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Monday

DESTINATION : Tasmania

DISCOVER...

Separated from mainland Australia by the 240 km stretch of Bass Strait, Tasmania is a land apart – a place of wild and beautiful landscapes; friendly, welcoming people; a pleasant, temperate climate; wonderful wine and food; a rich history; and a relaxed island lifestyle.



According to experienced travellers who’ve criss-crossed the globe in search of excellence, Tasmania has one of the world’s ten best beaches (Wineglass Bay, US-based Outside magazine), the world’s best little town (Strahan, Chicago Tribune) and is rated as ’the best island in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific’ (Travel + Leisure magazine) and ‘the world’s best temperate island’ (Condé Nast Traveler magazine).

Tasmania is an island roughly the size of West Virginia, located 240 km off the south-east corner of mainland Australia. Next stop south is Antarctica, 2000 km away.



Encircled by the Southern Ocean, Tasman Sea and Bass Strait, we breathe the world’s cleanest air and rejoice in pure water and fertile soils – our wine and food are acclaimed around the world.

Tasmania is a natural island – a land of dramatic coastlines, rugged mountains, tall forests and sparkling highland lakes. Over a third of the state is reserved in a network of National Parks and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, a refuge and habitat for rare plants and animals, including survivors of the ancient southern super continent, Gondwana.



Our European heritage dates back to the early 1800s, while Tasmanian Aboriginals first reached here 40,000 years ago.

Tasmania also has a vibrant cultural life, boasting one of the best small orchestras in the world and literary authors such as Richard Flanagan, winner of the 2002 Commonwealth Writer's Prize.

EXPERIENCE...

Tasmania’s capital lies in the south-east of the state, near the mouth of the Derwent River at the foot of Mount Wellington.

The 19th century waterfront warehouses for which the city is famous once bustled with whalers, soldiers, petty bureaucrats and opportunist businessmen. Now they house cafes, restaurants and studios and bustle with shoppers and visitors. Polished glass winks in the windows of settlers’ cottages, and brass doorknobs gleam in the lofty porches of colonial edifices.



Hobart is warm sandstone, bright spinnakers on the water, fish punts at the docks, the slap of halyards on masts, coffee under the striped sun umbrellas of Salamanca, an occasional frosting of snow on Mt Wellington, bush tracks and birdsong.

Square-riggers still put out on the river, tacking among the yachts and fishing boats. Parliament House looks out on its lawns, once the market garden for old Hobart Town, and historic Government House sits serenely in its park, where the Governor’s cows graze as they always have in their city-centre paddock.



Hobart ’s busy arts scene takes in art, craft, music and theatre. Here you can enjoy Irish jigs or pub rock, a flutter at the Wrest Point casino, street buskers and string quartets, and theatrical performances both classic and contemporary. In galleries and studios, our artists and craftspeople make bold and beautiful statements in pigments, glass, pottery and fabrics.

STUDY...

Studying in Tasmania means studying in Australia's only island state and enjoying a place of great charm, hospitality and friendliness that has all but disappeared from the rest of the country. Tasmania's education system is dominated by one of Australia's original universities, the prestigious University of Tasmania, with a study and learning history going back to its establishment in 1890. A university which has more than 100 years of academic excellence and where excellence has now become a tradition.



Taking a break from the study in Tasmania means you can enjoy many different ways to relax and unwind including taking advantage of the magnificent natural environment and enjoying the rich cultural life that the Tasmanians have developed.


Friday

Vice-Chancellor resigns from the troubled RMIT

RMIT vice-chancellor Ruth Dunkin has resigned in the wake of financial problems that have plagued the university for the past two years, citing unfair treatment by the media as the main factor for her decision.

Professor Dunkin had expected to finish her contract, which expires in October next year. "It has become clear to me over the last couple of weeks that the sort of rumours and innuendoes that have led to so much undermining of my leadership have re-emerged," she said.



The university has struggled to recover from the fallout of losses of $17.7 million, caused by a faulty student administration system, in 2002. Only four months ago RMIT declared itself "back on its financial feet" and Professor Dunkin's future seemed secure after the Auditor-General approved the university's 2003 accounts.

Last week The Age revealed that RMIT faces a $20 million to $30 million shortfall in budgeted revenue and further operating cuts. The university said the shortfall was due to volatile funding sources and sector-wide shifts in international student demand. Professor Dunkin yesterday denied there was pressure from either the Government or the university council to resign. Deputy chancellor Peter Thomas said the council would meet soon to make interim arrangements.

At the moment, RMIT is like a ship without a captain !

SOURCE - The Age, Melbourne Herald Sun, The Australian
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Govt questioned over RMIT's downfall

The Victorian Opposition says Education Minister Lynne Kosky should take some responsibility for the ongoing problems at RMIT.

The university's financial troubles have led to the resignation of its vice-chancellor, Ruth Dunkin.



She says she is standing down to allow the university to deal with the problems without constant speculation about her future.

Professor Dunkin recently admitted the university had a revenue shortfall of more than $20 million, fuelling speculation it would need to cut staff.

