Posted by: jkirkby8712 | October 12, 2011

Sunday, 9th October 2011 – mu university continues to excel, and Aussies win tough rugby quarter final.

I was interested to note over the weekend that the university I studied at many years ago, and still keep in reasonable contact with, has received high rankings in two prestigious higher education surveys. Melbourne maintained its position as the leading university in Australia, ranked 37th in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-12 (The Rankings). It has also been ranked fourth for employer reputation in the 2011-12 QS World University Rankings. The Rankings have become a standard-bearer for acknowledging research and teaching standards in higher education, with The University of Melbourne consistently ranking well inside the top 1% of world universities. Melbourne’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis welcomed the news and said it was an encouraging reflection of the University’s aim to be a world-leader in curricula and research. “I would like to acknowledge the work of all our teaching staff and researchers who made this outstanding result possible,” Professor Davis said.  The Rankings Editor Phil Baty praised the University for excelling in all 13 separate survey indicators, calling Melbourne’s position “a fantastic achievement.” “To reach the upper echelons of this gold standard ranking, Melbourne scored consistently well across the performance categories,” Mr Baty said. Melbourne is also Australia’s leader in two other renowned international rankings – the Shanghai Jiao Tong and Taiwan’s Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council survey.  Meantime, in the Employer Reputation category,  Melbourne received a significant rise in the 2011-12 QS World University Rankings for Employer Reputation, leaping from ninth position into fourth.  This places Melbourne in an elite pool of global institutions, which includes MIT, the Imperial College London, the London School of Economics, the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia, Stanford University and Yale.  Overall, Melbourne was placed 31st in the 2011-12 QS World University Rankings.

The latest news from the University, also pointed that the Baillieu Library [where I spent many hours on study and research, all those years ago] is undertaking a phase of refurbishment.  It would be nice to one day go back and have a look through that building, I note that it and the new  Business & Economics Library, are both still available for my use as an alumnus, even for borrowing. Might even take advantage in my post-employment period!

Late this afternoon, it was reported that Australia derailed South Africa’s bid to defend their World Cup title in an error-ridden 11-9 quarter-final victory despite enjoying little territory and not much in the way of useful possession. I watched this game, and although I had to go out, and depend on a radio broadcast for the last ten minutes, it was a tense match to be supporting one of the teams, and I was rather glad to see the Aussies scrape home with a narrow win. The Wallabies spent much of the game on the back foot, the misfiring Quade Cooper unable to guide his side out of his own half for much of the 80 minutes But a first-half try from captain James Horwill and two James O’Connor penalties, the second with just eight minutes to play, were enough to see Australia home against the most experienced Springbok side ever — boasting eight players who began the 2007 World Cup final, with a further three on the bench.  Experience alone, however, could not carry the often leaden-footed Springbok side lacking any attacking spark into next weekend’s semi-final, which will now see Australia playing New Zealand who defeated Argentina this evening. Would have liked to have watched that game also, but Channel9’s live coverage consists of a belated replay, at midnight!!!  Typical great free to air commercial service!!

Rugby World Cup update, remaining two Quarter Finals saw:

  • Australia 11 South Africa 9
  • New Zealand 23 Argentina 10

On Sunday next, James Horwill’s team [the Wallabies] faces the ultimate challenge – a Rugby World Cup Semi Final against New Zealand in Auckland. The All Blacks are playing at their long time fortress. They are playing in front of parochial home fans  – a crowd that has booed Australia’s Quade Cooper since the tournament kicked off. It’s time for Australia to show the world –  and I believe it is over 20 years since Australia has won in Auckland. Next weekend has to be the turnaround of that!!!

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