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When the uni­ver­sity launched its rebrand­ing last year, I was quite pleased: a glossy bro­chure explain­ing the kind of image the uni­ver­sity wants to pro­ject to the pub­lic, a new logo, new momentum for change on super­fi­cial and deep­er levels.

Now it’s all ruined. Take a look for your­self (click to enlarge):

Yes, this is the new Uni­ver­sity of Sydney web­site tem­plate. I kid you not. A gen­er­ous per­son might call it “func­tion­al”. A less gen­er­ous per­son might… well, let’s leave this blog G-rated. It’s grot­esque. It has all the charm of a late 90s web­site. It car­ries none of the per­son­al­ity that the uni­ver­sity aims to pro­ject, and all of the air of design-by-com­mit­tee and oh-look-I-learnt-css-in-24-hours. There’s no warmth; the design ali­en­ates.

For bonus marks, it even dis­plays in Arial on a Mac.

(For com­par­is­on, here’s a screen­shot of the web­site as at 5 Janu­ary.)

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Berkoff v Burchill [1996] 4 All ER 1008 at 1019 per Mil­lett LJ:

It is a com­mon exper­i­ence that ugly people have sat­is­fact­ory social lives — Bor­is Kar­loff is not known to have been a recluse — and it is a pop­u­lar belief for the truth of which I am unable to vouch that ugly men are par­tic­u­larly attract­ive to women.

Trivia: Lord Mil­lett has a Chinese name, 苗禮治 (miu4 lai5 ci4), pre­sum­ably because he is now sit­ting on the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong.


'If you like your sex life, don't stick a firecracker up your arse' -- David Rolph's media law life lesson #7


Photo taken by Dan

Photo taken by Dan

Lip­stick on a pig?

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The Uni­ver­sity of Sydney is rebrand­ing from 2010, with a new logo, a new state­ment of pur­pose, and a new domain name (www​.sydney​.edu​.au).

I missed the staff present­a­tion on it today (doh!) but the “Brand Book” is up on the Brand web­site for uni­ver­sity staff to view. It’s nice and glossy, and con­tains state­ments of what the uni­ver­sity stands for, what the uni­ver­sity believes in, and how the brand is developed on a more prac­tic­al level.

And it has the new logo too! How­ever, I’m led to believe that there are ser­i­ous leg­al con­sequences for me if I post it up here, so I won’t. But I must say that I have a pos­it­ive impres­sion of it — it’s a logo that acknow­ledges the past, while present­ing a fresh­er image of the uni­ver­sity. Although some might con­sider it a heresy to change the logo at all, I can ima­gine some much, much worse altern­at­ives — I’m just relieved they haven’t gone for some­thing min­im­al­ist, abstract or just plain-old Web 2.0.


Ever wondered what that piece of paper is worth? The Uni­ver­sity of Sydney Gradu­ate Des­tin­a­tions Report is com­piled from sur­veys of gradu­ates four to six months after they com­plete their final year of study, and it provides an over­view of employ­ment oppor­tun­it­ies, start­ing salar­ies and job sat­is­fac­tion, amongst oth­er things. I have some beef with the way the res­ults are col­lated (the employ­er table is a down­right mess, and what inform­a­tion is provided dif­fers between fac­ulties) but I’ll take the stats as gen­er­ally rep­res­ent­at­ive of the truth.

The law is, I sup­pose, per­ceived as a ver­it­able gold mine and thus a highly valu­able degree, and with an aver­age gradu­ate salary of over $79,000, one can under­stand why. But the sur­vey breaks it down fur­ther: under­gradu­ates, on aver­age, end up with over $51,000 while post­gradu­ates get over $98,000. By com­par­is­on, those gradu­at­ing from under­gradu­ate dentistry earn, on aver­age, over $94,000 and work few­er hours (34 hrs/​wk as opposed to 36 hrs/​wk). What’s more, dent­ists are more happy with their job (96% as opposed to 82%). Who would’ve thought? (And 40% of law stu­dents suf­fer depres­sion at some stage. So, if you’re in high school right now and you think law is all glitz and glam­our, take anoth­er hard look, although it’s still a great degree.) As for find­ing a job, 14% of law gradu­ates weren’t employed at the time of the sur­vey, but it’s not entirely clear how many of these were study­ing fur­ther or simply not look­ing for a job; the some­what high fig­ure could also be explained by the fact that the sur­vey would’ve been con­duc­ted at the height of the fin­an­cial crisis.

Of course, there’s more to life than what you get paid, but I’ve sum­mar­ised gradu­ate gross salary by fac­ulty, and then, where pos­sible, I’ve cal­cu­lated aver­age hourly rate. The lat­ter table is use­ful, because it shows that while start­ing salar­ies can dif­fer quite markedly between fac­ulties, this dif­fer­ence can be explained, at least in part, by under-employ­ment.

