Tertiary Studies and Careers Expo Adelaide – an opening speech by Professor Longsword

March 28, 2021
Higher education at a crossroads. Professor Longsword opens the Tertiary Studies and Careers Expo Adelaide

Here is the text of a speech written by Professor Sebastian Longsword for the opening of the Tertiary Studies and Careers Expo Adelaide, March 28 and 29, 2021.

What a wonderful moment it is, to be officially opening the 12th annual Tertiary Studies & Careers Expo Adelaide which is also known as (TSCEA) for short.

Some people have asked me for the proper pronunciation of TSCEA and it is Tsk-ee-ah.

The TSC is pronounced TSK, as in you’re voicing disapproval, the EA is pronounced Eee-Ah, like the end of Ikea.

I haven’t confirmed this but I believe the name of this event was actually chosen because of the sound of this initialism because back in 2009, Ikea had only been in Adelaide for 3 years and many university professors were worried that Ikea would distract students over the weekend when they should have been studying.

Likewise TAFE lecturers were worried that the flat pack furniture would reduce demand for technical skills down to one simple credential: Allan Key Usage 101

Therefore, coming up with a Higher Education event that reminds everybody they should be scolded for liking IKEA, was the goal. And TSK-EE-AH was born.

But that’s is not what I want to talk about in my short time with you this morning.

Higher education at a crossroads

Higher education is at a crossroads.

There’s one road leading up from TAFE and other VET sector providers, a busy road full of self-maintained vehicles and drivers with an array of different hairstyles (because they volunteer as hair models for apprentice hairdressers).

The other road is leading down from the higher echelons of ivy and bracken covered universities, full of silent electric cars and bicycles which, if you’re not careful, can sneak up on you and cause serious injury if you’re not observant.

This is why an event like TSCEA is so important.

It is like a pedestrian crossing set up just before this crossroads, to make it possible for would-be students and teachers to co-mingle and explore each others’ entrances and exits with safety.

The last thing anybody wants is a mishap near a rear entrance, or a nasty surprise because somebody didn’t see a concealed entrance.

But what happens when you mix modern, electric and human-powered vehicles, with traditional, combustion engines like the Torana GTR-X or Chrysler Valiant Charger?

Well, as the Chronicle newspaper “chronicled” for us on the 9th of august 1934, mixing of traffic modes is very dangerous.

On that day, 87 years ago, the Chronicle reports that Trooper Denzil Tamblyn, aged 23, was on his horse on North Terrace West when there was a collision with a car.

The police horse was carried by the car for some distance, with its for and hindlegs on opposite sides of the bonnet, and Trooper Tamblyn was thrown from his mount and dislocated his shoulder.

We are seeing similar things in higher education.

The automobile of greater automation and the semi-trailer of disappearing Chinese students, has been bearing down upon our higher education sector, and leaving it straddling itself with its bits twisted hither and thither while it’s trying to make sense of this sudden impact of change.

This is why, institutions like mine, The MBA School Of MBA Credentials, has an important role to play.

The genius of the Lunchtime MBA

While other institutions worry about whether a cohort of students starting a 3-year degree today will still have faculty members and classrooms available next year, or the year after, our streamlined, 60-minute MBA Degree brings certainty and efficiency.

During the recent, Adelaide Fringe Semester, some 600 students partook of our Lunchtime MBA offering, and many thanked us not only for saving them time, but for saving the planet.

You see, when you need to attend classes over many years, just think of all the fossil fuels burned, the congestion on our roads, and the extra expenses of buying coffee or beer in the university cafeteria.

It all adds up.

As you know, everybody at TSCEA is entered into a draw to win some prizes, but I’m afraid our offer of giving away an MBA Degree missed the official deadline. Therefore, in the spirit of flexibility and collegiality, anybody who joins our school’s newsletter during the course of the two day Tsk-ea event, will go into a draw, with the winner receiving an official, signed degree from me.

One final thought, as you wander about this centre and consider your choice of courses.

Lucky to be a university student in South Australia not Victoria

You are lucky to be studying in Adelaide. Here, we not only have fine TAFE institutions, Universities, and little degree mills with clever names, but we have high satisfaction rates among students.

But spare a thought for Victorian students. Earlier this month, the Federal Government’s survey of student satisfaction, found Victoria’s two top universities had the highest levels of dissatatisfaction in the land.

I know South Australians like to gloat over the misfortune of Victorians, but on this occasion, I think we need to show charity.

This is why, on April 10, 2021, at 4pm in South Melbourne, at an establishment called The Rubber Chicken, I will be holding the world’s first Qualification Swap.

Anybody with a degree, doctorate, or one of those brief, online credentials, from any of the top five Victorian universities, will be welcome to bring their certificates to me, whereupon I will sight them, then throw them into the woodfire, before handing over a fully signed and original MBA Degree Certificate from The MBA School Of MBA Credentials.

And it is on that note of neural plasticity and gregarious collegiality, that I hereby declare TSK-EE-AH aka the 12th annual Tertiary Studies & Careers Expo Adelaide OPEN.


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