Merdok moovs to sylence a wissleblower

First: sincere thanks to my assistant – Murdoch University English literature MA candidate, Jinjing – who wrote the header. I’ll take it from here. Hard on the heels of James Cook University’s decision to pursue marine scientist Peter Ridd to the High Court (donate to his fighting fund here), Murdoch University is suing one of its own for speaking out about academic standards. Murdoch is also going after the reporters who spoke to him – which means legal action is likely to embroil the billion-dollar per annum ABC. Good luck with that.

Murdoch University is suing an academic whistleblower and demanding the names of journalists he spoke to and the dates of their interactions, court records show

Court records show the university is suing associate professor Gerd Schröder-Turk, one of several academics who blew the whistle on the treatment of international students to the ABC’s flagship current affairs program, Four Corners, earlier this year.

The Four Corners program, which aired in May, alleged universities were admitting international students who did not meet their own standards for English.

Schröder-Turk spoke out about his concerns for the welfare of international students and the “integrity of the academic teaching at Murdoch”.

“Admitting students who don’t have the right qualifications, or right prerequisites, or correct language capabilities is setting them up for failure,” he told Four Corners.

Schröder-Turk was summarily dismissed from the university senate after the revelations were aired. He subsequently took legal action against his employer under Western Australia’s whistleblower protection laws and now Murdoch has responded with a cross-claim targeting Schröder-Turk and several others. The university claims its international enrolments and, consequently, its revenue have both declined because of the scandal.

If that’s true – and we have zero evidence at this stage that it is – wouldn’t it signify to savvy administrators that there is a responsive market overseas for rigour in the provision of higher education? Furthermore, if it does, how will that same market respond to months, possibly years, of embarrassing litigation about Murdoch’s quality control? Throw in the fact that the university seems eager to make the ABC a co-respondent – a potential enemy with a far bigger budget than its own – and an even more serious loss of market share and prestige seems probable.

Here’s an idea: instead of lashing out at their own senior staff with court action, why don’t Australian universities listen to their concerns and take appropriate action to remedy crisis? Wouldn’t that be a more university-like course of action? Wouldn’t it also pay off for them in the long run?

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26 Responses to Merdok moovs to sylence a wissleblower

  1. Angus Black

    Wouldn’t that be a more University-like course of action?”

    I think you already know the answer to that…of course it wouldn’t! Though, of course, it should be.

  2. Angus Black

    I think I stuffed up the use of block quote. Sigh.

  3. nb

    Welcome to the free-market of services, Soviet style.
    Expect: ‘New research centre for original thinkers at island haven.’
    Translation: Universities send dissidents to Macquarie Island labour camp.

  4. Roger

    First: sincere thanks to my assistant – Murdoch University English literature MA candidate, Jinjing – who wrote the header. I’ll take it from here.

    LOL. Now that’s good.

  5. min

    Now isn’t that what Dr Tim Ball said , if the left do not like what you are saying they sue you rarher than debate the issue.

  6. stackja

    Murdoch admitting they are wrong?

  7. RobK

    I hope there isn’t a student named Jinjing at murdoch studying literature because you’d have just dropped him in it.😀

  8. Herodotus

    I’m pleased to see this (Young Turk) Shredder have a go. Universities are on the nose.
    They need to stop attacking the Winston Smiths of the world and get back to teaching in a non-partisan manner.

  9. Cui Bono

    “Murdoch shoots messenger”
    Not a headline you see everyday

  10. Percy Popinjay

    Schröder-Turk was summarily dismissed from the university senate after …

    … stating the bleeding obvious.

  11. Squirrel

    The role of the ABC in pursuing this issue is fascinating – an almost disconcertingly refreshing departure from its usual useful idiot stance where the national interest is involved.

  12. Fisky

    Murdoch University MUST chase the dregs of the Indian/Nepalese student market if it is to play its vital role in the population ponzi economy. This means admitting students with little to no English, plonking them in “groups” with Anglos to do “group assignments”, and passing them through the course on their way to permanent residency. The Ponzi will NOT be interrupted by these “whistleblowers”.

