Unis producing mining 'dunces', says Plimer

MINING industry veteran and renowned global warming sceptic Professor Ian Plimer accused Australian universities of producing a “plague of dunces” who lack the capacity for critical thinking. He said this at the International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne yesterday.
Unis producing mining 'dunces', says Plimer Unis producing mining 'dunces', says Plimer Unis producing mining 'dunces', says Plimer Unis producing mining 'dunces', says Plimer Unis producing mining 'dunces', says Plimer

Royalty free image of "Derek J" courtesy of Phil Watt.

Anthony Barich

“The mining industry underpins Australian society. The industry needs to attract and retain the very best graduates and encourage them to become more rounded people,” said Plimer, who is professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide.

Plimer, who is also a director of Hancock Prospecting, encouraged the Australian government to pursue a more vigorous review of the Australian tertiary education system to create better quality graduates and reverse the “dumbing down” of academia.

Many graduates from Australian universities who are seeking employment in the mining industry lack basic academic skills such a report writing, and the ability to apply critical thinking and logic to solve problems. Plimer encouraged students to seek courses that taught literature and philosophy in addition to more technical subjects, for a more rounded education.

“We’ve seen a proliferation of ‘soft’ degrees at universities in Australia. I’m proud to call myself an elitist and I want to bring back elitism. University education isn’t a right, it’s a privilege,” he said.

Plimer has been a director of several mining companies including Ivanhoe Australia, a subsidiary of Robert Friedland's Ivanhoe Mines, CBH Resources, Kefi Minerals, Silver City Minerals, Ormil Energy Ltd, TNT Mines, Niuminco Group and Lakes Oil.

In 2012 Gina Rinehart appointed him to the boards of Roy Hill Holdings and Queensland Coal Investments.

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