Home | News | Week in review: whistle blowers, new hope for men and election promises

Week in review: whistle blowers, new hope for men and election promises

Hi, I’m Wade Zaglas, education editor for Campus Review. Today we’re starting our weekly roundup of the key stories and issues of the week. You can either read the summary or listen to the podcast below.

In the wake of 4 Corners’ ‘Cash Cows’ program, the National Tertiary Education Union has slammed Murdoch University for not guaranteeing the jobs of the three academics who spoke out on the program. It came after Murdoch’s Chancellor David Flanagan refused to guarantee the three whistleblowers’ jobs on ABC’s Radio Drive program.

NTEU national president Dr Alison Barnes said: “The union is outraged that the chancellor, despite being the head of the highest governing body, refused to guarantee the job security of the three academics who chose to speak publicly as part of Monday’s Four Corners program after repeatedly raising concerns internally without success.

“There were serious issues raised in the Four Corners program that we believe have not been adequately addressed by the senior leadership at Murdoch. The union called for an open and transparent inquiry at Murdoch in September last year, a call which was rejected by Murdoch.”

It remains to be seen whether the three whistleblowers will keep their jobs or if their conduct will constitute grounds for dismissal.

On a lighter note, Australian researchers have given thousands of men across the country new hope. A James Cook University study found that men experiencing erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation could improve their condition by engaging in simple pelvic floor exercises. These exercises include stopping urination midstream or drawing one’s testicles upwards. Once these muscles can be easily identified, men can tighten and hold these muscles throughout the day. Fifty-two per cent of men experience ED and 30 per cent experience PE, JCU physiotherapy lecturer Chris Myers said.

Dr Myers said: “Patient cure rates were as high as 47 per cent for ED and 83 per cent for PE.

“Pelvic floor exercises to prevent ED and PE are non-invasive and a cheaper option than traditional methods.”

Finally, as we prepare to hit the polling booths, education will be an issue at the forefront of many people’s minds. Unlike both parties’ commitments to public schooling, their VET promises vary markedly. The Coalition has promised the creation of both a National Skills Commission and a Careers Institute. Both came out of the Royce Review conducted late last year and will ensure greater consistency across the VET sector, better course funding arrangements and more informed career planning for students. The Government has also flagged $525 million to fund 80,000 new apprenticeships in the next four years. Employers will receive $8000 for taking on an apprentice and apprentices will receive $2000.

Labor, on the other hand, is promising a “once-in-a-generation” inquiry into post-secondary education – “a root and branch review and reform of the sector”. It wants to re-establish TAFE as the primary deliverer of VET and has promised that TAFE will receive the lion’s share of government training money – two-thirds. Labor will also spend millions building and upgrading TAFE facilities across the country and offer a suite of incentives to encourage more apprentices.

And that’s our weekly round up for Campus Review.

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