 July
Register here

Register now for our second member gathering for 2024. We will talk policy, provide professional development and give you the chance to talk to your colleagues from around Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand about the issues that matter most to you.

DASSH Conference
Wednesday to Friday, 18-20 September
More information

Join with colleagues from across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand in Adelaide as we explore issues such as interdisciplinarity in teaching and research, partnering on policy, and the importance of community. This year’s Conference will focus on connecting – connecting with other disciplines, connecting with community, connecting with industry, and connecting with each other.

Member gathering
Wednesday 13 November
Register here

Register now for our third member gathering for 2024. We will talk policy, provide professional development and give you the chance to talk to your colleagues from around Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand about the issues that matter most to you.

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.

The DASSH Lounge is reserved for members and is a great place to let people know you’re hiring, hosting an event or working on a collaborative project, so feel free to post any updates. You can also use it to simply engage with colleagues in conversation.