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Top 100 Asia University Rankings

The Research team at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China has finally come out with the 2004 Top 100 Asia University Rankings. There has been a tie bertween many universities and therefore, their rankings have been given in the form of a range. The Australian universities featuring in the Top 100 list have been mentioned below -

Rank 3 - Australian National University

Rank 6 - University of Melbourne

Rank 9-17 - University of Queensland

Rank 9-17 - University of Sydney

Rank 18-21 - University of New South Wales

Rank 18-21 - University of Western Australia

Rank 22-37 - Monash University

Rank 22-37 - Adelaide University

Rank 38-66 - University of Tasmania

Rank 38-66 - Macquarie University

Rank 38-66 - University of Newcastle

Rank 67-89 - La Trobe University

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Top 12 Australian Universities

These rankings are based on the Top 100 Asia Pacific rankings 2004 released by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.

Rank 1 - Australian National University, Canberra
Rank 2 - University of Melbourne
Rank 3 - University of Queensland, Brisbane
Rank 3 - University of Sydney
Rank 4 - University of New South Wales, Sydney
Rank 4 - University of Western Australia, Perth
Rank 5 - Monash University, Melbourne
Rank 5 - Adelaide University
Rank 6 - University of Tasmania, Hobart
Rank 6 - Macquarie University, Sydney
Rank 7 - University of Newcastle
Rank 8 - La Trobe University, Melbourne

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IDP Education Australia plans institute in Qatar

IDP Education Australia, an independent organisation set up by 37 universities in Australia is exploring the possibility of setting up a higher education institute in Qatar, in association with an Australian university.

This was disclosed by Sanjeev Varma, director of IDP's regional office in Dubai, while talking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of an education roadshow organised by IDP at the InterContinental Hotel yesterday.

The roadshow featuring 17 universities from Australia drew a large number of students and parents from various nationalities, who received advice and counselling on the higher education opportunities in Australia.

IDP currently runs two higher education institutes in the UAE in collaboration with two noted Australian universities. "We are exploring the possibility of establishing a similar institute in Qatar and had preliminary discussions with the Qatar Foundation in this regard," Varma said.

"Bio-medicine and environment are the two subjects that we would offer in Qatar. However, it is too early to go to the details since the discussions are only at the initial stages," he added.

IDP is the leading independent education organisation in Australia dealing in international students. Headquartered in Canberra, Australia, it operates through its 90 offices spread across the globe, Varma said.

IDP has recently set up its offices in Doha which is located at the West Corner Centre, Midmac Bridge on the Salwa Road

Varma said, the number of Gulf-based students studying in Australia has gone up from a mere 200 to 2,000 over the past five years. About 60 per cent of these students are nationals while the rest come from different nationalities, especially the Indian subcontinent.

Nationals mostly seek admission in engineering and health sciences courses while expatriates prefer business, engineering and IT, he noted.

More than 300 students from Qatar are currently enrolled in various Australian universities, of which more than 40 per cent are Qatari nationals. "We are expecting another 250 students in the near future," he added.

The participating universities at yesterday's roadshow were Griffith University, Curtin University of Technology, Monash University, University of Technology, Sydney, University of Canberra, La Trobe University, Victoria University of Technology, RMIT University, University of South Australia, SABIT, The University of Western Australia, Bond University, Study Group, ICTE/The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, Canning and Tuart College, and University of Wollongong.

Martin Crawford, administration manager of Bond University, the only private university that took part in the roadshow said, the university had about 70 students from the Gulf, including four from Qatar. "This is the fifth IDP roadshow in which I am attending in Doha. The number of students from Qatar seeking admission in Australian universities are growing steadily," he said.

"We have a large number of students from the US, China, Malaysia and India," he added.

SOURCE - The Peninsula
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ANU boasts of world best practice after review

The Australian National University is conducting some of the world's best research and leaving its peers behind in the pursuit of quality, an independent review has shown.

Almost 30 per cent of ANU's published research rates in the world's top 5 per cent on quality and more than two-thirds scores in the top 25 per cent, according to a review by an international team of 285 academics.

The team's report, ANU - university with a difference, was released yesterday. It says on a per-academic basis, the university's staff publish more research than other Australian universities.

The publication rate exceeds both the national average and that of the Group of Eight, headed by the ANU's vice-chancellor, Ian Chubb. The group includes Australia's most prestigious universities.

In an important measure of quality, the report finds the rate at which ANU's research is cited in academic publications exceeds the national and the Group of Eight average - which suggests it is outdoing its peers in influencing global scholarship.

Professor Chubb said yesterday that ANU was the best university in the country. He said he would use the report, which cost the university about $520,000, to promote his institution.

The review is the first comprehensive international comparison undertaken by an Australian university, and is in line with the Federal Government's push to establish quality benchmarks for universities. The Education Minister, Brendan Nelson, has argued quality benchmarks would help academics, students and industry to directly compare the strengths and weaknesses of institutions.

The report finds the university has the capacity to boost numbers of postgraduate students and calls on the Government to remove a cap on how many it can enrol.

It notes that ANU's research strengths are largely due to its unique funding arrangements, which automatically give it a block grant to maintain the research-only Institute of Advanced Studies. Other universities must compete for research funding. The report calls on the Government to "sustain and progressively increase" the institute's block grant.

However, some of the methods behind the glowing findings have been questioned. The principal policy adviser at Griffith University, Gavin Moodie, said the reviewers had not compared like with like before declaring a large proportion of ANU's research in the top 5 per cent internationally.

Academics gave their best five research works from the past decade to the review team, which judged the research against all international research in its field.

"You're finding that this academic's top 5 per cent of publications are in the top 5 per cent of the field - what a surprise," Mr Moodie said. It would have been fairer if the review had compared the best publications from each of the ANU academics with the best of their local and overseas peers.

Such an approach could be in the pipeline, because the report recommends that "ANU develops reciprocal arrangements with other research-intensive universities internationally, explicitly to benchmark the quality of its education".

Higher education institutions are currently assessed by the Australian Universities Quality Agency. It requires universities to be audited every five years.

Although its mission statement requires it to "report on the relative standards of the Australian higher education system" and "assist in improving the academic quality", it looks at the management of universities rather than quality of research or scholarship.

The overall review was chaired by the University of Western Australia's vice-chancellor, Deryck Schreuder, while the research quality panel was chaired by Harvard University's dean of Arts and Sciences, Jeremy Knowles.

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RMIT and VUT staff at strike

Lectures were cancelled and picket lines were set up at RMIT and Victoria University yesterday as academic and general staff walked off in protest at stalled enterprise bargaining negotiations.

The union representing staff at Victoria University accused the university of withholding $5 million in additional revenue from international students designated for teaching and facilities.

Victoria University staff are pushing for a 14 per cent wage rise spread over two years, a $1000 increase to base wage levels for full-time and casual staff and improved working conditions.

The university has offered a 15 per cent pay increase and one-off $1000 bonus payment.

The president of the National Tertiary Education Union's Victoria University branch, Justin Bare, said the university's offer was conditional on the deregulation of staff teaching loads and Victoria University had the capacity to tackle staff working conditions and pay.

"By withholding funds from improving staff working conditions and staff pay and improving student services, the university undermines its own capacity to provide quality education," he said.

But university vice-chancellor Elizabeth Harman said claims of money being withheld were "complete nonsense".

She said the university's pay offer recognised the achievement of staff. "The offer is now more generous than agreements already accepted by the NTEU, for example, the Swinburne package of 15 per cent and a $500 contingent payment."

Mr Bare said that despite surpluses, teaching was suffering as the university did not have enough full-time staff. Victoria University's own documents revealed that 43 per cent of the university's academic staff were casuals, he said.

An independent review of the university's academic policies and practices, released last December, warned that "the use of sessional staff - could lead to serious loss of reputation".

Professor Harman said all of the review's recommendations were being implemented.

RMIT has offered staff a 15 per cent wage increase by 2006, with 26 weeks paid maternity leave. But the university's NTEU branch said staff wanted a more generous wage deal, as well as regulations on workloads, as part of the offer.

A recent union survey of overtime worked by staff at RMIT found that, on average, staff were working 27 per cent more hours than they were paid to work.

Last week, Monash University staff struck for 24 hours. The University of Melbourne recently reached agreement with its staff for a salary rise of up to 18.5 per cent.

SOURCE - The Age
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Latest International Student Enrolment Data - Huge increase in Indian Students Enrolment

In General

Overall enrolments increased by 7% in the seven months to July 2004 when compared to the same period last year. Commencements grew 4%. These figures indicate no change from last month.

