News 3/2 – BIMs. Rod Carr’s Pay. HIV Data.
February 3rd 2012 at 8:11am, By Dave Guerin
Policy, Management & People
- BIMs Treasury’s BIM sparked media releases from NZUSA’s Pete Hodkinson (opposing interest on student loans) and the TEU’s Sandra Grey (opposing shifting funding to younger students and research money to help the private sector). It is not surprising that NZUSA wasn’t too worried about shifting funding towards younger students as most student reps are…younger students. The EXMSS VP, however, has addressed the focus on younger users in a good post. Bill English said there was nothing new in what Treasury said (NewstalkZB).
- Rod Carr’s Pay Rod Carr, Canterbury VC, has asked for no pay rise for the final two years of his term. He has better PR sense that the Christchurch City Council CEO, although that has been obvious for some years!
- Adventure Tourism Here’s a nice profile of adventure tourism coordinator at Waiariki, Nick Chater.
- Academic Publishing Auckland’s Siouxsie Wiles has written on current academic publishing issues, including the Elsevier boycott (she also wrote on scientist-journalist relations). The TEU also wrote about Elsevier in this week’s newsletter.
- Extras: Otago Poly has a $1m+ funding boost this year; EXMSS is looking to expand membership beyond Massey; Andy West’s Triumph motorcycle (adjunct at Waikato).
Research & Innovation
- HIV Data Otago Uni’s Peter Saxton and colleagues recruited 1,049 gay and bisexual men in Auckland to undergo an anonymous HIV test. 6.5% had HIV and 1.3% of the total population were unaware they had HIV (21% of those infected). This sparked many stories from the media, including One News, TV3 (earlier story), Fairfax (and again), APNZ, AAP, gaynz.com (and here and here) and RNZ. The numbers sound terrible, but unfortunately there is no explanation in the media release about their sampling approach (which may well have introduced a bias) or their population estimate. Without identifying sampling issues and margin of error, we really have no idea of whether the research really “suggests” that 6.5% of gay and bisexual men in Auckland have HIV. So then I went to the free online journal article (refereed, but not linked, to in the media release) and found that the “community settings” where participants were sourced were “a gay community fair day, gay bars and sex-on-site venues” – the first is broad (and made up 80% of respondents), but the second and third would skew the sample. There was also a 49% acceptance rate to invitations to participate, and only 80% of those who accepted an invitation supplied a sample. The paper acknowledges that these factors are study limitations but doesn’t explore them in depth. That said, the survey provides an enormous amount of data that illuminates very real health concerns. My critique is really about whether the statistic at the start of the media release is reliable enough to be the lead, especially when the NZ Aids Foundation then treated it as gospel in their release.
- Hot House Venture capital firm powerhouse has been running a summer programme at Canterbury to mentor students and grads towards commercialising new ideas.
- Extras: Auckland gout research.
- Facebook Canterbury’s Anne-Maria Brady on Facebook and China.
- Extras: Canterbury’s Scott Walker on American politics; Auckland’s Jane Kelsey on loss of sovereignty; US water expert speaks at Waikato.
- Bad Work Some students allege they were paid very badly and forced to work hours beyond their visa allowances.
- Missing Out Careers New Zealand’s CE Graeme Benny has tips for students who miss out on their first study choice.
- Extras: Wintec students to get award for hospital history; Auckland might get a 15 year old student next year.
- Tale of Two Ports While Auckland’s Port is having strife, Tauranga’s Port is giving out scholarships (SunLive)
- Extras: CPIT picks up $80K for its ArtBox project; winners of an Auckland Games Jam held at Media Design School.
Teaching & Learning
- Carpentry Whitireia and WelTec have set up a joint carpentry programme in and around Kapiti – nice idea.
- Extras: Aoraki’s Diane Turner off to NY to speak at a conference.
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- Tags: Aoraki Polytechnic, BIMS, Career Services, CPIT, EXMSS, Media Design School, NZUSA, Otago Polytechnic, TEU, Treasury, University of Auckland, University of Canterbury, University of Otago, University of Waikato, Waiariki Institute of Technology, WelTec, Whitireia Community Polytechnic, Wintec
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