Opposition Leader Robert Doyle says the Government has handled the situation at RMIT appallingly.

"What's the Minister going to do to accept responsibility for this because it was the Minister that assured us that everything was all right and the problems would be fixed they haven't been," Mr Doyle said.

SOURCE - Australian Broadcasting Corporation
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Thursday

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Lindfield campus to be demolished

Plans to transform an acclaimed university campus of UTS into a housing development have been attacked by top architects, who have joined protests against a move to sell the site.

The proposal for the University of Technology campus in Lindfield was described as "cultural vandalism" by the leading architect, Glenn Murcutt, who is the president of the Australian Architecture Association.



"The measure of any society, in its cultural values, can be seen by the built environment," said Mr Murcutt.

"If we're interested in pulling down our best buildings, what sort of culture is that?"

Protesters gathered at the campus last night for a public meeting condemning the university's plan to have the site rezoned so it could be sold off for medium-density housing.

The proposal, which went on exhibition yesterday, would retain the award-winning buildings and add more than 500 dwellings to the site, including at least seven four-storey unit blocks and three five-storey blocks.

The UTS site is not the only Sulman Award-winner under threat. There are fears for the Warringah Library in Dee Why, which won in 1966 and could be demolished to make way for a hospital.

SOURCE - Sydney Morning Herald
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Future of La Trobe's Shepparton campus unknown

The future of La Trobe University's presence in Shepparton will remain unknown, after a meeting with Greater Shepparton City Council, scheduled for today, was postponed.

Today's meeting was to discuss the university's future plans for its Shepparton campus, but has been delayed after key participants were engaged overseas.



La Trobe University advisory committee chairman John Schreenan, who works closely with the council on its University City concept, said a request had already been put to the vice-chancellor for a new meeting with the La Trobe University council or executives.

"We're happy to talk to either," Mr Schreenan said.

"While that meeting has fallen through at this stage, (council chief executive officer) Bob Laing is still meeting with (university deputy vicechancellor) Professor Graham McDowell (today).

Mr Schreenan said he was not concerned the council was no longer working from the recommendations set out in a $15 000 strategic plan it commissioned in 2001, but branded "out of date" last week.

SOURCE - Shepparton News
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Racism on the rise at Australian university campuses

Far from being havens of tolerance, universities seem to be witnessing rising racism, writes Matthew Thompson.

Universities are poster palaces. Noticeboards and power poles get stuck thick with band flyers, proclamations of protests or cheap drinks nights, notices for tutoring and share accommodation.



And, every now and again, paranoia and hatred. Political agitators campaigning against the Israeli Government spray evil at an entire people ("Jews are the new Nazis"), while others warn "White Women" about "Black sexual predators".

"Don't have sex with blacks - avoid AIDS" was the headline on a poster recently slapped up at the University of Newcastle, which this week held its annual Cultural Awakenings Festival.

While the culprits remain unidentified, the poster comes from the website of a United States-based neo-Nazi organisation, the National Alliance.

A Kenyan student at Newcastle has alleged that he was assaulted by about six men at a campus bar earlier this year, copping a roughing-up and taunts of "monkey".

The president of Newcastle's student union, Michael Whitbread, says the abuse and posters coincide with a xenophobic campaign by the Patriotic Youth League, which appeared on campus at the start of the year. The league had shared an Orientation Week stall with the Australia First Party, where members denounced the "Asianisation" of universities. Throughout the year, Whitbread says, at least three league members have held meetings, and stickered the campus with "Australian unis for Australian students!"

The league wants foreign students limited to "exchange programs, rather than taking entire degrees, so that there will be more room for locals."

Universities and the Federal Government say that because international students pay full fees they displace no one, and inject much-needed cash into the system.

SOURCE - SMH Network
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Wednesday

UTas announces 17 new course for 2005

17 new courses have been added to the UTas Course List for 2005. 16 of these courses are new to the University of Tasmania and will be offered for the first time from Semester 1, 2005.



Information regarding these courses will be available in the near future on the UTas website. You may contact the International office for further details.

  • Master of International Business
  • Master of International Business (Specialisation)
  • Master of Marketing
  • Master of Marketing (Specialisation)
  • Master of Regional Development Policy (Coursework)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology)
  • Graduate Certificate in International Business
  • Graduate Certificate in Marketing
  • Graduate Certificate in Regional Development Policy
  • Graduate Diploma in Regional Development Policy
  • Bachelor of Antarctic Studies
  • Bachelor of Psychology
  • Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Environmental Science
  • Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Laws (Combined)
  • Bachelor of Music

For futher details Click here

SOURCE - University of Tasmania

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Tuesday

University of Tasmania records increase in mature aged student numbers

The University of Tasmania says there has been an increase in the number of mature age students enrolling in full-time study.

The university's Launceston campus was open to the public yesterday, attracting more than 5,000 people.

Student recruitment and marketing manager Colleen McCulloch says the majority of the visitors to the open day were mature age.



"They're either looking at having a career change or deciding they need to upskill more to get into the type of work that interests them," Ms McCulloch said.