Sector level

At the sectoral level, higher education has shown the most growth with a 12.2% increase in total year to date enrolments while the ELICOS sector now shows a slight negative growth (-0.5%) compared to zero growth reported last month. The schools (2.6%) and VET sectors (2.8%) also grew.

Higher education and Vocational education total commencements for the seven months to July have increased by 9% respectively, while Schools commencements have declined by 7% and ELICOS commencements have declined by 1%.

Nationality level

At the nationality level, India has continued to grow strongly in 2004 with a 50% increase on 2003 numbers. AEI understands that this growth is driven by Indian demand for quality education outpacing its domestic supply, and increasing market share of Australia (which is assisted by declining USA enrolments due in part to their visa changes). China and South Korea have continued to show strong growth in total enrolments, at 20% and 10% respectively.

India (58%), China (19%) and South Korea (7%) have recorded strong commencement figures also.

Indonesia (-10%) Singapore (-8%) and Thailand (-4%) continue to show a decline in enrolments.

Outside the top 10 countries, several significant markets have shown encouraging growth: Bangladesh (31%), Canada (26%) Brazil (18%), Mexico (16%) and Germany (21%). The data also indicates encouraging growth from medium markets in Africa - Botswana (16%), Zambia (32%) and Zimbabwe (13%). Enrolments from 14 Middle East and Gulf States are showing good growth (23%) although the total number of enrolments from this region is 4,127.

Detailed statistical breakdowns based on nationality, sector, field of study, gender, State and Territory, and public or private provider, are available on the AEI website.

As educational institutions and the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs continually update earlier data, when AEI makes a new release it also updates its data for previous months in the current year. Consequently data for previous months of 2004 on the AEI website will be updated.

The new data can be viewed at:

For further information, please contact:

Mr Chris Warren

International Research & Analysis Unit
Market Development Branch
GPO Box 9880
Canberra ACT

Phone : +61 2 6240 7188
Fax: +61 2 6123 6746

SOURCE - AEI The Government of Australia
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Formulating 130,000 theses for your perusal

AN online directory of all research theses and dissertations from Australian universities will soon be available to the world.

After pushing for the improved database for more than 15 years, the patience of postgraduate students and their supervisors has been rewarded: the federal Government has announced $500,000 for the job.

The new database will use the Australian Digital Theses Program, which is already in place but only has links to about 2600 theses in digital form.

The new version will have records of up to 130,000 theses and dissertations - some will be in digital form and those that are not will be linked to an order form where the database user can order a copy of the research.

Anyone with access to the internet will be able to use the database.

ADT policy group chairman Alex Byrne said the new database would be an enormous benefit to Australia's researchers and would put them on the world stage.

"This project will multiply the benefits of the Australian Digital Theses Program by enabling the work of even more Australian researchers to be available worldwide," Dr Byrne said.

"We already know that many have benefited through offers of jobs and opportunities for research collaboration as a result of their theses being available via the existing ADT."

A team of librarians from across the nation, led by four librarians from the University of NSW, have been working on the database and hope to have it up and running next year.

UNSW librarian Andrew Wells said the online database - which will be freely available to anyone who wishes to access it - was part of a worldwide movement in the past decade to set up comprehensive and easily available records of research.

"In the past theses were something that were kept in the dusty basements of libraries that were almost impossible to find," Mr Wells said.

"This puts researchers and their research in touch with the rest of the world, which can only promote better collaboration, and it benefits the general public as well."

Mr Wells said it had been frustrating for Australian postgraduate students and academics in the past because they had to trawl through hundreds of different databases in their search for particular research.

"Now it will all be available in the one place," Mr Wells said.

The University of Canterbury in New Zealand will also be part of the database, which will go back as far as 30 years and include the title of the research, the author, the degree, where it was awarded and an abstract.

The eighth Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Conference will be held in Sydney next year.

SOURCE - The Australian
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USQ boss to open Dubai campus

UNIVERSITY of Southern Queensland vice-chancellor Bill Lovegrove has headed to Dubai to open the university's controversial new campus.

While he is there the three staff at the centre of the imbroglio over the establishment of the Dubai campus remain on forced leave.

The HES understands Professor Lovegrove will attend anniversary celebrations for the education hub, Knowledge Village, while he is there.

The new campus comprises two levels of a multi-storey building inside Knowledge Village.

USQ Toowoomba staff were told the vice-chancellor would be away for two weeks but were not told why.

The usqindubai website says he will open the campus on September 26 - this weekend.

The initial agreement for the campus go-ahead was signed in January this year and posted on the university's internal contracts website in February.

It is understood Malcolm McKay - one of the staff on leave - was acting vice-chancellor at the time.

Documents obtained by the HES reveal that Professor Lovegrove knew about an operation in Dubai in April.

But it is not clear whether he knew about the scale of the venture and whether it was, in fact, a full-blown campus.

Late last month three senior staff were marched off campus by security, over a dispute about whether proper processes were followed to set up the campus.

Professor Lovegrove only learned about the Dubai operations through a newspaper advertisement.

The university council gave the green light to the venture the week before last, on Professor Lovegrove's recommendation.

Since then it has tried to stem the negative publicity surrounding the venture by talking up Dubai prospects.

Meanwhile, at a staff assembly last week, the vice-chancellor confirmed USQ would not be renewing its contract with technology platform, NexEd, which delivers hundreds of its courses overseas.

As reported in the HES, USQ has a 30 per cent stake in the company but at the end of the year will switch to a single learning management system for all courses.

SOURCE - The Australian
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UWS students take building fight to the Supreme Court

STUDENTS at the University of Western Sydney have hired a Queens Counsel to take to the Supreme Court their fight against the institution for buildings and services they have controlled for decades.

Sydney QC John McCarthy will take up the students' case in the court's Equity Division next month for an adjudication if the university fails to give an assurance that it won't make a further claim against the students.

The university has given the students a month to provide documents that prove they own five contested buildings among the university's 550.

The students say a UWS company, UWS Connect, is moving in on services traditionally provided by their association, including bookshops, stationery sales, bars and food halls.

Students Association spokesman Jason Markwick said the university wanted to take ownership of buildings constructed and paid for by student associations for many decades.

"A lot of these facilities have been built by the Students Association, who are older than UWS itself," he said.

"We have been making investments for our members for decades."

Mr Markwick accused the university of asset snatching.

A university spokesman said UWS Connect, established earlier this year, was a not-for-profit organisation that would provide better services than the existing "very patchy" ones.

But students scoff at the new commercial entity's claim, pointing out that a UWS Connect pie costs $4.50, compared with $2 for a Students Association pie.

"It's quite clear it's a profit motive for the university to take on these businesses," Mr Markwick said.

"They didn't discuss or wish to sit down around the table and discuss their proposals; instead, what they did was put out to tender in a bidding process what is effectively our legal space and assets.

"We simply got an email saying, 'Would you like to bid for your own space and assets?' We were like: 'You're kidding."'

The deadline for tender applications passed last Friday.

The spokesman said the university had asked the association to provide documents proving ownership of buildings on campuses at Parramatta, Bankstown, Campbelltown and Hawkesbury.

"They haven't as yet," the spokesman said.

In 2000, a university restructure amalgamated three streams of administration in six campuses into one central organisation. The university suggested the eight then existing student associations do the same.

After an external audit of the student bodies last year showed that the associations "had problems with financial management, with governance, with operating within their constitution and problems with elections", UWS took a harder line, according to university secretary Rhonda Hawkins. "The university said: 'We need to be stronger in encouraging them to come together."'

The eight became three: the postgraduate association, the (undergraduate) students association and UWS Connect, established in January. The university proposed 50-50 ownership between UWS Connect and the students.

Ms Hawkins said: "If [Connect] ever does make any money, that will be poured back into providing better services or cheaper costs."

On the contest over the buildings, Ms Hawkins said: "The audit said that nowhere is there an agreement between the student associations and the university about the ownership and maintenance of any buildings.

"The association say that they built and bought the buildings; we have no evidence of that at all."