Summary of graduate gross salary by faculty

Fac­ulty Under­grad Hon­ours 1 Post­grad Over­all
Agri­cul­ture $41,949 - $49,954 $43,569
Archi­tec­ture $33,885 $46,912 $59,552 $46,968
Arts $34,316 - $46,189 $36,605
Dentistry $94,461 $100,875 $123,886 $102,315
Eco­nom­ics $39,572 $46,373 $52,494 $46,793
Edu­ca­tion $44,131 - $55,386 $49,205
Engin­eer­ing $51,384 - $69,075 $53,206
Health Sci­ences $41,514 - $61,195 $49,662
Law $51,507 - $98,927 $79,329
Medi­cine $54,271 - $77,719 $68,300
Music $29,965 $29,382 $37,659 $32,126
Nurs­ing $40,926 - $56,856 $46,167
Phar­macy $34,542 - $58,540 $40,424
Sci­ence $24,801 - $48,878 $34,738
Vet Sci­ences $39,146 $38,690 $92,750 $48,036
Visu­al Arts $18,307 - $29,330 $23,197

1 Data not provided for all fac­ulties (but a blank does not mean that hon­ours can­not be under­taken in that fac­ulty).

Graduate Gross Hourly Rate by Faculty

Fac­ulty Under­grad Hon­ours Post­grad Over­all
Agri­cul­ture $21.80 - $25.28 $22.65
Archi­tec­ture (aver­age hours worked not provided)
Arts $22.76 - $26.13 $23.46
Dentistry $53.43 $48.50 $61.09 $54.66
Eco­nom­ics (aver­age hours worked not provided)
Edu­ca­tion $24.96 - $29.59 $26.28
Engin­eer­ing $25.34 - $34.96 $26.93
Health Sci­ences $22.81 - $32.69 $27.29
Law $27.51 - $45.30 $37.21
Medi­cine (aver­age hours worked not provided)
Music $26.19 $23.54 $25.86 $25.74
Nurs­ing $21.27 - $28.77 $24.00
Phar­macy $17.48 - $31.27 $21.01
Sci­ence $21.68 - $26.86 $24.74
Vet Sci­ences $17.51 $18.15 $44.59 $22.53
Visu­al Arts $14.67 - $20.89 $18.59

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When the SUITS web serv­er went down a couple of weeks ago, the skies darkened and there was much out­pour­ing of grief.

In the words of one com­mit­tee mem­ber:

At approx­im­ately 1445 today, suits­beta shut itself down, nev­er to wake up again. Attempts were made to revive it by power­ing it up, but alas it failed to POST. Our thoughts go out to its fam­ily and friends.

Anoth­er expressed regret:

It was nice know­ing you suits­beta. We’re sad that you toiled alone and in sick­ness for your last few months.

But it was well-loved:

Although I did not log into suits­beta many times I did appre­ci­ate the machine and the con­tri­bu­tion it made to this soci­ety. Few can claim to have sus­tained such con­tinu­ous ser­vice to the soci­ety and its mem­bers, nev­er ask­ing for recog­ni­tion or relief.

How­ever, death can give rise to hope:

The memory of suitsbeta’s cranky innards will live on in the cron mes­sages, reboot requests, and data­base errors that pep­per my email archives. May the met­al be reborn and the warn­ings silenced.


The ads at the uni bus stop are hard to miss: UNSW now offers Jur­is Doc­tor for gradu­ates instead of LLB. What’s the dif­fer­ence? From what I can see, post­gradu­ates will be taught sep­ar­ately from under­gradu­ates, JD stu­dents can take Mas­ters-level courses as elect­ives, and some of the courses might be taught at their new city cam­pus. Intriguing.

Speak­ing of which, I only just found out that UNSW had opened a city cam­pus on O’Connell Street, right in the heart of the fin­an­cial and leg­al dis­trict in Sydney. If you look at the pho­tos, a Sydney Uni law gradu­ate intim­ately famil­i­ar with the bowels of the old law school might be left just some­what envi­ous. Sydney Uni had bet­ter do some­thing soon, because UNSW has just taken away a point of com­pet­it­ive advant­age, our city loc­a­tion.

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Dan and I, back in third year, wrote up our Aus­trali­an con­sti­tu­tion­al law case sum­mar­ies as Wiki­pe­dia art­icles as we were study­ing them: click here for a list of case sum­mar­ies. (We didn’t quite fin­ish though: the red links link to pages that don’t exist.)

01 Sep 2009 | No comments

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