SOURCE - ABC Northern Tasmania
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Adelaide could soon be removed from the Regional City List

As per the current immigration legilsation laid down by DIMIA, Adelaide suprisingly features on the regional australia list !



Adelaide, the capital of South Australia is the fifth largest australian city with a population of more than 1 million. With DIMIA now launching the SIR Provisional Visa more and more people are flocking to Adeliade. Moreover, students studying for two years in Adelaide also find it easier to meet the current 120 points pass mark for permanent residency.

With all this it is evident that in the next few months, Adeliade will see a great influx of migrants and students.

But this also has a downside. This would result in Adelaide's popualtion growth rate increase sharply, leading to the removal of Adelaide from the Regional Australia List. ALP has already announced that should ALP come to power, it will remove Adelaide from the Regional City List. The present government is also facing stiff opposition to remove Adelaide from the Regional City list as it is resulting Adelaide in sucking all the regional migrants where as other regional cities like Hobart and Launceston are still facing acute skill shortages.



Only time can tell when DIMIA would remove Adeliaide from the regional list but as per the current situation it seems that it will be sooner than expected ! Students planning to study at the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia or any other educational institute in Adelaide are advised to measure the risk of Adelaide being removed form the Regional City List since only the cities which are in Regional City List on the day when the student files his PR are considered for the 5 bonus points.

SOURCE - DIMIA website and ALP Immigration Policy
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University of Queensland's VC overpaid by 51 %

THE University of Queensland post of vice-chancellor is overpaid by 51.3per cent and its University of Technology, Sydney counterpart is short-changed by 19 per cent, according to a study comparing the sector with business.

University of Western Australia honours student and business school tutor Lisa Soh fed the pay packets of the VCs of 34 universities, averaged over the past five years, into a mathematical formula.



The formula digested their salary, their institution's size and annual revenue, and concluded that half the VCs were underpaid and half overpaid.

"There may well be good reasons for the differences from the curve - the pay at UQ could, for example, reflect the fact that [UQ vice-chancellor] John Hay is one of the most experienced and effective in the country," Ms Soh said.

The University of Queensland offered no comment on salary when contacted by the HES but chancellor Llew Edwards said in a statement: "Professor John Hay is widely acknowledged as Australia's most outstanding vice-chancellor. He has raised [research] funds ... at UQ worth more than $400 million."

Ms Soh, who said her study was the first of its kind in Australia, concluded that universities were becoming more like companies in the way they reported flat earnings and in the way VCs' pay was linked to profitability.

"I hasten to add that these relativities are made exclusively on the basis of size."

SOURCE - The Australian newspaper
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Criminal charges levied against Monash University students

SERIOUS criminal charges have been laid against three students after the violent protests at the Clayton, Victoria, campus against fee increases at Monash University earlier this year.

The charges include assaulting a police officer, criminal damage, theft and riotous behaviour.



Monash law student Aamer Rahman, former Monash student union (Clayton) president and law student Sherenthi Narayanasamy and engineering student Emerson Tung will face Dandenong Magistrates Court next month.

Student anger reached flashpoint across the nation in March and April as most Australian universities decided to increase their HECS fees by up to 25 per cent. Very few universities like the University of Tasmania have decided not to increase the HECS fees at all !

There were three big protests at Monash in the two months after it decided to raise HECS fees by 25 per cent. Damage worth more than $13,000 was caused during the protests.

Two RMIT students were last week charged by the university with misconduct for their involvement in the occupation of the RMIT chancellery at the main Melbourne city campus in March.

At the end of the month they will face a discipline board, which can recommend the two students be suspended or expelled for their part in the occupation.

SOURCE - The Australian newspaper
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University of Western Sydney students to march over cuts (whats going on at UWS !)

UNIVERSITY of Western Sydney students will march on the struggling institution's chancellory tomorrow to present management with a book of grievances prompted by the university's undergraduate program review.

The protest comes as a two-day meeting aimed at overcoming a budget shortfall was branded "a waste of time".



Students Association education officer Ben Chapman said he had collected about 120 complaints from students.

Sources said it appeared UWS had no definite plan for getting itself out of a $3.8million budget hole.

A university spokesman said the meeting was a "brainstorming session" where ideas for cost-cutting and fundraising were canvassed.

The students' "red paper" calls "on the Howard Government to stop its ignorance of Western Sydney and UWS. We call on UWS administration to see that the accounts of the students within are thoroughly investigated and that these problems be addressed as soon as possible."

SOURCE - The Australian newspaper
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Monday

The world's southernmost telescope, owned by the University of Tasmania, now open to public

TASMANIA'S radio telescope will be open to the public for the first time since NASA donated it nearly 20 years ago.

The world's southernmost radio telescope, owned by the University of Tasmania, is part of a project looking at Saturn's moon Titan.

University physics lecturer Simon Ellingsen will be guiding tours of the telescope and control room on Sunday.



The university is keen to share its enthusiasm for the 40-metre high telescope, which is involved in ongoing international space missions.