SOURCE - The Australian
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2,000 Gulf students heading Down Under

Around 2,000 students from the Gulf, comprising 60 per cent Gulf nationals, are expected to move to Australia this year in pursuit of bachelor, master and doctoral degrees as well as professional education, said Sanjeev Verma of IDP, organisers of Education Australia Road Show in Dubai, yesterday. Mr Verma pointed out that around 1,500 students from the region were enrolled in various Australian institutions last year, an indication of increasing demand for Australian education in the region. "Interest in Australia as a potential higher education destination hit its stride five years ago and there has been no looking back," +Khaleej Times+ quoted Mr Verma as saying at the two-day road show held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dubai.
The increase in students seeking to study in Australia is also because people are now aware of Australia as an education destination and through lots of referrals made by word of mouth. Apart from Australia being more competitive in tuition fees than the United States and United Kingdom since most universities are State owned, Mr Verma pointed out that Australia perhaps is the only country, which offers double degree simultaneously to the students. He said an average three-year undergraduate degree costs $10,000 per annum, with engineering and medical programmes costing slightly more. Student at the graduate and research levels are also eligible for performance-based scholarships. Australia also offers a comprehensive vocational education and training sector (VET) that offers diplomas and advanced diplomas focussed on occupations for an annual cost of $6,000. Around 25 Australian institutions are participating in the IDP Australia Education Roadshow held earlier this week in Abu Dhabi, and opened in Dubai yesterday. Among them, several institutions are participating for the first time. The only private university participating at the show is Bond University, Queensland, which hopes to attract a large number of students this year. According to the university official, around 50 students from the Gulf are currently enrolled at BU, of which 15 are UAE nationals.An official from the Australian Consulate in Dubai also present this year at the show to assist students with visa procedures, said: "Visa procedures to Australia is simple for the students and does not take more than 28 days, provided the student meets all the immigration requisites.'' ''Besides, visa is now linked to attendance of the student to ensure that students take up their studies seriously." "Although private, we still remain competitive in terms of tuition fees with the US and UK institutions," he said. Meanwhile, eight hundred students hoping to pursue their education in Australia have checked out more than 25 Australian colleges and universities at the Education Australia road show 2004 this week, according to +Gulf News+ report.The road show, held at Abu Dhabi's Sheraton Hotel and Dubai's Crowne Plaza, featured information on more than 25 Australian colleges and universities as well as short-term vocational training.Counsellors from IDP Education Australia, which played host to the event, were on hand to help direct potential students to the right university. The event was organised with support from the Australian Consulate in Dubai. "The response has been very good in Abu Dhabi and Dubai," said Sanjeev Verma, director of IDP Gulf Region. "The response was positive and many students want to continue their studies in Australia. Australia offers great value for money and without compromising on quality of education."


University of Melbourne launches new school

THE University of Melbourne launched Creswick's new School of Forest and Ecosystems Science yesterday, billing the campus as the nation's premier forestry research centre.

The school is part of the university's new Land and Food resources faculty, and is Australia's largest forest research and education school.

More than 100 staff will work at the site providing a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in forest and wood sciences.

Formerly known as the school of forestry, the new school has recruited 50 research employees from the Department of Sustainability and Environment, 17 of whom are based at the university's research centre in Heidelberg.

Vice-chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Professor Kwong Lee Dow, and deputy secretary for land stewardship and biodiversity for the DSE, Kevin Love, officially launched the school.

Both praised the value of the partnership between the university and the DSE.

The School of Forest and Ecosystems will also take part in three Co-operative Research Centres - the CRC for Wood Innovations, the Bush Fire CRC and the CRC for Catchment Hydrology.

"This school will have a huge academic, research, and industry strength," Prof Dow said.

Mr Love said the school would research environmental issues important to both the future of the region and the nation.

"The research here will make sure we understand how forest ecosystems work and how we can optimise the way we offset the greenhouse effect," Mr Love said.

Interim head of the new school, Professor Malcolm Hickey, said the two new degrees on offer were an exciting part of the school's launch.

Next year the school will offer a new bachelor of forest science degree and an advanced diploma of wood products management.

"We tried to make them (the new degrees) capture a broader range of activities and potential employment for students," Prof Hickey said.

SOURCE - Ballarat Times
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University of Sydney lures students to live and work in regional areas

Vet students from Sydney University are testing their skills in rural New South Wales, as part of a plan to encourage them to live and work in country areas.

They're spending four weeks with Rural Land Protection Board vets, and also being trained in livestock disease surveillance.

The district vet at Wagga Wagga, Tony Morton, says it's taking city students out of their comfort zone, and encouraging them to consider a job in the country.

"You're exposing people to an area of veterinary science that they've got no knowledge of; and when people have no knowledge of an area, they tend to look at a job ad and think that wouldn't be for me, because they're full of prejudice and ignorance.

"The most outstanding achievement of this whole scheme is that students have commented extremely favourably on a Rural Land Protection Board experience and that's got to open their eyes to that as a potential area for work."

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Racist group opens branch at University of Queensland

A PRO-WHITE student group accused of links to American neo-nazis will set up a branch at the University of Queensland.

The Patriotic Youth League has run an "Australian unis for Australian students" campaign at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, which has coincided with attacks on foreign students.

The PYL has spoken out against foreign students, claiming they take away places from Australian citizens.

An address which appears on the PYL's website is the same as that listed for the Australian branch of the US group Volksfront, which denies the Holocaust took place, opposes mixed marriages and has bought land in the US for "Aryan living".

Universities and the Federal Government have blasted PYL's claims and say that because foreign students pay full fees, they displace no one and inject much-needed cash.

Organisers declined The Sunday Mail's requests to interview their new Queensland representatives.

However, Victorian representative Luke Connors confirmed the groups would target UQ.

"We have quite a bit of support and monetary donations from people in Queensland," he said.

While he denied any PYL involvement in the attack on an African student at the University of Newcastle, he said the student had been "outspoken against us from the start".

He stressed the group was against violence but admitted similar attacks could occur at UQ.

The Sunday Mail tracked a Brisbane man believed to be involved in setting up a PYL branch.

The man, who says he is a former employee of UQ from the '70s, said they wanted to "offset the radical loony left".

SOURCE - The Sunday Mail QLD
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The University of Tasmania (UTAS) is committed to excellent teaching and has a strong reputation internationally. Graduates of the University enjoy outstanding success in their chosen fields. Many have reached senior levels in business and government, with some being numbered among the ranks of governors, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, professors, and leading scientists and artists.

UTAS offers a pleasant, safe, and affordable environment for study. It has two major campuses located close to Tasmania's main cities, Hobart and Launceston. UTAS provides modern computer laboratories for course participants to use. An extensive library is available on each campus, as well as restaurants and other food outlets. Career advice and specific services for international students are also available.

About 15,000 students currently attend UTAS, including 1,500 international students. With 700 academic staff, lecturers and tutors are readily available for students to consult. At UTAS, face-to-face teaching is emphasised meaning that course participants are given opportunities to learn from each other as well as from the academic staff. Discussions and group and individual presentations are considered to be important modes of learning. Learning is also supported through internet-based material and quality printed information.

Commerce at UTAS

UTAS has a highly regarded Commerce Faculty. Through its membership in the prestigious Australian National Business School, the UTAS Commerce Faculty builds and maintains important relationships with other member universities. UTAS offers a contemporary Master of Business Administration program as well as a Master of International Business and a Master of Marketing. These programs are available at Certificate, Diploma, Master, and Master with Specialisation level. This gives participants the flexibility of undertaking four units, eight units, twelve units, or sixteen units of coursework.

The UTAS Faculty of Commerce also offers a Master of Professional Accounting and a Master of Professional Accounting with Specialisation. These programs enable participants without prior academic qualifications in accounting to specialise in accounting and gain professional recognition in this field. Programs through UTAS are available on a part-time or full-time basis. The new MPA and MPAS programs offered by the Faculty of Commerce also have received an overwhelming response from local and international students and the professional accounting bodies. UTAS has got its MPA and MPAS programs accredited by CPA, ICAA and NIA.

UTAS MBA Program

Managers and professionals with a bachelor's degree and at least two years' experience in business are offered direct entry into the MBA program. Participants complete 12 units of coursework. Core units of essential learning build up participants' skills across the broad spectrum of business. Elective units allow participants to specialise in areas of particular interest.

Course participants with outstanding results can enrol in a research project. This provides an opportunity to design and undertake significant research study of substantial importance to their organisation. To be eligible to enrol in the research project, students are normally required to have an average mark of at least 65.

UTAS has also started MBA Specialisation which is meant for students without any work experience.

Sydney has only 2 years' water left - report by UTS

SYDNEY will run out of water in 118 weeks if dam levels keep falling and the drought continues.

Utilities Minister Frank Sartor yesterday said Sydney's dams were at only 43.1 per cent capacity and the city had just over two years of water left.

He said the crisis could see even tougher restrictions could be brought in by the end of October.

