FebruaryThe Tertiary Education Union of New Zealand organised a nationwide Day of Action on 22 February to highlight the benefits of teaching and learning humanities, arts, social sciences and fine arts in New Zealand. DASSH's media release can be downloaded here.
AugustDASSH rejects claims in the media that question the merits of funding of research projects and challenge the integrity of the Australian Research Council (ARC). Download the media release here.
JuneDASSH joins the arts sector on Friday 17 June 2016 for a National Day of Action for the Arts. The day has been called in response to the recent Australia Council funding results, the lack of consultation around changes to arms length funding and lack of a Coalition arts policy or inclusion of the arts in the 'innovation agenda'. DASSH's statement is here.
MarchIt was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Professor Don Iverson on Friday 18 March. Following numerous executive and senior management positions in the field of health and behavioural sciences at the University of Wollongong, Professor Iverson moved to Swinburne University in 2014 taking up the position of the inaugural Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design. DASSH members extend our condolences to Professor Iverson’s family, friends and colleagues.
JanuaryIt was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Emeritus Professor Faith Trent after a short illness. Emeritus Professor Trent was involved with DASSH since its inception in 2004, and served on the Board as both Secretary and President. In 2011 she was honoured with the inaugural award for outstanding service to DASSH. She will be greatly missed.
NovemberThe 2015 Annual meeting of the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres was held at the Auckland Museum on 9 and 10 November 2015. A short report is here.
MarchDASSH representatives attended the Universities Australia conference in Canberra in March. The theme of the conference was Future Sense: Universities Shaping the New Era.
JanuaryIt is with great sadness that DASSH received the news of the passing of Professor Graeme Hugo (AO), following a short battle with cancer. DASSH's statement is here.
SeptemberThe DASSH conference is hosted by the University of Queensland this year, between 17th and 19th September. DASSH issued a media release publicising the conference; download a copy of the media release here.
June It is with great sadness that DASSH received the news of the passing of humanities professor Philippa Maddern earlier this week. A statement can be found here.
AprilDASSH attended Universities Australia annual conference, Universities in the New Era: Stirred not Shaken, at the end of February. A report of the conference can be found here.
DASSH also participated in the one-day Council of Deans Summit following the UA conference. A report from the summit can be found here.
FebruaryDASSH submitted feedback to the ARC in response to their call for public consultation on ERA 2015. DASSH's submission can be found here.JanuaryThe ARC has now released the Funding Rules for Laureate Fellowships, DECRA, Discovery Projects and Discovery Indigenous. The Important Dates page on the ARC website has also been updated.
OctoberThree Deans' Councils issued a joint statement in which they call on the new Federal Government to support the ARC's vital role in maintaining the integrity of Australia's comprehensive research funding system through its independent assessment processes
The three councils are the Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanites, the Australian Council of Deans of Information and Communication Technology, and the Australian Counci of Deans of Sciences. Download the media release here.
SeptemberJamie Briggs, Chairman of the Scrutiny of Government Waste Committee issued a media release on 5th September which begins: "A Coalition Government, if elected, will crack down on Labor’s addiction to waste by auditing increasingly ridiculous research grants and reprioritising funding through the Australian Research Council (ARC) to deliver funds to where they’re really needed. Some of the grants issued by the ARC in recent years have been, frankly, completely over the top." The full text of the statement can be found here.
DASSH reiterates our strong support for an independent, robust and non-partisan academic peer review grant process. To this end, on 6th September we widely distributed this media release stating our position.
JulyThe Government's announcement of a new project to map the national research and teaching capacity in the humanities and social sciences recognises the critical role that these disciplines will play in shaping Australia's future, particularly in the Asian century. Belinda Robinson, Chief Executive of Universities Australia said "The humanities and social sciences touch every aspect of our lives - so ensuring that we have an up-to-date picture of the overall health of these disciplines is a decision that we welcome."
For the full Universities Australia media release click here. For the media release from the Hon Kim Carr, click here.
DecemberASSH Open Access PublicationThe Scholarly Book Publishing Expert Reference Group (recently established by the Australian Government's Book Industry Collaborative Council) has asked for DASSH member input into their positioning paper on 1) the big ideas to ensure dissemination of ASSH publications to the global research community and 2) the roles research, industry and government play in the process of digitisation.