"The Titan project is very exciting, it's one of those one-off opportunities," Dr Ellingsen said.

"As the probe is propelled off the spacecraft it will fall into the atmosphere and be blown by the winds.



"Our network of telescopes will be linked up, measuring the speed of the winds. At Ceduna we have special equipment that will record at higher data rates than ever before."

The university also owns the telescope at Ceduna in South Australia.

SOURCE - The Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania
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RMIT - Job cuts , Assets sale in the pipeline

Melbourne's RMIT University is considering spending cuts after revelations of a revenue shortfall of between $20 million and $30 million.

Part of the shortfall has been attributed to a smaller than expected increase in the number of international students. International students are opting for other Australian universities on account of the fall in the quality of education at RMIT.



RMIT vice-chancellor Professor Ruth Dunkin has for the time being denied the cuts will mean job losses or a firesale of assets, however, RMIT reporting a financial loss of more that 20 million dollars, job cuts, sale of assets etc seem to be in the pipeline. The next few months would be very crucial for RMIT's future.

"I'm very happy to scotch that rumour," she said.

"It's very important to understand the context in which we're operating at the moment, which is that we're in the middle of EBA [enterprise bargaining agreement] negotiations, we're in the middle of elections on campus.

"We're not proposing to cut jobs at this stage as part of the corrective strategy that we've put in place."

SOURCE - Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
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University of Western Sydney Bankstown campus in trouble

University of Western Sydney (UWS) students have returned to their campuses after the semester break to discover significant course cuts and other changes and restrictions to their degrees. The Bankstown UWS campus has been especially hard hit. Green Left Weekly’s Stuart Munckton spoke to Megan Conner, the Bankstown UWS education officer about the attacks on the campaign being built against them.



What are the changes on Bankstown UWS?

They are huge. Up to 80% of students will be affected by course and subject cuts or their transfer to other campuses. The communications/arts course will be transferred to the Penrith campus and converted to a communications degree. Chinese medicine and naturopathy students have been transferred to the Campbelltown campus and education, aviation, Indonesian, and information technology courses will no longer be offered at the Bankstown campus. Any subject with less than 16 students enrolled will have its funding withdrawn. Also planned is the privatisation of on campus security and significant staff cuts.

How have students reacted to these attacks?

Students are really angry. There is definite sense of shock, but most students, especially those most directly affected, such as the communication students, are really pissed off. We have had students telling us that if their course is moved to another campus like Penrith they wont be able to afford to travel there, they simply wont be able to do those subjects. Other students are reporting that instead of a lecturer they are watching videos because there aren’t enough staff.We had well over a third of the student population sign a petition against the attacks in no time at all. Students were taking the petitions away to their classes and coming back with pages signed.

What is being planned in the campaign against these attacks?

The campaign is urgent and requires the full weight of the Student Representative Council behind it. On August 18 there will be a protests on campuses around the country. We will be holding a Student General Meeting (SGM) on Bankstown. The aim is to get the greatest number of students in the one place at the one time to condemn the attacks and call for their reversal. Also, the mass meeting will be able to discuss how to fight back.

The week after the SGM the UWS Board of Trustees will be meeting on Penrith UWS campus. The SGM will discuss how Bankstown students can respond, such as whether or not there is support for a part day student strike.

There is a history of successful struggle against attacks on Bankstown campus. In 1999, a mass campaign and student occupation won a series of demands around conditions on campus. If we organise, we can repeat that success.

[To get involved in the campaign, phone Megan on 0419 117 606. Megan Conner is a member of the national executive of the Resistance socialist youth organisation.]

SOURCE - Green Left Weekly
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La Trobe says jobs will go under the Labor Govt

La Trobe University predicts it will be more than $18 million worse off over three years under Labor's higher education policy and will have to consider shedding staff.

An internal budget document, which compares the impact of the Opposition's and Federal Government's higher education polices, says the university will not be able to afford to pay its staff competitive salaries if Labor wins government.

In the latest round of enterprise bargaining, the university is considering a 15 per cent salary increase for staff over three years, an increase comparable to other universities.

"Over the 2005-2007 period the university needs to attract an additional $27.4 million in funding... to fund such a commitment," the document states. "Under Aim Higher (Labor's policy document) such a commitment is not possible unless the university sheds a very large number of staff."



"Unless the ALP reconsiders either its proposed abolition of flexible HECS or agrees to compensate La Trobe University for the income forgone, the university would be unable to fund a realistic EBA for the 2005-2007 period without substantial restructuring," it said.

La Trobe University is the third Victorian university to indicate it would be worse off under Labor, along with Melbourne and Monash universities.

SOURCE - The Age newspaper
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Number of Indian and Chinese students surge at Australian universities

The latest statistics released by IDP Education Australia on the number of newly-enrolled full-degree international students in Australian universities support the trends which were forecast two years ago in IDP’s Global Student Mobility 2025 research study.

IDP’s latest preliminary report on international student numbers in Australian universities released today shows that in Semester 1, 2004, there was a total of 192,460 international students enrolled in Australian universities – across all modes of study – representing an annual growth rate of 10.2 per cent.