The city needs a week of heavy rain in the Warragamba catchment for dams to return to pre-restriction levels.

All the rain of the past month has fallen on the coast, not the 16,000sqm Warragamba catchment.

Experts yesterday warned there was little chance of above-average rainfall in the next year as the drought continues and forecasters predict another El Nino weather pattern is on the way.

"That's the absolute worst case," Mr Sartor told an Upper House budget estimates inquiry of the outlook for Sydney's water storage levels.

"When Sydney's dams are full we have four years of water supply.

"They will dry up in up to 118 weeks if there is zero rain and the dam levels drop by 0.5 per cent a week."

Warragamba Dam is at a record 40.1 per cent, dropping another 0.3 per cent in the past week.

University of Technology water expert Professor Derek Eamus said it would take at least five years to fill Sydney's dams and water restrictions would be in place until then.

"It's not 'will it rain in the next two years', it's 'will it rain enough to absorb evaporation, to cover increased usage and to recharge the dams'," Professor Eamus told The Daily Telegraph.

Forecasts for the next 12 months are for below-average rainfall for Sydney.

The Weather Bureau forecasts there is only a 50 per cent chance of Sydney receiving its average rainfall levels by the end of this year.

"We have cut water usage levels to as much as people are able or willing to conserve," Professor Eamus said.

SOURCE - The Age
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HEADLINES - Adelaide's days are numbered as per the ALP Immigration policy

ALP has announced its immigration policy. According to it, cities with a population of less than 500,000 would be considered as a regional city for immigration purposes.

There has already been quite alot of debate as to why the Coalition Government has included Adelaide in the regional australia list. It should be noted that Adelaide's population is more than 1 million. According to Mark Latham, the opposition leader, Adelaide is sucking all potential migrants whereas the smaller cities continue to face an acute shortage of skilled migrants. This is resulting in a lopsided growth of Australia. ALP is all set to make this amendment as soon as it comes to power.

All this makes Adelaide's removal from the regional list even more certain.

SOURCE - ALP Immigration Policy
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University of Tasmania to host International Accounting Conference

The International Conference to celebrate, promote and support teaching excellence in Accounting is being organised by the School of Accounting and Finance at the University of Tasmania, Hobart Campus. The International Conference is scheduled for February 6th, 2005.

The conference will include international plenary speakers, parallel sessions and practical workshops. It will be held in Hobart on its spectacular waterfront, at the Grand Chancellor Hotel.


Australia gains in battle for Asian students

It ranks fourth in OECD ranking of foreign students and is praised for increasing its market share

Australia is gaining on the United States and Britain in the global battle to attract Asia's most ambitious young people as students.

A report published on Tuesday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows that Australia managed to secure a 10 per cent share of all foreign students choosing to study in member countries.

Most of the overseas students in Australia are from Asia, with most of them coming from countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

In the overall rankings for foreign students, Australia was beaten into fourth place by the US, which still dominates by attracting 31 per cent of overseas talent, and by Britain and Germany, which are in second and third place respectively.

Overall numbers of foreign students continued to rise dramatically in all four countries during 1998 to 2002, with a more than 34 per cent rise in those who chose to travel to OECD countries for higher education.
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But researchers singled out Australia's success in increasing its market share to the point where its exports of educational services ranked third in terms of services exports in 2001, at 13.1 per cent of the total figure.

And while the US retained its lead in the rankings for foreign students, its lead over other industrialised countries in the 30-member OECD is continuing to shrink, researchers said.

'They (other OECD countries) are catching up with you in the proportion that finish (high) school and the proportion that go to college,' Mr Barry McGaw, the OECD's Paris-based director of education, said at the National Press Club in Washington on Monday.

He said the US spends more on education than the other nations it was rated against, but added: 'They do not need to catch up with you on quality, because many of them are already ahead.'

British university chiefs praised the Australian government's policies to spend A$129 million (S$152 million) a year promoting its institutions throughout the Asian region, calling for similar action from the British government.

'We are very significant foreign currency earners, and should be treated as such,' said Professor Ivor Crewe, president of Britain's university association.

Students from China still prefer to study in the US, which educates 34.8 per cent of them.

Britain and Australia are fighting for second place, attracting 9.6 and 9.5 per cent, respectively.

OECD experts said increased student mobility had numerous benefits for host countries, including the creation of intercultural links, intellectual and business networks and helping improve curricula quality. -- Financial Times,New York Times

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Boost to university placements under Labor's ICT policy

Opposition IT spokeswoman Senator Kate Lundy announced the creation of 20,000 new university places and 20,000 TAFE places each year by 200/9 as part of Labor's ICT policy launch today.

Lundy said Labor will establish a competitive $450 million fund to encourage universities' transition to 21st century learning institutions. In total Labor will provide $2.34 billion over four years for Australian tertiary education.

This is in addition to an extra $100 million to lift general capital ICT infrastructure in schools which brings funding for capital ICT infrastructure in government schools to a total of $440 million.

Lundy also announced a 10-year industry strategy for software and digital content.

"The global market for software and applications is enormous and is worth more than US182 billion but despite the strong performance of our local software industry our share is relatively small. A Labor government will focus on growing this share," the Senator said adding that open source software was particularly dynamic with Australia having a higher proportion of open source developers per capita than any other country.

Lundy said Labor will support ICT skills development and will provide funding of $200,000 for the research necessary to determine the ICT skills requirements for the medium to long term in Australia.

"Unemployment among ICT workers in 2003 was at four per cent double that of all professionals; this is unacceptably high," she said adding that Labor will also review current skilled migration programs.

This is in addition to allocating $9 million for the establishment of a new multimedia design and technology centre in Wollongong by 2008.

"Spatial information has a strong relationship with software and digital content. That's why Labor will review the existing Spatial Information Action Plan with a view to strengthening the government's commitment to this area," she said.

Finally, Lundy announced a $70 million investment in an Australian film and televsion blueprint which will be linked with the software and digital content industry strategy.

SOURCE - Compuworld Australia
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Monash staff strike over pay

Staff have formed picket lines at Monash University's Clayton campus in Melbourne after a decision to stop work for 24 hours over a pay dispute involving its six Victorian campuses.

The action has caused traffic delays in the area and will result in some classes being cancelled.

The action stems from a failure by staff and management to resolve an ongoing enterprise bargaining dispute.

Staff have been negotiating university management for the past 12 months with no resolution.

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), which represents more than 1,700 staff at Monash University, said staff were asking for an 18 per cent pay rise over three years and a flat rate payment of $1,000 while the university had offered 15.5 per cent and a payment of $500.

NTEU Victorian division state secretary Matthew McGowan said the pay offer was not in line with other universities.

"We are hoping the university comes back with a better offer," Mr McGowan said today.

He said staff were also concerned about the disproportionate number of executive and casual staff employed at the university, and increasing workloads.

The union will seek to meet with the executive over the next few days to resolve the issue.

Monash University said in a statement that it had reached agreement with the NTEU on all issues except the salary increase.

"Monash is offering a guaranteed salary increase of more than 16 per cent (including the lump sum), with the final instalment payable by 30 June, 2006," it said.

"This offer is greater than increases already agreed to at other Victorian universities."

The university said it would continue to negotiate with the union.

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Call for more CQU enterprise talks

The National Tertiary Education Union is calling for enterprise bargaining negotiations with the Central Queensland University (CQU) to resume.

State secretary Howard Guilles says it is time to start talking, after negotiations stopped in mid-July to allow CQU's new vice-chancellor to overview the situation.

Mr Guilles says all of Queensland's universities pledged support to staff at CQU on Friday.

He says employees need to know their future.

"Morale among some areas is low," he said.

"There are obligations on both the union and management to discuss job losses, to have negotiations on how to handle job losses.

"We know there is going to be job losses, it's not something that anyone is shying away from."

SOURCE - ABC Regional
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Axed tutorials anger Griffith University staff

STAFF and students at Griffith University's Gold Coast campus have complained that the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science is being short-changed, with tutorials abolished and laboratory classes reduced.

Tutorials have been axed in subjects such as biomechanics, biochemistry and maths for clinical sciences while laboratory classes on the biochemistry of exercise were reduced from 10 to three.

A petition circulated earlier this year and signed by about 100 staff and students claimed only a fraction of Federal Government funding and HECS fees was spent on teaching.

The petition said many courses had been allocated only $7 to $40 per student in tutoring. "This is despite students incurring a HECS liability of between $471 and $670 for these same courses, and despite a Federal Government contribution of approximately $11,000 per student per year (which staff say amounts to around $1300 a student for each course studied)," the petition says.

