section: Education

  • EDUCATION

    Return to higher education elitism

    • Bill Uren
    • 23 January 2015
    16 Comments

    We can sympathise with the university Vice-Chancellors who support fee deregulation. Over many years Government financial support for higher education has been eroded in real terms, and maintaining international rankings depends upon deregulation. But do we want the major metropolitan universities to return to the financial exclusivity that characterised the early history of Australian tertiary education?

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  • EDUCATION

    Australians don't need to speak proper English

    • Ellena Savage
    • 08 August 2014
    12 Comments

    There's a view that most Australians, including the Prime Minister, still have poor speech skills, and that there ought to be some kind of standardised verbal communication skill-level as a prerequisite for politicians, educators and advocates. Personally I'm quite content with an Australia that is accepting of vocal particularities, the flexibility of meanings, and often humorous miscommunications.

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  • EDUCATION

    More to tertiary education shake-up than $100,000 degrees

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 25 July 2014
    3 Comments

    Christopher Pyne's proposed changes to tertiary education place many theological providers in an interesting situation. We have seen a number of theological colleges enter into relationships with universities to assist with their financial bottom line, in the face of falling support from their church constituencies. If private providers are to receive government funding directly, we could see some of these arrangements begin to fall apart.

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  • EDUCATION

    Soccer as a Jesuit plot

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 July 2014
    11 Comments

    One of the more unlikely pieces of speculation to emerge from the World Cup concerned the origins of soccer in Brazil. A historian of the game claimed that it had been introduced by the Jesuits. According to the thinking of the Jesuits at St Louis School in Itu, near São Paulo, 'all the muscles [would] work harmoniously, and the moral lessons imbibed from sportsmanship [would] be assimilated by the students.'

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  • EDUCATION

    Inside the women's lit gender ghetto

    • Ellena Savage
    • 11 July 2014
    3 Comments

    Women's lit needs a course of its own'. How original to segment women's work into a category of its own so that it has no bearing on the mainstream! Men's work is universal, and women's work is specific to women. Sixty-five years later, and Simone de Beauvoir still nails it. So should we feminise the mainstream? Or continue to participate at the margins, and hope that the old guard takes notice?

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  • EDUCATION

    Harvard professor defies Australian class warfare

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 27 June 2014
    13 Comments

    Amidst a whirl of media interviews and meetings, David Sinclair, professor of genetics at Harvard University and one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world for 2014, paid a visit to his alma mater: a state school in suburban Sydney. State schools aren't the repositories of children too impoverished or unintelligent for the alternative; they're the living manifestation of democracy, egalitarianism, multiculturalism and ecumenism.

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  • EDUCATION

    Philosophy professor's cavalier interventions

    • Brian Matthews
    • 20 June 2014
    4 Comments

    On his own admission, Australian poet, essayist, philosopher, naturalist and storyteller Brian Medlin left the publication of his life's work to his last few years, but his passions, gifts and lyricism were set free in an extraordinary correspondence he conducted with British novelist Iris Murdoch. Their letters cover more than two decades and, with both writers terminally ill, are marked by love, wit, subtlety, argument and insight.

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  • EDUCATION

    School leavers' class wars

    • Ellena Savage
    • 13 June 2014
    11 Comments

    Year 12 tertiary entrance exams: turning 17-year-olds into nervous wrecks since the 1830s. They divide the smart from the dumb, the hopefuls from the no-hopers, and, what it boils down to more often than not, the privately educated from the state educated. But what if there was another way, a way that properly acknowledged the impact high schools have on their students' access to university admission?

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  • EDUCATION

    Uni fee changes will erase egalitarianism

    • Paul Rodan
    • 03 June 2014
    13 Comments

    An unregulated fee regime will result in an increase in course costs and will mean substantially larger debts for students after their periods of study. The prestigious Group of Eight institutions can be expected to exploit their reputational positions to charge top dollar. How does a 17-year-old decide whether selecting the degree from the prestige university over the same course at a newer institution justifies an extra decade of debt?

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  • EDUCATION

    Shorten should handle Gonski gift with care

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 28 May 2014
    1 Comment

    The Government doesn't want it. Shorten does. He can go to the next election with uncontested ownership of one of the most widely supported proposals of recent times. The problem with Gonski's plan, however, is that he wasn't allowed or able to propose solutions anywhere near as big as the problems his review uncovered. This presents Shorten with a tricky dilemma.

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  • EDUCATION

    Audit Commission's Gonski landmines

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 06 May 2014
    9 Comments

    The Commission of Audit has planted so many landmines across the political landscape that two have been scarcely noticed. One is planted directly under Gonski, the other under the federal role in schooling. Christopher Pyne's brazen effort to get rid of Gonski served only to show that he is not to be trusted. Abbott must be wondering whether this minister could carry the day with the kind of scheme recommended by the Commission.

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  • EDUCATION

    Best of 2013: End of the education revolution

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 15 January 2014

    The backsliding began before Gonski even got started: his riding instructions were to ensure that 'no school will be worse off'. Since then one backward step has followed another. What the prime minister wants now from the state premiers when they meet on 19 April is not Gonski but the appearance of Gonski. She may not get even that.

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