However the report also reveals that the number of commencing full-degree students from China and India grew by 47.3% and 51.9% respectively, while enrolments from Australia’s traditional markets in South East Asia had slowed. “This is consistent with IDP’s forecast that by the year 2025 more than half the demand for international higher education in Australia will come from East Asia (31%) and South Asia (22%),” said IDP’s Chief Executive Ms Lindy Hyam.



According the IDP report, overall annual growth in onshore enrolments at Australian universities stood at 12.7%. However trends in transnational student numbers (international students studying at offshore campuses of Australian universities, through twinning arrangements, online or by distance) were mixed, according to Ms Hyam.

In fact the number of Hong Kong and Singaporean students enrolled in transnational programs offered by Australian universities fell by 12.3 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively over the same period, according to the IDP report, while the number of Chinese transnational students grew by 12.7 per cent.

SOURCE - IDP Australia
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Sunday

CPA Australia accredits new course at the University of Tasmania

CPA Australia, the largest professional accounting body of Australia has accredited Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) and Master of Professional Accounting - Specialisation (MPAS) course, which is being offered by the University of Tasmania as postgraduate study from semester two this year. The course is now accredited with CPA Australia and other professional accounting bodies within Australia like ICAA and NIA.



MPA and MPAS will give participants, who do not hold a degree with a major sequence in accounting, the opportunity to specialise in accounting for professional recognition purposes as well as migration purposes. The MPA consists of 12 units and is offered to those holding the equivalent of an Australian undergraduate or masters degree.

If you hold a post-secondary school qualification, you can undertake the MPAS at the university, which involves 16 units and will enable you to specialise in a specific area of business which gives students greater academic rigour with a practical focus. Moreover, the MPAS satisfies the requirements for obtaining the Australian PR. The MPA and MPAS gives an opportunity for people from an education background other than Accounting, such as Commerce, Engineering and Arts to obtain professional recognition as well as PR easily.
For futher details Click Here

SOURCE - CPA Australia

MBA - La Trobe

La Trobe University is one of Australia’s largest and fastest growing universities and enjoys a long-standing international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. The Melbourne campus is situated in spacious parklands featuring waterways that are home to many species of water birds. Included on the campus is the Research and Development Park, a world renowned library, multi-media facilities, and a hospital with student medical and dental services available. The Graduate School of Management is located adjacent to the La Trobe Melbourne campus which is less than 15 kilometers north of Melbourne's Central Business District. The School is well serviced by public transport with a train station within walking distance. Computer laboratories with 24 hour 7 day a week access are available. Experienced staff provides computer support for these facilities. All students are given an email account for the duration of their course, free of charge.



Graduate School of Management students from around the world study alongside local students, providing the opportunity to compare the many ways business is undertaken globally. Different social and professional backgrounds are represented creating classroom participation and discussion. Highly qualified and committed academic staff at the Graduate School of Management (76% PhD qualified) have practical international business operations experience providing students with the essential techniques of management keeping a balance between academic rigour and exposure to practical experience.



A wide range of subjects is offered with streams including; finance, human resource management, e-commerce, marketing and international business environment. Students can embrace a wide range of subjects or follow a particular stream focussing on subjects relevant to a chosen career path. All courses have intakes in January, April, July and September.

Saturday

Is University of Western Sydney on the brink of closure ?

FINANCES at the University of Western Sydney are so desperate staff at one school have to bring their own bottled water after a $600-a-year contract with a spring-water company was cancelled.

However, the UWS, struggling to get out of a $3.8million hole and fending off reports it was $20million in the red, last week refused to take the money and run: its board voted 13-2 against raising HECS fees for 2005.



The UWS Students Association said it had costed a 25per cent fee hike at $47.6million to 2007, but vice-chancellor Janice Reid said the university would not "transfer the financial burden [of getting back in the black] to our students".

Instead, the university will embark on an institution-wide cost-cutting and money-making drive. At an annual planning meeting tomorrow and on Friday, senior staff will discuss how to reduce expenditure and increase income.

Staff and students have some sympathy for the UWS management and have turned their collective anger at the federal Government. They say poor and inefficient funding of a relatively new institution trying to gain some money-making momentum has placed the university in a dire position.

Mr Markwick called for an inquiry into the "financial crisis at UWS".

SOURCE - The Australian newspaper
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UNSW cuts funding to the Hall Laboratory

THE University of NSW has cut off funding for the staff and work of embattled scientist Bruce Hall.

The move, which the Sydney-based university denies, effectively overturns a commitment by former vice-chancellor Rory Hume to provide two years' funding for the man, who was accused of scientific fraud, and his staff.



Eminent US researcher David Sachs, Harvard Medical School's professor of surgery (immunology), has described the closure of Professor Hall's laboratory as "most undesirable" and a move which would "reflect poorly on all concerned and on Australia's very fine international reputation in immunological research".

The latest twist in the saga involving allegations of scientific misconduct against the world-renowned transplant immunologist comes as Professor Hall steps up his campaign to clear his name.