"At a time when GU is positioning itself as a "Top 10" university, it is appropriate that the rhetoric of 'Quality@Griffith', especially as it relates to teaching, be backed by an adequate financial commitment."

Staff said yesterday the petition, sent to vice-chancellor Professor Glyn Davis in May, had not brought about any improvement, although he had acknowledged to staff that "only a mug would defend the current budget system as ideal".

Professor Davis's memo said the problem "reflects a broader political issue with no obvious solution in sight".

In a memo to Professor Davis, the head of the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Dr Lewis Adams, said the only options were increased group sizes, reducing the number of small group sessions or asking staff to do more teaching when their promotion depended primarily on their research activity.

"Under these circumstances it is difficult to sustain an argument that the educational quality of our courses is not suffering," Dr Adams said.

University pro vice-chancellor, Colin McAndrew, rejected the concerns of some exercise science staff that the university's new medicine and dentistry courses were drawing resources from other areas.

He said the Faculty of Health Science had overspent its casual tutoring budget by about $100,000 in 2003 and had fallen short in the number of fee-paying postgraduate students enrolled and had been given two years to rebalance the books.

SOURCE - N E W S Network
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USQ set to leap off platform

THE company that provides the technology platform to deliver hundreds of University of Southern Queensland subjects across the world is likely to sever its links with USQ at the end of the year.

The university has signalled its contract with NextEd will not be renewed when it expires in December.

It is the latest controversy to engulf the university, which is still being rocked by the saga of its new Dubai campus.

USQ has a 30 per cent share in NextEd, a Hong Kong-based company that has servers in several countries delivering e-learning for education and business organisations.

USQ vice-chancellor Bill Lovegrove and NextEd chief executive Terry Hilsberg refused to comment yesterday. Mr Hilsberg said as a shareholder and customer it was up to USQ to comment; USQ said as a private company it was up to NextEd.

The university eventually issued a statement saying it would streamline its online delivery to operate a "single learning management system" for all courses, which would be in place by the end of December.

The university uses NextEd and one other main platform to deliver its courses. In Australia NextEd, which was formed in 1998, has offices at USQ and in Sydney. It is also a partner in the Global University Alliance, which delivers fee-paying courses online across the world.

It is understood USQ rejected an offer from NextEd to buy it out. USQ, which in 2000-01 was Australia's University of the Year for e-learning, has invested heavily in its online delivery.

This was also part of the pitch that won it a place inside Dubai's Knowledge Village education precinct.

About three-quarters of its students study externally.

The USQ council endorsed the move to a single technology platform. At a special meeting last week, it also gave the green light to the new Dubai campus, which is due to open later this month.

Three senior staff are on leave while the Dubai afair is investigated.

The main sticking point has been the process for establishing the campus, which Professor Lovegrove and the council learned about only three weeks ago.

One of the suspended staff, deputy vice-chancellor Malcolm McKay, is a director of NextEd.

After last week's council meeting, the university tried to talk up the Dubai venture. "I am excited by the lifelong learning opportunities that we will be able to offer the people of the Gulf region via the university's internationally recognised, flexibly delivered degree and diploma programs," Professor Lovegrove said in a statement.

After previously citing "anomalies in contractual arrangements", he was satisfied that "due process was now in place".

An Australian Universities Quality Agency audit of USQ in 2002 pointed to problems with its national and international partnerships.

It said USQ needed to better manage these arrangements, particularly the way it assessed its prospective partners.

"The audit panel was also somewhat surprised to note the limited number of personnel involved in the decision-making and review processes," the audit report said.

Like other Australian universities, the USQ had entered into several contracts with agents in other countries. "USQ's experiences include a mix of highly successful and somewhat unsuccessful partnerships," the report said.

SOURCE - The Australian newspaper
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Indonesia studies facing axe

AUSTRALIA is in danger of running out of Indonesia specialists just as their skills are most needed, with academics warning of a perilous decline in Indonesian studies at the nation's universities.

Only days before the Australian embassy bombing in Jakarta, the University of Sydney indicated it may not run its Indonesian language program after next year. If the course is axed, the university will join a growing number of institutions that say they cannot fund the poorly attended programs.

A senate inquiry into Australia's relationship with Indonesia recommended in May that Indonesian studies be designated of "strategic national importance" and that the Australian Research Council and the department of education prioritise funding for the area.

A response to the report from the Government was due the week parliament was dissolved for the federal election.

Sydney University dean of arts Stephen Garton said budgetary problems meant it was possible the university would not run the Indonesian language program after 2005. But he said it was a "diabolical" decision to have to make and pointed the finger at the federal Government.

"You should be asking the commonwealth Government about funding of Indonesian studies in the sector when it is in critical decline at almost every university," Professor Garton said.

He said language specialists at the university were talking to other universities in Sydney about collaboration of language schools.

The University of Western Sydney recently announced it would cut its Indonesian language course, leaving only the University of Technology, Sydney, the University of NSW and Sydney University courses.

Negative media images and the downturn in the Indonesian economy are all thought to be responsible for the move away from Indonesian studies.

This year's Senate inquiry was told the number of people studying Indonesian had roughly halved since 1997. In addition, federal funding to schools for Asian languages has dropped since the $240million national Asian languages and studies in Australian schools program was controversially scrapped by federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson in 2002.

The chair of Southeast Asian studies at Perth's Murdoch University and director of the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies David Hill said universities were being run like businesses. As a result, universities were leaving behind areas that were strategically important but did not bring in dollars.

"It doesn't matter to universities what the strategic value of an area would be - if there aren't bums on seats, they are not going to fund it," he said.

Professor Hill said this would result in a situation where in 10 years Australia would be suffering a significant loss of Indonesian specialists.

"If the Government wants people who can work as intelligence operatives, who can monitor conversational Indonesian, the kind of Indonesian that might be used by Jemaah Islamiah, peppered with Arabic phrases, then we've got to train up people who are that good and to do that we've got to be prepared to fund it," he said.

SOURCE - The Australian newspaper
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UNC : Failures threat to recruiting

THE former director of Institut Wira, the University of Newcastle's Malaysian business campus at the centre of a plagiarism scandal, yesterday admitted he felt at the time that a high number of failures would harm recruitment of international students.

Giving evidence before the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry into the handling of plagiarism allegations at the school in 2003, Dato Marimuthu said he felt that "failures should be kept to a minimum". Plagiarism allegations surfaced in January 2003 after lecturer Ian Firns found 15 students had cut and pasted slabs of copy from an internet site and presented it as part of their essays.

Mr Firns gave the students marks of zero for the essays.

In a January 31, 2003, email to then offshore programs director Ron Day, Professor Marimuthu said he "was really concerned about the high number of failures in the course that I taught with Ian Firns".

Professor Marimuthu said he considered the zero mark given as "very harsh" and asked Mr Day to "review these cases a bit more generously".

"If word gets out that it is a very tough course and large numbers of students are failing, then we will have a tough time to recruit students in a highly competitive market."

Under questioning from counsel assisting the commissioner, Chris Ronalds, Professor Marimuthu admitted the recruitment problem was "a primary concern".

"The whole spirit of this email was that we should put strategies in place to see that the failures are kept to a minimum," Professor Marimuthu told the commission.

In a formerly confidential report tabled at the commission on Monday, Mr Firns referred to the marked-down students as "the worst group ... in any class I have ever taken".

The report, by University of Western Sydney academic David Lamond, found "no misconduct on the part of any staff involved in this case".

He found there was misunderstanding about the concept of plagiarism and the procedures to be followed after its detection.

He recommended that business school director Paul Ryder, his deputy Roger Rugimbana, Rachid Zeffane, who re-marked the essays, and Mr Day "undergo remedial training regarding the university's plagiarism policy" and "lead workshops on the policy for the rest of the [business school] staff".

Newcastle vice-chancellor Roger Holmes told the commission he handed responsibility for management and timing of an inquiry into the handling of the allegations to deputy vice-chancellor Brian English.

Under questioning from Commissioner Peter Hall on why it was more than four months before any action was taken, Professor Holmes could give no reason or excuse for his lack of action.

Mr Hall: "Did you ask [Professor English] for some report ... or some idea whether you would have to wait for weeks or months?

"I haven't heard any evidence that would justify or explain your actions. I'm providing you with the opportunity now to put any information which would explain what seems to me to be a surprising lack of action by yourself."

Professor Holmes: "Sir, I cannot put forward any information."