  13. David Brewer

    This wouldn’t be a case of taxpayer-funded lawyers for Merdok suing other taxpayer-funded lawyers acting for the ABC through the taxpayer-funded judicial system, while at the same time legally persecuting, with taxpayer funds, a private citizen who told the truth about the abuse of Merdok’s taxpayer-funded resources to confer bogus degrees on students who were not up to it…would it?

  14. NuThink

    Remember when Idi Amin was head guy in Uganda.
    He was called an idiot by someone in his cabinet.
    The outspoken cabinet minister was sentenced to twenty one years behind bars.
    One year for insulting the President and twenty for releasing a state secret.

    PS His name was a contraction anyway. IDIot

  15. Ian of Brisbane

    My sons went ti university with overseas students with inadequate English skills. Work was farmed out into groups and there was always one “Aussie” in each. In many cases, the one with the English skills did the works and the others took the subsequent marks, contribution or not.

  16. NuThink

    The Uni should take advice from William Shakespeare.

    The Lady Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks.

  17. Entropy

    Do universities still offer a course where Shakespeare might be taught?
    The curriculum is pretty crowded with all those gender, queer and anti western thought degrees, let alone the vast array of courses designed as a gateway for eventual residency and little else.

  18. Nob

    wouldn’t it signify to savvy administrators that there is a responsive market overseas for rigour in the provision of higher education?

    Market?
    You said market?

    Security, we have an extreme far right wing nationalist supremacist here!

  19. Iampeter

    The JCU isn’t pursuing Peter Ridd, he took them to Fair Work and they are appealing the decision.
    Given how grossly conservatives have misread that situation, once again taking the left wing position without realising it, I’m hardly going to take your word re Murdoch.

  20. Chris M

    The university claims its international enrolments and, consequently, its revenue have both declined because of the scandal.

    Lol, as if a degree from Murdoch is work anything to start with. Less so now, we know some of their student’s cant even converse hahaha, it’s become kindy level?

  21. old bloke

    I can remember, many years ago, that numerous Australian universities were rated in the top ten universities worldwide. Sydney, Melbourne, Western Australia universities, the sandstone universities, were more often that not rated alongside Harvard, Cambridge, Yale, etc. in those top ten annual reports.

    Where are they now?

    Australian universities are now immigration agencies with a side order of ideological indoctrination.

  22. Angus Black:

    I think I stuffed up the use of block quote. Sigh.

    Right!
    You block kwote stuffererupperer, onto the barbie with you!
    …and take these sliced onions with you.
    …and these garlic slices…
    Ta.

  23. Old Bloke:

    I can remember, many years ago, that numerous Australian universities were rated in the top ten universities worldwide. Sydney, Melbourne, Western Australia universities, the sandstone universities, were more often that not rated alongside Harvard, Cambridge, Yale, etc. in those top ten annual reports.
    Where are they now?

    IIRC, they gave the numbers to the BoM for analysis.
    We’ll have them soon.

  24. Speedbox

    It’s my observation that the written English skills of recent University graduates are effectively equivalent to those of a year 10 secondary school student – and this even true of those whom English is their 1st language.

    In fact, I have often wondered ‘how’ these individuals actually passed their exams with poor grammar, jargon, nonsensical phrasing and repetition.

    Well, I can tell you that here in the real world, that rubbish won’t be accepted. I routinely send back reports and other documents that are bordering on unintelligible, or a chore to read. I cannot count the number of documents I have seen that purport to be a 10,000 word detailed analysis that could have said the same thing in 6,000 concise words.

    Forgive me, but:
    I’m over this sh*t! If you think I’m paying for this crap, you’re f*cking joking. You must have got your 14 year old daughter to write it – did you even read it? Or is she better at English than you? F*ck this – no more. If you can’t write an intelligible sentence, then find someone who can. Most of all, stop sending me this unreadable, long-winded shit.

    /rant over.

  25. Speedbox:

    I’m over this sh*t! If you think I’m paying for this crap, you’re f*cking joking. You must have got your 14 year old daughter to write it – did you even read it? Or is she better at English than you? F*ck this – no more. If you can’t write an intelligible sentence, then find someone who can. Most of all, stop sending me this unreadable, long-winded shit.

    ☑️

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