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The Buzz

Welcome to Professor Rob Strathdee, Dean for the new College of Arts and Education, Victoria University in Melbourne

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Professor Strathdee was previously Professor of Education and Head of School, School of Education at RMIT and before that Professor of Education and Head of School within the School of Education Policy and Implementation at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Professor Strathdee has over 10 years’ experience leading and managing professional, vocational and academic staff in complex environments with a personal commitment to increasing the impact and value of teaching, learning and research, and to the importance of equality and social justice in the workplace. Here he talks about his research and his early excitement as a mature age university student

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Paul Egglestone joins UON as inaugural Head, School of Creative Industries

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Professor Paul Egglestone @digitaldocs has just commenced at UON. Paul’s work in the UK epitomises his long standing commitment uniting communities, technologists and content creators to foster citizen-led innovation: using digital media technologies to identify and address real world problems. Paul also brings an extensive background in television and media production. More detail here Welcome Paul and we look forward to seeing what he and the team at UON develop, to contribute to the university’s leadership in creative industries, driving the economic, social and cultural transformation of the Hunter region.

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Recent appointment: Leading expert appointed to spearhead digital strategy and online learning at Western Sydney University

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Following an international search handled by De Sailly Search, recognised expert and researcher in online and digital learning, Professor Kevin Bell, will join Western Sydney University as its new Pro Vice-Chancellor (Digital Futures). Professor Bell comes to Australia from the United States, where he was Executive Director for Curriculum Development and Deployment at Northeastern University in Boston – a pioneering institution when it comes to online and experiential learning. Professor Bell will take up his new appointment with Western Sydney University on 11 July. His role will facilitate and lead innovation in learning and teaching, support digital technology integration across…

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Congratulations to our appointment David McAlpine: awarded ARC Laureate Fellow

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Professor David McAlpine, Macquarie University’s Director of Hearing Research at the Australian Hearing Hub, has been announced as a 2016 Australian Laureate Fellow by the Australian Research Council (ARC). The Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme gives outstanding research leaders the opportunity to tackle some of the most urgent and complex research issues facing Australia and the world. Professor McAlpine will receive $2,468,738 towards research exploring how a sense of space is generated by the auditory brain. “I’m interested in how the brain represents the ‘auditory scene’; the complex wash of sounds that arrives at our two ears, and from which we…

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Congratulations to our appointment Kevin Bell commencing as PVC @westernsydneyu

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Online and digital learning expert Professor Kevin Bell is set to join Western Sydney University as its new pro vice-chancellor (digital futures). Professor Bell was most recently executive director for curriculum development and deployment at Northeastern University in Boston. He was a senior fellow with the Lowell Institute in Boston, where he led a federally-funded multi-million dollar project that investigated how to engage students, particularly first generation and under represented students, in online STEM education. He will join WSU on July 11. News via The Australian 5 July 2016 http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/consulting-the-consultants/news-story/eb368e43ae6278fdbc689ba5a5c79739

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What’s needed now to grow the numbers of women in STEMM

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  Increasing the participation of women in STEMM is not just about equity, it’s about ensuring the best share of bright minds. It’s about the future of our economies and solving the big problems we all face. And it is about equity too. What’s needed is long-term sustained, comprehensive efforts spread across the entire life span, to attract and retain more women in sciences. Participation is how it works. Participation means role models. It also changes the culture and unspoken biases that either block girls from choosing science, or make them want to leave too early in their STEM careers….

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How creative industries revitalise regions after the heavy industries party has moved on

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The Brookings report on the rise of innovation districts (http://www.brookings.edu/about/programs/metro/innovation-districts), and other sources, detail how regions across developed economies in the USA, UK, Europe and now Australia are diversifying through creative industries. Some themes: It’s important to get the balanced scorecard right Benefits have to be assessed on long-term and sustainable growth and social values eg community infrastructure The important role of universities Government can clear the way and support, but only universities can help convene all stakeholders, lending knowledge, infrastructure, people and of course, developing skills for graduates to be successful in the burgeoning sector Developing an innovation district…

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Why academics love Newcastle, NSW

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In no particular order, here are the top ten reasons why academics tell me they love living and working in Newcastle, in Australia’s Hunter region. 1. Close community breeds collegiality The same people you met with today to discuss a research project you may say hello to again at the beach, jogging along the waterfront or at the supermarket. 2. Open culture: build links easily People are amazed how easy it is to approach anyone with a good idea, to explore and build new partnerships and projects. This applies to both public and private sectors. 3. Great workplaces Staff at University of Newcastle tell…

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Taking your academic career to Australia: what to consider

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Australia’s strong higher education system, and terrific lifestyle, mean that every world-class academic should go down under, if only for part of their training, or career. The sector punches above its weight in excellence; with five universities in the world top 100 and 19 in the top 500, Australia has one of the most globally competitive higher education systems in the world, as measured by Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) out of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Half of Australia’s universities are in the global top rankings. Other similarly ranked countries have much larger GDP, population — and larger, older, higher education sectors. And…

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Higher education vs politicking and the future of the Australian automotive industry

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The Australian automotive industry grabs news headlines, particularly as the political parties wrestle for hearts and minds during an election campaign. But what’s happening on university campuses tells a very different story of demand and investment  – and where Australia’s automotive engineering fits into the nation’s future. The Labor party began its election campaign by announcing funding for the automotive industry and a target to boost the market by acquiring Australian cars for Commonwealth fleets, followed up with further funding commitments. Innovation Minister Kim Carr says, “The automotive industry is vital to Australia’s economic future”. A survey for The Australian newspaper found a majority of…

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