The Uni Cycle - our round up of the week's uni news
USYD scholars are urging a review of thinking around pre-term baby deliveries after a study of 153,000 Australian children showed those born through planned births before 39 weeks’ gestation carried a heightened risk of poor development at school age.
"The timing of planned birth is potentially modifiable, and the benefits of waiting should be communicated to clinicians, mothers and families," said study co-author Dr Jonathan Morris.
A judge has thrown out a case against QUT students Alex Wood, Jackson Powell and Calum Thwaites, accused of racial vilification under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act over facebook posts made about Indigenous administrator Cynthia Prior. The case may lead to a change in Australian freedom of speech laws, with Some Liberal MPs now seeking a review of the wording of 18C.
Traditional unis significantly outspend non-sandstone rivals on papers and books authored by their academics, Griffith University researcher Dr Nick March has found.
The Go8 occupy eight of the 10 most expensive spots (from UNSW at 64,200 to Monash’s 82,400 per publication) while the average spend is $57,200.
University of Notre Dame Australia is the most cost-effective at $13,100 and Charles Darwin University chart-tops with $139,300 per publication.
Meanwhile, University of Adelaide researchers have successfully tested a drug which may prevent pre-term births.
Researchers used pregnant mice to test plus-naloxone, a drug known for its ability to switch off pro-inflammatory pathways, and found pre-term birth was entirely prevented and infant fatalities significantly reduced.
Pre-term births account for 1.1 million child deaths annually - 12% of all births worldwide.
University of Canberra students are almost twice as likely to drop out in their first year as their Australian National University counterparts*, latest federal education figures show. However, a UC spokesperson says comparisons are meaningless because of the institutions’ differing student profiles.
*ANU lost 11 per cent of first-year students in 2014 compared to UC’s 20
$416 million in Government-funded Australian Research Council grants will go towards unis all over Australia. Funding winners include the ANU ($43m) for projects such as a laser guide star system to direct giant telescopes, and the University of Adelaide ($16.5m) for research into hydrogen energy use and improved cereal yield.
A University of Melbourne arts graduate committed to tackling Indigenous disadvantage has been announced as the Tasmanian Rhodes Scholar for 2017. Bede Jones, 23, a Palawa man, will study public policy and global governance at the University of Oxford in the UK - through the scholarship scheme previously undertaken by Malcom Turnbull and Tony Abbott.
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