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A different sort of university: how an old dog learnt new tricks

Former TJ Ryan Foundation Executive Director, Professor Roger Scott, expands on his post-retirement return to education, describing the differences to be found in teaching and learning at the University of the Third Age (U3A) in Brisbane. [Note: this piece was slightly amended by the author from a submission to John Menadue’s ‘Pearls & Irritations’ blog site; this latter (original) piece can be viewed at the link below]

‘I look back on my time in “real universities” with sadness. It is a tough time for my former colleagues in tertiary institutions, unless they are tucked in near the top end with lifetime tenure and a free choice about the balance between their scholarly activities.

‘COVID-19 has magnified management challenges already created by an unsympathetic federal government. It is also hard for committed teachers, especially the young facing the uncertainty of fractional appointments.

‘Life has been much more satisfying since I was approved by the assessment committee two years ago to be admitted as a U3A Tutor, a (non) pay grade I last occupied in Tasmania in 1959.’

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