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The Buzz

How creative industries revitalise regions after the heavy industries party has moved on

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The Brookings report on the rise of innovation districts (http://www.brookings.edu/about/programs/metro/innovation-districts), and other sources, detail how regions across developed economies in the USA, UK, Europe and now Australia are diversifying through creative industries. Some themes: It’s important to get the balanced scorecard right Benefits have to be assessed on long-term and sustainable growth and social values eg community infrastructure The important role of universities Government can clear the way and support, but only universities can help convene all stakeholders, lending knowledge, infrastructure, people and of course, developing skills for graduates to be successful in the burgeoning sector Developing an innovation district…

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Why academics love Newcastle, NSW

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In no particular order, here are the top ten reasons why academics tell me they love living and working in Newcastle, in Australia’s Hunter region. 1. Close community breeds collegiality The same people you met with today to discuss a research project you may say hello to again at the beach, jogging along the waterfront or at the supermarket. 2. Open culture: build links easily People are amazed how easy it is to approach anyone with a good idea, to explore and build new partnerships and projects. This applies to both public and private sectors. 3. Great workplaces Staff at University of Newcastle tell…

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Taking your academic career to Australia: what to consider

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Australia’s strong higher education system, and terrific lifestyle, mean that every world-class academic should go down under, if only for part of their training, or career. The sector punches above its weight in excellence; with five universities in the world top 100 and 19 in the top 500, Australia has one of the most globally competitive higher education systems in the world, as measured by Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) out of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Half of Australia’s universities are in the global top rankings. Other similarly ranked countries have much larger GDP, population — and larger, older, higher education sectors. And…

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Higher education vs politicking and the future of the Australian automotive industry

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The Australian automotive industry grabs news headlines, particularly as the political parties wrestle for hearts and minds during an election campaign. But what’s happening on university campuses tells a very different story of demand and investment  – and where Australia’s automotive engineering fits into the nation’s future. The Labor party began its election campaign by announcing funding for the automotive industry and a target to boost the market by acquiring Australian cars for Commonwealth fleets, followed up with further funding commitments. Innovation Minister Kim Carr says, “The automotive industry is vital to Australia’s economic future”. A survey for The Australian newspaper found a majority of…

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