SOURCE - Sydney Morning Herald
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Major Financial crisis at UWS - staff unpaid for four weeks

CASUAL teaching staff at the University of Western Sydney are owed up to nine weeks' wages, casting doubt on the institution's denials it is facing a $20 million budget deficit.

About 150 casual lecturers in the university's college of law and business are collectively owed about $700,000.



Most staff have not been paid for four weeks, but some staff from the masters of accounting course are owed up to nine weeks' wages.

Lecturer Paul Tilbury, from the school of management, said the university owed him $2500 before tax as of the end of his teaching shift last night.

"This is week four for me - that's 24 hours of teaching and I haven't seen a red cent," he said.

Mr Tilbury said staff morale was being badly affected by reports of a serious budget deficit and problems such as the non-payment of wages.

"It's been a very difficult time. Some of my colleagues are single mothers, and you can imagine what it's been like for them."

SOURCE - The Age newspaper

CQU and USQ rate poorly in attracting research funds

Both the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and Central Queensland University (CQU) have rated poorly when it comes to attracting research grants.

That is according to the latest Good Universities Guide.



Vice-chancellor Bill Lovegrove says attracting funding for research projects is not a priority for the university.

"We are not a research intensive university and our strategy is to build research concentrations, a small number of concentrations where we can be genuinely world class, but we are not trying to do that across the whole university," he said.

CQU and USQ received just one star in the guide for attracting research grants.

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UNSW and University of Sydney raise fees by upto $6,500

Australian students paying full fees at the University of Sydney face a price rise next year of more than $6000 for some courses, because the institution felt it was "significantly undercharging".

A bachelor of agricultural science course will cost $18,500 a year, up from $12,000 this year, while education degrees specialising in teaching design and technology at high schools will rise from $12,300 to $18,000.



The 2005 increases are the largest of the past five years for undergraduate full-fee payers.

The deputy Vice-Chancellor (academic), John Hearn, said yesterday there had been "a few exceptional adjustments where we were significantly undercharging relative to other universities". The University Fees Working Group, together with faculty heads and pro-vice chancellors, "set the fees after considering costs and competitor factors".

Sydney's arch-rival, the University of NSW - which has left unchanged its full fees for local undergraduates - remains the most expensive overall. A bachelor of science course at UNSW will stay at $21,360 a year for 2005, whereas the University of Sydney price will be $19,200 (up from $17,500).

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RMIT in financial difficulties - reports loss of $20 million

Just four months after declaring an end to its financial woes, RMIT University faces a $20 million revenue shortfall and another round of tough spending cuts, internal documents show.

In an email to staff yesterday, vice-chancellor Ruth Dunkin blamed the shortfall on "diminishing Government subsidy" and a downturn in the market for international students



She warned budgets would have to be cut and refused to rule out further job losses, saying only: "We will do what is necessary to keep the university financially viable."

The revelation comes just four months after university pro-vice-chancellor Cameron Moroney claimed RMIT was "back on its financial feet" after a surplus of $14.9 million in 2003.

Student union president Dinesh Rajalingam said the fall in international student numbers was a direct result of cutbacks. About 400 international students had quit RMIT in the past year. "RMIT has been very poor in the way it has handled international students," he said.


SOURCE - Sydney Morning Herald and Channel 7 Network
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Friday

UTas announces NOT to Increase 2005 HECS fees

Where all major universities are hiking HECS fees by almost 25 %, University of Tasmania has announced that it will not increase the HECS fees for 2005.



The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, Professor Daryl Le Grew, has announced the University Council’s decision not to increase base HECS fees for 2005. The decision to go against the national trend to raise fees by up to 25 per cent comes after wide and active consultation by the University Council with Deans and Heads of Schools, senior executives and managers and student representatives. Professor Le Grew says the University is in a positive position to capitalise on its status as a first class institution, providing a unique student experience. “The University of Tasmania is focusing on growth, rather than on the price of gaining a degree,” Professor Le Grew said. “We’re a sandstone university with highly regarded degrees across all the major disciplines and a comprehensive national and international profile.” “We offer a unique student experience, and our decision to keep fees at current levels in 2005 enhances the University of Tasmania’s attractiveness as a place for students to obtain a first class degree, without shouldering the extra financial burden.”

Racial attacks on UNC students

A CAMPAIGN of racial vilification is being waged against international students at the University of Newcastle, with a rising number of campus assaults blamed on a militant right-wing group.

Police are investigating the assaults against at least four African and Asian students in the past six months.



The attacks coincide with propaganda campaigns at the university by supporters of the US-based neo-Nazi group National Alliance and the Australian nationalist youth movement the Patriotic Youth League.

The campaign has echoes of a West Australian race-hate campaign targeting Asian businesses, which led to the arrest last week of convicted white supremacist Jack van Tongeren.

Newcastle students have been outraged by the wide distribution of a sticker warning white women against having sex with "Black sexual predators" who "maliciously spread AIDS".

IDP in trouble

IDP Education Australia chief executive Lindy Hyam is under intense pressure to lift the company's performance after a fiery board meeting this week.