NovemberOLT Grant for ASSH Curricula Renewal Project Led by Associate Professor Theda Thomas from Australian Catholic University, the ADLT Network has been awarded a DIISRTE Office for Learning and Teaching grant worth $209,000 for the project - 'Renewing first year curricula for social sciences and humanities in the context of discipline threshold standards.’ Read more PM Award for Humanities’ University Teacher: In November, Professor James Arvanitakis from the University of Western Sydney’s School of Humanities and Communication Arts won the Prime Minister's Award for Australian University Teacher of the Year. He won this award for his work supporting first year students and developing innovative teaching materials. Read more
AugustMajority of top CEOS from ASSH background: According to a recent survey of the top 50 ASX listed companies, 26 per cent of CEOs have either an arts or economics degree with one in three having spent some time studying abroad. Read more
World-first for Australian Humantities Virtual LabIn the humanities, HuNi is one of the first large scale eResearch infrastructure projects in Australia and the first national, cross-disciplinary virtual laboratory worldwide. Through Open Linked Data technology, Australia’s most important cultural data-sets will be integrated into a 'Virtual Research Environment’ or ‘Virtual Lab.’ This Virtual Lab will enable specialist research and the possibility of uncovering new insights into Australia’s cultural landscape. HuNI is a NeCTAR funded project, which commenced operation on 1 July. Project Chair, Professor Deb Verhoeven presented on HuNi at the DASSH 2012 Conference. See presentation
JulyDASSH Responds to the Proposed AQF Graduate Certificates and Diplomas FrameworkDASSH thanks the AQFC for addressing many of our members' concerns in its proposed framework but is urging a delay and further consultation before introducing proposed substantive changes. In particular, DASSH urges the AQFC to reconsider removal of the graduate certificate and the resulting impact on accessibility. See submission
AprilASSH Researcher Career Development Guidelines DASSH welcomes the proposed Australian Government's Researcher Career Guidelines. In our submission, we highlighted the need to recognise the significant variances in research across disciplines and the impact on career development. There are key influencing factors, which need to be considered for any career strategy or guidelines to be successful in the ASSH disciplines - 1) recognition of the significance of ASSH research in addressing the key issues affecting global society; 2) Australia’s ability to attract and retain ASSH researchers; and 3) the importance of balanced researcher career development in ASSH disciplines. See submission
MarchLanguages for an Asian CenturyAustralia's economic prosperity, cultural harmony and global career security for its citizens will increasingly depend on developing 'Asian-ready' graduates, who understand Asia - its languages, cultural and politics. DASSH's immediate recommendations include universalising language bonuses, providing language study options to all university students, incentivising universities to set and meet language education targets. See submission
DASSH Welcome ASSH National Research PriorityDASSH welcomes the proposed new national research priority in the humanities, arts and social sciences - 'Enhancing Society, Culture and Communities.' In our submission, however, we emphasised that research, which is important for Australia is inevitably tied up with international factors that need to be understood by Australians. See submissionFebruaryDASSH responds to AQF Graduate Certificate and Diploma ReviewDue to a large diversity of practice amongst DASSH members, it impossible to reach a consensus about the options presented in this AQF Review. However DASSH emphasises considering distinctions between the graduate versus postgraduate awards, deepening versus broadening existing knowledge, enabling articulation into a Masters or Higher Research degree awards and continuation of concurrent undergraduate study. See submission
December Commonwealth Supported Postgraduate Places Submission In its submission, DASSH highlighted the need for postgraduate place capping to address historic inequity, reduce both inconsistencies between higher education policies and inefficiencies in administering postgraduate coursework. DASSH also believes it is important to take into account University Compact Agreements, local and international coursework developments, benchmarking and professional recognition and accreditation other than by external bodies. See submission
NovemberCall for $250 million for International Research CollaborationOn 22 November, the Australian Academy of Science launched a new Position Paper 'Australian science in a changing world: innovation requires global engagement.' The Paper's key message is a call for $250 million funding over 10 years, which would have a significant multiplier effect on research and innovation outcomes and enable Australia to strategically engage internationally and with the eminent technology-driven world. See paper
93% Employment Rate for Cultural & Communications GraduatesAt the Australian Academy of Humanities Symposium on 18 November, Professor Stuart Cunningham presented impressive research findings on Graduate Destinations in Cultural and Communications Studies. See presentation
October DASSH Responds to National Cultural Policy DASSH welcomes a National Cultural Policy supporting: the education of future artists; production of artistic work; engagement of Australian communities in the arts; institutions providing for the study of, and exhibition, performance and preservation of the arts and cultural works. DASSH not only reinforced the key role many Government portfolios play in realising an effective National Cultural Policy but also the key role universities, especially ASSH faculties, play in contributing to all four proposed Cultural Policy goals. See submission
September Outstanding Contribution to DASSH AwardProfessor Faith Trent received an honorary award for her outstanding contribution to DASSH. Since DASSH's inception in 2004 and as both President and Secretary, Faith helped build the foundation blocks for the organisation DASSH is today. She also drove the successful funding application for the Discipline Support Strategy, and the subsequent establishment of the Network of Associate Deans Learning and Teaching.