SOURCE - The Australian newspaper
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University of Newcastle 'too slow' on student copycats

EXECUTIVES at the University of Newcastle, who did nothing for 4 1/2 months about allegations of plagiarism at its Malaysian business school, sprang into action when the Nine Network told them it would probe the claims.

On July 11, 2003, the day after Nine's Sunday program contacted the university, it issued a press release, headed "final report", on the scandal.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption heard in Sydney yesterday that the events were unrelated.

"On the 10th the Nine Network writes to you, on the 11th the report's released to the media. On the very same day there seems to be a flurry of correspondence (about) university policy on plagiarism and ... its impacts," Commissioner Peter Hall said.

But it was all "coincidental", said vice-chancellor Roger Holmes.

Professor Holmes was unable to explain why it had taken so long for any action to be taken.

He said he delegated management and timing of the matter to deputy vice-chancellor Brian English but did not name a date for Professor English to report back.

Commissioner Hall said: "Right from the outset the plagiarism allegations were identified as incredibly serious ... (but) what seems to be the burning issue is left on hold until some uncertain time in the future. Is that what you're telling me?"

Professor Holmes replied: "That was in the hands of Professor English."

Claims of copying surfaced at the campus in January 2003. Casual lecturer Ian Firns gave 15 students, from a class of 50, zero marks after he traced their work to the internet. On February 10, dean of business and Newcastle Graduate Business School director Paul Ryder handed the essays to another academic, Rachid Zeffane, for "a fresh look".

The students with zero were marked up to scores from 19.5 to 29.5 out of 35.

SOURCE - The Australian newspaper
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Apple Computers offers scholarship to Australian University students

The Australian Apple University Consortium (AUC) is offering a Student Scholarship Program that is open to full-time students studying at AUC member universities in Australia. The scholarship includes a PowerBook, programming tools, support from a high-level mentor, support to attend Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Calif., support to attend the AUC's own Australian Academic & Developer's Conference, and a chance to participate in Apple's internship program in Cupertino, Calif.

Students selected for the scholarship are expected "to produce innovative applications for the Mac platform, working individually or with other participants in the program." Applications close on October 15, 2004.

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UWA enters into an international alliance with a top UK university

An international alliance has been formed between two leading business schools in Australia and the UK, to bring world’s best practice in small business management and entrepreneurship to Western Australia.

The strategic alliance is between The Graduate School of Management (GSM) at The University of Western Australia, and the UK’s Durham Business School, recognized as one of Europe’s most prestigious.

Currently, the GSM has collaborative teaching and research partnerships in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Hong Kong. It also has agreements with university partners in Austria, France, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and the United States.

In this latest alliance, the GSM’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation (CEMI) will collaborate with Durham in research into small to medium sized enterprises (SME) and the challenges facing entrepreneurs.

CEMI Director, Associate Professor Tim Mazzarol said the alliance acknowledged the importance of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to WA’s economy.

In 2001 there were an estimated 126,000 small businesses in WA representing 96.5 percent of all private sector businesses in the state. Small business provided about half of all WA’s private sector jobs.

From 1983 - 2001, WA experienced one of Australia’s highest average annual growth rates in small business creation in Australia. The property and business services, construction, retail and light manufacturing sectors are the largest concentrations of small firms in WA.

"There is little doubt that outside of the mining and resource sector, and government agencies, the SME sector is critical to the WA economy," Associate Professor Mazzarol said. "However, it is also fair to say that it is often poorly recognized within the general political debates, poorly understood in terms of its needs, and it receives relatively little attention from state government budgets."

The GSM-Durham alliance was intended to be of mutual benefit.

"This partnership will allow a comparison of UK and Australian findings and approaches with the benefits of international benchmarking," Associate Professor Mazzarol said. "The two universities will also collaborate in the delivery of leading-edge training and education programs for small business owners and their support networks.

"We will feed back to Europe and the UK, the expertise and experience of Australia and its Asia-Pacific orientation.

"The two universities will also collaborate in the delivery of leading-edge training and education programs for small business owners and their support networks."

CEMI provides research, education and industry outreach programs that assist managers from organizations, large and small, to better prepare for global competition. Students and academics participate in CEMI’s research programs and industry can engage both groups for applied research and educational projects.

SOURCE - UWA Press Release
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Swinburne, Monash and Curtin invited to set up campuses in Malaysia

TOP American and other foreign universities will be invited to set up branch campuses here to make Malaysia a regional hub for education and to retain the country’s top students.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Shafie Mohd Salleh said he had identified a few American universities for the purpose but had yet to approach them.

“By attracting the top universities to set up (campuses) here, we will make Malaysia a centre for education excellence. Neighbouring countries like Thailand and Singapore have done this and they have succeeded in keeping their top students from looking outside the country for education opportunities or employment,” he said.

Dr Shafie also said he hoped to revive plans to set up the International and Common-wealth University of Malaysia (Icum), a local private university that was supposed to collaborate with prestigious educational institutions like Cam-bridge University in the United Kingdom. Icum was scheduled to open in late 1998 but that did not materialise.

“I am trying to get this going as we really want to attract the best universities and minds to Malaysia,” he told reporters after witnessing the presentation of the MS ISO 9001:2000 certification to Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Human Ecology Faculty.

Presently, there are five foreign universities with branch campuses here. Monash University, Curtin University of Technology, and Swinburne University are from Australia, while Nottingham University and De Monfort University are from Britain.

The only American university with a local tie-up is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that runs collaborative programmes with the Malaysian University of Science and Technology (MUST).

Dr Shafie said he would also discuss with the Public Services Department about sending top Malaysian scholars to the best universities abroad.

“We want to send top students to top universities and are discussing how we can best do this,” he added.

Dr Shafie urged public universities to establish links with foreign universities and develop staff and student exchanges.

“I have encouraged private higher education institutions, when they have foreign professors down on visits, to send them to public universities to deliver lectures or have intellectual discourse with local academics,” he said.

Dr Shafie said that on a recent working trip to Britain, he found that many universities were interested in working with Malaysia's public universities.

SOURCE - The Malyasia Star
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New option to study Medicine - Monash Malaysia

Students intent on pursuing medicine will have a new local option from next year.

Monash University Malaysia (MUM) will commence its medical programme early next year, with an initial intake of 50.

Approved by the Higher Education Ministry and recognised by the Malaysian Medical Association, the five-year MUM medical degree will cost RM65,000 per year.

However, until their “purpose-built medical facility” is completed in 2007, students will spend their first two years of study at the Monash campus in Melbourne at no extra cost.

They will pay the same fees before returning for their clinical study at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru, said Prof Richard Larkins, vice-chancellor and president of Monash University.

“This is an important milestone for Monash and Malaysia too in view of the country’s manpower needs and the demand for medical programmes here. Although the first two batches of students will do their two years in Australia, they will be paying the MUM rate which is considerably less that what international students pay in its Australian college.

“From 2007 however, the entire programme will be conducted at MUM, although students will have the option to do a semester or two in Australia as both programmes are on par,” he said.

Entry into MUM’s medical programme, said Prof Larkins, would be competitive, taking into account not only academic performance but also the applicants’ aptitude and personality.

“We require high academic scores, at least 2As and 1B at A-level or equivalent. On top of this, applicants will have to go through a structured interview, which covers specific areas and an aptitude test on logic and problem solving abilities as well as the candidate’s personality.

“Unlike many other programmes, the human component is very important in Medicine,” Prof Larkin said during a media briefing at the MUM campus here yesterday.

He added that the university was currently in the process of appointing a dean for the faculty as well as hiring “quality lecturers.”

SOURCE - The Malaysia Star
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CSU - Interest in university on way up

Interest in higher education is on the increase as the response to the Charles Sturt University (CSU) open day revealed.

The Dubbo campus of CSU was opened to the public at the weekend for prospective students and parents to peruse.

CSU student advisor Cathy Finley greeted a steady stream of prospective students and parents attending the open day and interested in the many courses on offer.

"There was a strong interest from adult and mature-age students keen to find out what courses were available," she said.

"They were keen to know what was available in-house and what could be done externally."

The cost of courses was a major concern for many, Ms Finley said, with many inquiries on course-fee structures.

Ms Finley said the university was entering an exciting period with major construction works coming online in 2005.

"The second block of accommodation units is almost complete, which will enable us to double the number of residential students to 64," she said.

"We also have new student laboratories and lecture theatres due for completion for the start of next year, plus extensions to the administration offices."

Ms Finley said the Dubbo Campus had achieved remarkable growth in the past couple of years with student numbers reaching close to 500.