Documents obtained by The Weekend Australian reveal IDP is expecting to post a $1.6million loss this year instead of the forecast $2.5million profit.



Applications from overseas students wanting to study at Australian institutions fell 10 per cent in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year.

As part of its cost-cutting, IDP is expected to close some of its offices in 50 countries.

Fees from overseas students are the biggest single source of private revenue for universities, making up 13 per cent, or $1.4billion, of their total income last year.

As their proportion of government funding declines, universities have become aggressive in their recruitment of Australian and foreign fee-paying students to plug the gap.

Thursday

Should I study at a Regional University ?

The Immigration Department of Australia (DIMIA) changed the immigration legislation on April 1, 2004 to increase the pass mark for Skilled Overseas Student category from 115 to 120. This would come into effect from April 1, 2005.

Since this change in April 2004, the thought of studying in a Regional Australian university campus has crossed the minds of prospective students at least once. In this article we delve into the question that whether a student should study in a Regional University or in a Metropolitan University.



If a student studies a full time 2 years Masters program at a metropolitan university campus, he can score at the most 115 points. However, there are some ways (though not many and not as easy as they appear to be) to gain 5 Bonus points. For examples, if the student invests atleast A$ 100,000 in Australian bonds, they are awarded 5 bonus points. Another way is to get accredited as a National Level Interpreter or Translator. However, the point to be noted here is that these two clauses feature in the ‘Bonus Points’ Section of the PR points system. Studying for 2 years in Regional Australia also gets a student 5 Additional points. The point to be noted here is that these are not ‘BONUS’ but ‘ADDITIONAL’ points. In other words, Studying in Regional Australia is a separate category in the PR points system. The Bonus points category is a flexible category and DIMIA from time to time changes the conditions to get Bonus points. But studying in Regional Australia, being a separate category in points system, will feature there for many years to come.

Australia has always wanted skilled migrants. However, in the last few years, big cities have grown by leaps and bounds whereas smaller cities haven’t benefited from migration. Taking this into account, ‘Regional Australia’ has now become the focus point of the immigration system. The current as well as the future governments will now focus heavily on Regional Australia and therefore, studying in regional Australia will very soon be made compulsory, irrespective of the party that wins the elections.



IDP Australia also supports studying in Regional Australia. IDP refers to regional universities as ‘Real Australia’ as only by studying at these universities, can an international students experience what Australia is all about. Another misconception that a majority of students have is that Regional Universities are not up to the standards. This is a myth. Infact, some regional universities such as the University of Adelaide and the University of Tasmania score over most of the universities in metropolitan cities. Regional Universities offer an experience of a lifetime as well as security of migrating to Australia.

Another point to be highlighted is that Adelaide is not a regional city and has been included by DIMIA only to boost the population growth of Adelaide. International students should keep in mind that Adelaide can be removed from the Regional Category anytime by DIMIA without any prior intimation. Apart from Adelaide, the biggest regional Australian city is Hobart, which is the capital of Tasmania. Being a capital it has all the major facilities as well as the University of Tasmania is amongst the best universities of Australia. According to us, Hobart is definitely the ‘Natural Place to Study’.

We would like to conclude by saying that whether a student should go to a metropolitan university or a regional university should be decided by keeping all the factors in mind. Of course, this is article is not meant for students who do not wish to migrate to Australia. Taking into consideration that obtaining PR of Australia will keep becoming difficult as years pass, it would be wise decision to study in a Regional Australia as this what the Australian Government wants. Keep the Australian Government happy by studying in Regional cities and they will give you a PR !

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Tuesday

University of Tasmania wins a prestegious national award

The University of Tasmania's School of Accounting and Finance has won a national award from the Business and Higher Education Round Table for their project - Accounting and Business education in the Tasmanian community: Working for mutually beneficial outcomes.

Their project was especially noted for its "outstanding achievement in collaboration in education and training with regional focus".



The project is about establishing and continuing to build relationships with various Tasmanian and Tasmanian-based organisations and the community. The School of Accounting and Finance has become an integral part of the community and a valuable resource for the State. This is particularly so for the rural areas of the State, where the provision of educational and financial services has often been neglected.

The University of Tasmania has very close ties with and works in collaboration with CPA Australia, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Garrison’s Financial Services, Tasmanian State Audit Office, National Institute of Accountants and the Tasmania Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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Monday

Fraud unearthed at Victoria University

A Champion racehorse owner and a former football great were allegedly involved in a $30 million fraud at Victoria University. Nine people, including John Cappellin, the owner of stallion Testa Rossa, were yesterday charged with almost 2000 offences in relation to the alleged eight-year scam.

The fraud involved staff at the university and its predecessor, the Western Melbourne Institute of TAFE, and several maintenance contractors who received kickbacks in return for providing false invoices, Melbourne Magistrates Court heard. Mr Cappellin was charged with 643 offences relating to the fraud.



Former North Melbourne football club legend David Dench, who ran a cleaning company and had connections with Mr Cappellin, was named as a co-conspirator in the alleged scam but he has not been charged.