New DASSH Executive At the DASSH AGM on the 29th September 2011, members elected the following new executive:- Professor Krishna Sen, President - Professor John Germov, Vice-President - Professor Toni Makkai, Secretary Professor Pal Ahluwalia and Professor Majella Franzman were re-elected as Board Members. See current board members DASSH Establishes Network of Associate Deans Research In September 2011, DASSH established a Network of Associate Deans Research (ADR)to support excellence in research. This network aims to provide professional skills development, knowledge sharing regarding current issues and good practice as well as an engaged collegial support network. Through this network DASSH encourages ADRs to take a leadership role in advocating and influencing higher education public policy on research issues affecting the arts, social sciences and humanities (ASSH). More information August DASSH Supports DEEWR Continuation of ALTC Activity In August, the DASSH President and Vice-President met with DEEWR and UK Consultant Alison Johns to discuss the continuation of ALTC activity through DEEWR. DASSH highlighted the success of the Associate Deans of Teaching and Learning Network and associated projects, the importance of recognising quality, achievement and funding innovation in teaching, and the need to have a clearly articulated, transparent and iterative selection process for funding and fellowships. July DASSH Responds to Teaching & Learning Standards Framework DASSH responded to DEEWR's discussion paper on a proposed Teaching and Learning Standards Framework and TEQSA’s role. Our submission supported the distinction between teaching and learning standards and the broad principles shaping TEQSA’s role. However, we highlighted our concerns about the less than optimal engagement with the university sector (due to timing and lack of involvement of discipline experts); the need to address the multi-disciplinary and diverse nature of arts and social science degrees; the need to acknowledge and incorporate work completed in this area, such as history and creative arts standards projects – a LTAS project outcome; and the complications of students failing external testing or assessment. See submissions New ADLTN project – Social Inclusion Strategies in ASSH Faculties The Associate Dean Learning and Teaching Network (ADLTN) announced a new project to investigate social inclusion strategies used in arts, social sciences and humanities faculties. All network members will be surveyed to determine effective current practices and pedagogies for teaching for diversity, with a special emphasis on the needs of low SES students. More information May DASSH supports social cohesion, diversity and equity research prioritiesIn our submission to the Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructures, DASSH focused on the research priorities of social cohesion, diversity, equity and strengthening global engagement. We expressed concern at the current divide between data repositories, and the need for an eResearch facility to embrace non-text based data forms, such as sound and visual/image-based research. See submission New Consortium of Humanities Research Centres (ACHRC) The newly established ACHRC is holding its inaugural meeting, 'Networking the Humanities' in Adelaide 25-26 July 2011. The meeting will be hosted by the Flinders Institute for Research in the Humanities and the Royal Institution of Australia. More information Call for proposals for 2012-13 Social Sciences Workshops Program The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia is calling for proposals for its 2012-13 Workshop Program. Submissions close 21 October 2011.April DASSH calls for proper recognition of ASSH social volume In our submission to the Base Funding Review, DASSH proposed proper recognition of the social volume of higher education. In particular, we highlighted the cost of teaching across disciplines and teaching innovation in ASSH disciplines, which continue to be disaffected by government funding. See submission March Impact of ERA on ASSH disciplines DASSH's response to the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) paper highlighted how ASSH researchers are more likely to publish books and book chapters than science researchers; that the SBE and HCA clusters cover research undertaken by approximately 43% of FTE academics in ERA and 40% of weighted research outputs; and the 2010 ERA report showed that HCA and SBA have the lowest dollar to research output cost. Despite these findings our disciplines receive only 14.5% of ERA reported research outcome. See submission
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DASSH has published the "HASS Engagement & Impact" collection at Australian Policy Online.
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New Zealand Bachelor of Arts Infographic sheet now available.
The 2017 DASSH conference will be held in Melbourne, Victoria from 13th to 15th September.
DASSH has prepared a briefing paper following the Australian Government's 2017-18 Budget. A New Zealand commentary will follow shortly after its release on 25 May.