"We have achieved excellent growth," she said.

"The Dubbo Campus is seen as an attractive option for local residents and satellite towns in the region. Dubbo has a lot to offer.

"Now the facilities are here, a lot more people are choosing to study locally."

Inquiries on CSU courses can be made by calling 1800 334 733.

SOURCE - Daily Liberal
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Being choosy works when it comes to immigration

For more than a decade, migrants have faced harder times in Western countries, especially in getting a job. But not in Australia.

The stereotype of migrants unable to find work or employed in low-paid, low-skilled jobs has been shattered by new research.

Comparing experiences of recent migrants to Australia and Canada, the study shows much higher job success rates for those who came to Australia. As well, migrants to Australia have fared better in recent years than they did in the early 1990s.

A buoyant economy is not the critical factor, as other countries have also enjoyed good times, but Australia's emphasis on skilled migrants, proficient English speakers, and on vetting the professional credentials of would-be migrants.

However, it cannot be taken for granted that Australia's superior performance will persist into the future, as other countries learn from our success.

The report's author, Sue Richardson, economics professor at Flinders University, said Australia wants "the talented, aspiring and well-educated, and we have been successful in getting them".

"It's not because they're poor, unemployed and desperate they want to come here. They're not strongly motivated by material gain. The things that we love about this country, they love too."

SOURCE - The Age
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Ex-University of Adelaide student involved in Australian embassy bomb blast in Jakarta

The University of Adelaide has helped Australian Federal Police with inquiries about Azahari Husin, a former student who failed engineering but went on to became Jemaah Islamiah's chief bomb maker.

Husin, 47, the key suspect in Thursday's Australian embassy attack, studied engineering at Adelaide University in the 1980s as a young man, well before becoming a born-again Muslim.

The metamorphosis happened a decade later when, under the influence of the militant Abu Bakar Bashir, he converted to radical Islam and embraced terrorism.

As a young student at Adelaide University he was believed to have enjoyed the freedoms of life in Western society, which may explain his poor results.

He returned to Malaysia and later completed a degree and a doctorate in Britain at the University of Reading where he specialised in geophysics.

Back in Malaysia, two toddlers in tow, he and his wife became lecturers at a university in the southern state of Johor.

Police wonder whether his wife's illness, which struck soon after the birth of their second child, could have been the catalyst for the change in Husin, a gifted mathematician.

By the late 1990s he left academia to undertake terrorist training in Afghanistan and the southern Philippines.

He studied bombmaking and produced the 50-page terrorist bomb manual for JI that illustrates, with diagrams, how to use mobile phones to detonate explosives.

The manual was found during a police raid in Java in 2002. Husin, dubbed the "Demolition Man" by Malaysian newspapers, was identified as the technical mastermind behind the 2003 bombing of Jakarta's Marriott Hotel that killed 12 people.

"He's a real born-again Muslim," said one security official.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's national police chief General Da'i Bachtiar yesterday revealed that within the past two months police had raided a house on the outskirts of Jakarta where a group of men, possibly including Husin, had been hiding.

Malaysian Noordin Mohammed Top, another suspected JI leader, could also have been in the group, he said.

"The men there were similar in appearance to Azahari and Noordin Mohammed Top according to local residents," said General Bachtiar. He said the group had fled when police carried out the raid.

In Adelaide, university vicechancellor, Professor McWha, said Husin was not a graduate of Adelaide University and for privacy reasons no other information could be released.

However, he confirmed the Australian Federal Police contacted the university last year over Husin and it was continuing to provide what assistance it could.

SOURCE - Reuters
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Tasmania woos students

The University of Tasmania has begun an aggressive push for Victorian students, using its decision not to increase HECS charges as a central selling point.

The campaign uses print advertising and inner-city billboards, with one poster declaring "No increase in HECS fees? UBeauty".

The push is part of a broader move by the university to increase enrolments from interstate and overseas from 12,000 to 15,000 by 2010.

Its director of policy and planning, Paul Barnett, said the university did not have the critical mass of students to teach the range of programs it offered. "Up to 40 per cent of all Tasmanians are studying at Victorian institutions. All we are doing is redressing the balance," he said.

As well as the "brand" advertising, the recruitment campaign has involved exhibiting at career expos and making presentations to careers counsellors and parents. It is expected to attract 50 to 100 Victorian students.

In March, the University of Tasmania decided not to increase HECS fees by 25 per cent as allowed under the Commonwealth's higher education changes.

At the time, vice-chancellor Daryl Le Grew said the decision would enhance the university's "attractiveness as a place for students to obtain a first-class degree".

Most Victorian universities increased HECS fees by 25 per cent for most courses.

As part of negotiations for higher education changes last year, Tasmanian independent senator Brian Harradine won 1600 new places for Tasmanians by 2008.

But Andrew Norton, a research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies, said Tasmania's surplus places were unlikely to be filled. "(Senator Harradine) forgot to check whether Tasmania could use them, and so they could end up being taken by Victorians."

Mr Norton said that despite lower HECS charges, Victorian students would face paying thousands of dollars in travel, accommodation and living expenses to study in Tasmania. "Some of them may be better off taking one of the new FEE-HELP loans and paying full fees at a Victorian university," he said.

In July, the Federal Government allocated 9540 new university places nationwide. Victoria received 859 places and Tasmania 367. despite Victoria having greater unmet demand.

Mr Barnett said although some would argue there was a "deal done" in the higher education reform process, a four-year campaign had been running for the additional places in Tasmania. "We don't need to use Victorians to fill our spots. The Victorian universities are taking many of our students," he said.

SOURCE - The Age
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UWS desperate for money - charges students $50 as parking fee

UWS is so strapped for cash, it has to charge students $50 a year to park on-campus.

Students at the University of Western Sydney Hawkesbury campus believe they are studying in "forwards-backwards land".

"They giveth in one hand and taketh away in the other," Hawkesbury Student Association president Wayne Savage told The Gazette on Monday.

Mr Savage was referring to plans by the UWS Board of Trustees to impose a $50 yearly parking fee for students on all campuses, including Hawkesbury, despite its low student population and ample parking space. Hawkesbury staff would be required to pay $90.

"To their credit, the trustees took the brave step not to increase HECS for 2005, but it will be reviewed for 2006 if there's not a shift in government funding models," Mr Savage said.

"UWS expects a shortfall of up to $20 million in the next few years. UWS cannot sustain such financial losses.

"We're already feeling the effects of it through changes in courses and reduction in resources.

"Now we have a controversial decision of the trustees to impose a $50 parking fee on all campuses....

"This seems a draconian approach based on a `one size fits all' approach to UWS policy."

Mr Savage said western Sydney had a critical public transport problem and, with UWS cutting courses, students were forced to travel between campuses to complete their degrees.

"Even local councils don't use this approach to parking fees and have differing fees and free areas depending on demand," he said.

SOURCE - Hawkesbury News
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The University of Western Australia (UWA) is the premier university of the State of Western Australia. Established in 1911, the University has an international reputation for excellence and enterprise. A member of the prestigious 'Group of Eight', it is regarded as one of Australia's top research institutions, attracting researchers of world standing across its wide range of disciplines.

The campus at UWA, with its extensively landscaped gardens, is widely acknowledged as on of the most beautiful in Australia. Located on teh banks of the Swan River, the architecture is a harmonized combination of traditional Romanesque buildings, intermingled with state-of-the-art research facilities, well-equipped lecture theatres and laboratories.

The University of Western Australia began teaching the MBA programme over thirty years ago. It was the first university in Western Australia to do so, and the fourth in Australia. The UWA MBA is one of the University's most successful ventures and the largest coursework masters programme. Today, the UWA Graduate School of Management (GSM) is widely recognised as the leading graduate business school in Western Australia and as one of the premier management education providers in Australia.

GSM Courses

The GSM offers a wide range of courses in management education targeted to individual needs. These courses include the highly successful MBA programme, an Executive MBA programme and the Doctor of Business Administration. The GSM's range of teaching programmes provides development opportunities for current and aspiring business leaders at all levels of age and experience. Courses are offered across various campuses including Perth, Singapore, Jakarta, Manila and Hong Kong (in 2004).

The School ensures that the MBA is an integrated and comprehensive learning experience offering students the chance to be part of a high concentration of talent and the opportunity to specialise through elective units. Students can choose to undertake the 12-unit generalist MBA degree, or the 16-unit MBA (Advanced) or MBA (International).


