Living in the age of algorithms: what does that mean for democracy?

We can confidently say we are living in the age of the algorithm. Some of the most influential organisations of our day use secret algorithms that steer us towards what we should read and watch, recommend restaurants and holiday destinations, as well as provide relationship guidance. But what about how we vote? The innovation [...]

Free textbooks for first-year university students could help improve retention rates

Despite 20 years of focus on improving university retention rates, we are still losing one in five of our first-year students. And the release of a new report by TEQSA again reminds us of the challenges of retention. The report highlights that, on average, universities have a 20% attrition rate. This builds on an article by The [...]

On collegiality and civility: or 9 tips on not being an academic jerk

I have now been an academic for just over 10 years. It is a job I love, and I have been lucky enough to experience some success. I work with some amazing people, get to sit in a classroom with amazing students, have great colleagues, and for some reason I am yet to fathom, [...]

Meaning and Anxiety: a reflection of Lee Hong’s work

This week I had the pleasure of launching an exhibition of the work of Lee Hong. Lee is an Australian-Chinese artists who studied at the Central Academy of Art in Beijing. I find Lee’s art incredibly insightful. Below is the catalogue essay I wrote. -- According to Existential philosophers such as Soren Kierkegaard, we as [...]

How educators are failing and how we can respond

Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, the re-emergence of One Nation, refusal to accept human induced climate change and the failure of other evidence based policy initiatives such as needs-based school funding and health care. As we see this occurring, Prof. Andrew J. Hoffman from the University of Michigan wars that educators are losing relevance [...]

How to survive a PhD: 22 tips from the Dean of Graduate Studies

It has been over 18 months since I was appointed the Dean of Western Sydney University’s Graduate Research School. It is a job that I really do love. But is also a job that can be heartbreaking, as I have seen good students drop out – both within my university and from other institutions. [...]