News 27/2 – Chch Mergers? Cadmium in Soil. Food Blacklist.

February 27th 2012 at 9:56am, By Dave Guerin

Students are apparently fleeing NZ and while Auckland’s Stats Chat debunks the survey results a little, the overall figure align with recent MOE research I reviewed for ED Insider. We do, as we know, have a real problem of grads going, and staying, offshore.

Policy, Management & People

  1. Student Fee Problem The NZ Herald had a story at the weekend of a PTE student who withdrew after 5 days and still had to pay his fees. Anyone familiar with the PTE sector will know the legislative refund period is longer (for what seems to be a full year course). The story unfortunately didn’t have all the details, but it looks to me like the student is due a refund.
  2. Christchurch Mergers? Everyone in Christchurch is busy denying any work on TEI mergers, which is probably a good sign that they’re not planning them.
  3. 50 Years of Law Bernard (no last name in release) celebrated 50 years of teaching and tutoring law at Auckland. That’s a long stretch.
  4. Library Change WITT’s library is used as a case study of change at WITT’s 25th anniversary.
  5. Agriculture Waikato Times backs Waikato’s Prof Jacqueline Rowarth’s agriculture skills push, although she has been saying it for many years now. Straight Furrow picked up Rowarth’s original comments.
  6. Whitireia Campus Whitireia’s new Kapiti campus was opened at the weekend.
  7. Extras: Otago Uni part of Dunedin Stadium cost audit, including a look at plaza costs; Otago Uni neurosurgery fundraising (and again and again); EIT lecturer Brian Calcinai gets industry award; open day coming up for Waikato marine field station; Steve Chadwick helping out Waiariki; Pasifika trades scholarships; the TIA case (solo mother, vet nurse, prostitution) sparked comment by a columnist and critique by a blogger; Joel Cosgrove on capitalist universities and fightback.

Research & Innovation

  1. Cadmium in Soil Lincoln’s Brett Robinson is leading an international team to see if lignite can be used to bind cadmium the soil – it’s a big long-term issue. While Solid Energy might be accused of greenwashing its lignite mining, the technology seems promising.
  2. Rudd v Gillard Auckland’s Jennifer Curtin spoke on TV3.
  3. Food Blacklist Otago Uni’s food blacklist made The Edge, The Timaru Herald, RadioLIVE, ODT, SMC, SMC, SciBlogs, Homepaddock, Bay of Plenty Times, Stats Chat, and Federated Farmers. The ban on honey got the honey industry up in arms (TV3, APNZ), but Waikato’s Prof Peter Molan said honey was better than sugar for weight loss, but artificial sweeteners were better.
  4. Quake Help Canterbury PhD student Craig Muir has done some good work on quake-safe concrete buildings.
  5. Zebrafish Otago Uni’s Sheri Johnson generated a big piece on zebrafish research on Sunday.
  6. Extras: AUT’s Maria Bellringer on Pacific kids gambling at age 9 (with their families); Auckland’s David Krofcheck on the large hadron collider; Auckland’s Chris Bullen on smoking cessation options; Otago Uni heart screening research; Victoria’s Harry Ricketts in Hamlet adaptation; Otago Uni-NHNZ partnership; book on NZ agricultural research; part-time Auckland lecturer Mai Chen has a new book, that looks very interesting; more on banning smoking outdoors; Garth George on Otago Uni infectious disease research.

Public Issues

  1. Super 15 Auckland’s David Scott gets into Super 15 tipping.
  2. MFAT Otago Uni’s Robert Ayson’s op-ed on MFAT changes.
  3. Golden Shears An EIT/Taratahi student is competing in the novice section. Massey is hosting a wool handling competition.
  4. Intellectuals Unitec’s Keith Rankin writes on the differences between intellectuals and scholars – interesting premise, but the piece loses shape about halfway. Keith also had a video interview on NZ in the 1930s.
  5. Quitting Smoking Auckland’s Marewa Glover on low-nicotine cigarettes.
  6. Extras: Victoria’s Peter Adds on a tapu-art conflict; recipes from NMIT’s James Perry; Auckland’s Bill Hodge on bail and on Bain juror; Otago Uni’s Robert Patman had an op-ed on asset sales; AUT’s Elvon Young on Newmarket Square; Massey’s Sally Casswell on RTDs; Massey’s Grant Duncan on ACC; Canterbury’s Paul Siratovich on fracking; Auckland’s Jane Kelsey doesn’t like what Mike Moore is doing (surprised?).


  1. Sexual Assault A new campaign is raising awareness of sexual assault issues and has the support of NZUSA’s Pete Hodkinson.
  2. Student Dishonesty The ODT has an interesting piece on student dishonesty at Otago Uni, based on official investigations.
  3. BA Guidance An Otago Uni grad has written a guide for BA students to help them make the most of their study.
  4. Otago Uni Orientation Fresher competition, concerts, , support for students, and celebration of a good Orientation.
  5. Dopey Rafters Two Otago Uni students weren’t that successful with their homemade raft and had to be rescued.
  6. Extras: Massey cyclist; top student off to Victoria; catering for hostel students at Otago Uni; athletes starting at BOPP; NMIT grad story with a kilt twist; MITO-Aoraki apprentice story; Auckland film student Hisham Zaoui; dead gulls sent to Massey; artwork to celebrate SVA; Victoria student complaining about camera footage now out of boarding house; Canterbury student on Highlanders (and an Otago Uni one too).


  1. Oz G-G The Australian Governor-General is visiting Auckland for a forum today – she probably wanted to get away from the ALP vote.
  2. Quake Help The Uni of the South Pacific is sponsoring 3 Christchurch students to study there.
  3. Film $$ SIT is putting $30K cash and $30K in king into a movie.
  4. Extras: White Ferns teach SIT international students cricket; former NorthTec students/tutors in exhibition; Massey cycle race; EIT part of Hawke’s Bay China strategy; Auckland Uni choir for those with neurological issues; AUT hosting refugee research launch; group of grads from Māori trade training get together in Christchurch.

Teaching & Learning

  1. Video Clips Otago Uni’s Jacques van der Meer using video clips for teaching.
  2. Extras: Unitec’s new trades academy; Waiariki’s forestry simulator; Open Poly QA course.

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