The MBA is the flagship programme of the GSM and provides students with practical understanding of the full range of contemporary organisational and management activities. The degree develops a range of skills, with particular emphasis on entrepreneurship, leadership and strategy typically providing impetus for change and progress. The MBA (Advanced) and MBA (International) are extensions of the MBA and provide more in-depth understanding of management and organisational activities.

MBA (Advanced) and MBA (International)

The MBA (Advanced) enables students to focus on an area of specialisation, usually involving work-related projects, while the MBA (International) involves a period of overseas study to prepare students to participate in the global economy.

One of the greatest strengths of the GSM is the quality of students it attracts. Frawn from a variety of industries, backgrounds and cultures, the interaction between students and the friendships formed from studying together are consistently rated as some of the most significant benefits of our programmes.

Students from more than 75 nations have attended the GSM, and the school has direct exchange agreements with other quality business schools in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Austria, France, South Africa and Italy. Each term, the GSM welcomes many international students from all over the world, who make a valued contribution to the life of the GSM.

The 2003 Boston Consulting Group Business Strategy Competition was won by a team of six MBA students from the GSM. Their prestigious achievement is testament to their talent and hard work, and to the comprehensive, real-world learning they have received at the GSM. There are over 1, 500 alumni of the UWA MBA, working in over 40 countries worldwide. They are supported by an active Graduate Management Association in Western Australia and have membership of the national Graduate Management Association of Australia.

Mystery of a secret Dubai campus

ON July 5, the Khaleej Times, an English language newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, announced the opening of a new Australian university campus in Dubai.

Its readers would not have been surprised. As Abdulla Al Karam, chief executive of Knowledge Village, where the new campus would be based, told the paper: "Australia has seen nearly a 300 per cent increase in its student intake from the UAE alone, showing the popularity for Australian education among the local population here."

On the other side of the world however, one man who would have been surprised was the vice-chancellor of the university behind the new campus - the University of Southern Queensland's Bill Lovegrove.

Yesterday, an external investigator and an internal auditor were combing USQ records to discover how three senior management figures could launch an overseas operation without the knowledge of the university's chief and its governing council.

The affair was referred to Queensland's corruption watchdog, the Crime and Misconduct Commission, which has handed the investigation back to the university, but will conduct "periodic reviews" as it proceeds.

A special meeting of the university's governing council is expected to decide today whether the Dubai campus, due to open this month, should proceed.

Professor Lovegrove has said the venture should go ahead - despite the fact he only found out about it through a newspaper advertisement three weeks ago.

As reported in The Australian last week, three senior staff are on leave and were escorted off the campus by security 10 days ago and their computers impounded.

Yesterday Professor Lovegrove briefed the Queensland education department's Office of Higher Education on the developments. The university has contacted its 200 education agents overseas to notify them of the new management arrangements since the three senior staff went on leave.

The events have sparked concerns in Australia's higher education sector, highly sensitive about the impact of negative publicity on overseas commercial operations.

Queensland Education Minister Anna Bligh said yesterday the importance of Australia's and Queensland's higher education reputation in the Middle East was crucial.

"The Middle East is a growth market and Queensland is aggressively pursuing it as part of its export education plan," she said.

"Clearly there are issues surrounding the decision-making process regarding a Dubai campus of USQ."

More than 100 overseas students are already enrolled through USQ in Dubai and have paid fees of an undisclosed sum.

While the university has not committed cash to the venture, it is understood its local partner, the International Academic Corporation, has injected $2 million and the Dubai government has spent millions on infrastructure.

USQ's campus comprises two levels in a multi-storey building in a new education hub, Knowledge Village.

Knowledge Village is a government-run entity funded by Dubai's Crown Prince. It is an educational free-trade zone within Dubai Internet City. Different regulations apply to institutions wanting to set up within the hub to those outside it.

All universities within Knowledge Village must have a licence to operate and must be a branch campus of an international university which has accreditation in its home country.

Wollongong is the only other Australian university with a campus in Dubai. While it began outside the hub, part of its operations are now within it.

With daily flights between the UAE and most Australian capital cities, Australian universities have recognised the growing potential to do business with Dubai.

The extraordinary events of the past two weeks have raised questions about the decision-making processes at USQ and powers of delegation.

The HES understands all contracts are posted on a university website.

But Professor Lovegrove said the extent of the Dubai venture was not accurately reflected in that listing.

"In January there was an agreement signed with the [International Academic Corporation]. But the vice-chancellor does not expect to find these things out from a website," he said.

The Khaleej Times has been reporting on USQ's Dubai campus since early July. On July 5 it ran a story saying the campus had opened. USQ international director Brian Cook, one of the staff on leave, appears to have been the public face of the venture and his photograph has appeared in several newspapers.

In the Khaleej Times July 5 edition, Mr Al Karam said: "USQ is a leading international university from Australia with global standing and we believe that they will be able to attract a significant number of international students to the Knowledge Village campus."

Another article on July 14 quoted Dr Cook saying the "external cell", or distance education component, at USQ in Dubai had been "operational" since July 7.

He said the Dubai campus would connect to USQ initiatives in neighbouring countries. Students from India, Pakistan, China and some Arab countries would be able to study in Dubai and enjoy the same privileges as students in Australia.

SOURCE - The Australian
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ALP releases Immigration Policy

Labor will ensure immigration levels are set within the framework of a population policy fashioned in Australia's interest and consistent with international and humanitarian commitments. The system of setting immigration targets year by year without any underlying rationale or long-term policy framework has contributed to declining public confidence in the program. Moving to long-term planning will achieve greater stability and confidence.

Labor is committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory immigration policy. Labor recognises the economic and social contribution that has been made by immigrants and refugees throughout our nation's history. Labor regards Australia's diversity as a source of national strength and nation building and will consistently oppose those who seek to poison Australia's social cohesion by fostering extremism, hatred or ethnic division.

Labor will administer a fairer and more balanced immigration program. While the current ratio of skilled to family migration will remain largely unchanged, sub-categories such as the parents stream will be expanded to better reflect the value of family reunion and the family unit within Australian society.

A Labor Government will examine the provision of incentives to newly arrived migrants to settle in regional areas. Such incentives, along with a program of ethno-specific infrastructure development, will ensure that regional migration will provide long-term benefits for both the newly settled migrants and the original community. Labor will redifine 'regional area'. Cities with a population of less than 500,000 will be notified as 'regional areas'. Another way to achieve regional growth is that Labor will permit only those overseas students to change their status from a student visa to a permanent residence, who have graduated from a university campus located in a Labor defined 'regional area'.

Labor's initiatives will include fostering a secure environment conducive to companies planning ahead to meet future skill needs. The identification of emerging skill shortages is crucial to ensure that as far as possible skilled vacancies are filled by unemployed Australians who have gained qualifications from training programs in this country. The intake of skilled migrants should always be determined in the context of local employment policy.

To this end Labor supports the further development of closer consultation between the employment and immigration departments in determining intakes of skilled migrants.

Labor also supports the further development and effective implementation of employer sponsorship schemes and labour agreements. These seek to ensure that employers wishing to bring in skilled migrants to fill particular vacancies must consult with the employment department and relevant trade unions, provide justification for that admission, and agree to provide appropriate training to local people in the area of skills sought.

SOURCE - ALP Election Policy
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Here is a snapshot of various problems, scams and frauds that have taken place at some of the leading australian universities in the past few months. We refer to these universities as 'Black Listed Universities'.

RMIT - Loss of more than 20 million dollars; Vice Chancellor resigns; Steap decline in International students enrollment; Drop in quality of education; More than 400 international students quit RMIT.

University of Western Sydney - Major financial crisis; Courses to be cut and campuses may be demolished; Staff unpaid for a month; Sexual Harassment case lodged against UWS staff.

Charles Darwin University - Staff threatens industrial strike; Staff underpaid by almost $8,000.

University of Southern Queensland - Financial loss of over 4 million dollars; Dubai campus opened without even informing the Vice Chancellor; Fraud unearthed.

Victoria University of Technology - Million Dollar Scam; Fraud unearthed.

University of Sydney - 35 cases of sexual harassment lodged against university staffers; Increases fees by over $6,500; Unexpected closure of medical school.

Central Queensland University - Worst Student:staff ratio; Steap decline in quality

Charles Sturt University - Worst Student:staff ratio.

University of Technology, Sydney - Unauthorised sale of an award winning campus.

UNSW - Increases fees by over $6,500.

University of Newcastle - Racial attacks on international students.

SOURCE - Various news report. Full reports available in the Archives section
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