The scam - believed to have involved more than a dozen people - is thought to have started in 1993, continuing when the TAFE merged with the university in 1998.

It didn't stop until 2001, after university staff members became suspicious.

The alleged fraud involved maintenance contractors who had won tenders and then returned some of the money to administrators.

It is also alleged that phoney tenders were put out with no work at all done at the university, with contractors providing false invoices.

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UNE signs multi-million dollar anti-cancer research deal

The University of Newcastle Research Associates (TUNRA) Ltd has signed a licensing agreement worth approximately $10 million with the biotechnology company Psiron Ltd to develop anti-cancer treatments.

The agreement covers the ongoing development of technology developed at the University using oncolytic viruses for the treatment of a range of cancers.



Professor Darren Shafren heads the research team that has been working with the common cold virus as a treatment for melanoma. Laboratory results have shown that melanoma cells can be destroyed by infecting them with a common cold virus.

The results were published in January this year in the journal of Clinical Cancer Research.

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Thursday

University of Queensland - better than the best

The University of Queensland has again received the best overall rating of all Queensland universities and one of the best Australian university rankings in the 2005 edition of the Good Universities Guide.

The independent consumer guide released this week provides ratings, rankings, comment and information about Australian higher education institutions.



UQ received the maximum five-star rating for eight main categories: prestige, getting a job, positive graduate outcomes, non-government earnings, student demand, research grants, research intensivity, and toughness to get in (St Lucia campus),.

UQ was the only Queensland university to receive the highest rating for prestige, getting a job, research grants, and research intensivity.

UQ was also among just eight universities nationally to score the top rating for prestige and research grants: the others were Adelaide, ANU, Melbourne, Monash, Sydney, the University of New South Wales and UWA.

SPECIAL FEATURE: The Oldest and Youngest Australian Universities

OLDEST UNIVERSITIES

DATE NAME

1851 University of Sydney [SYDNEY]
1853 University of Melbourne [MELBOURNE]
1874 University of Adelaide [ADELAIDE]
1890 University of Tasmania [TASMANIA]
1909 University of Queensland [QUEENSLAND]

YOUNGEST UNIVERSITIES

DATE NAME

2004 Charles Darwin University [CDU]
1999 University of the Sunshine Coast [USC]
1994 University of Ballarat [BALLARAT]
1992 RMIT University [RMIT]
1992 Central Queensland University [CQU]

Wednesday

Griffith University appoints a new vice-chancellor

GRIFFITH University last night announced the appointment of Ian O'Connor as its vice chancellor.

Professor O'Connor, 46, who is deputy vice chancellor responsible for teaching and learning, strategic planning and quality and academic staff policy will succeed Glyn Davis who will become vice chancellor of Melbourne University from next year.

Professor O'Connor grew up in Townsville where he attended Pimlico State High School, and is a graduate of the University of Queensland.



Before beginning his PhD studies in 1981, Professor O'Connor worked as a social worker at the Children's Court in Brisbane helping children and families in crises.

Announcing the appointment after last night's university council meeting held on the Gold Coast, Chancellor Leneen Forde said Professor O'Connor had an impressive record in academic and managerial leadership.

Curtin University has the worst student:staff ratio

CURTIN University has dismissed claims by the Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee that it has the worst student-staff ratio in Western Australia, accusing the peak body of getting its sums wrong.

The Curtin complaint has led the AVCC to concede there is a problem with the tables.

Last week the AVCC released a report showing Curtin student-staff ratios had increased by 50 per cent from 14.8 students per teacher in 1996 to 22.1 in 2003.



Curtin pro vice-chancellor (academic services) Jane den Hollander said the AVCC report had counted the university's 7000 overseas students but had not taken into account its overseas staff.

"Now 7000 students in 33,000 makes a heck of a difference in staff-student ratio," Professor den Hollander said.

"So in fact our ratio in 2003 was 18.5, not 22.1, so our increase is 25 per cent, which in the WA scenario is quite good - it's not as bad as two other institutions," she said, referring to Edith Cowan University's 48 per cent increase and Murdoch University's 27 per cent increase.

University of Canberra axes financially unviable courses

urther course cuts are likely at the University of Canberra after the axing of the financially unviable Bachelor of Engineering degree for new students from the start of next year.

A decade-long fall in enrolments and the university's desire to direct resources to more viable courses led to the cut, pro vice- chancellor Andrew Cheetham says.

Other courses may also have to be discontinued, Professor Cheetham said.



He would not specify which courses were being examined but was sure that engineering would not be the last to be cut.

In an e-mail to staff on Friday, Vice-Chancellor Roger Dean said decisions such as the one to axe engineering were "a necessary part of balancing competing priorities of the university."

The decision would strengthen software engineering and information systems areas of the university.

ACT unis receive top marks

The Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Canberra (UC) have received five-star ratings in the latest edition of the Good Universities Guide.

ANU scored particularly well in areas of prestige and research, while UC got top marks in graduate employment, flexible entry and research.



The guide is widely considered to be a key tool for high school and college graduates when choosing their tertiary education.