An update from Andrew Parfitt about the NeW Directions Education Plan
As we are now well back in the swing of a teaching semester after another busy admission and enrolment period, and the campus is alive again with students, it is timely to reflect on the work ahead for the year under our NeW Directions Education Plan.
The Education Plan aims to further improve the student experience, both on campus and off campus, explore innovations in learning and teaching and strengthen our range of academic programs. For 2013 we have selected a number of the strategic priorities to focus on, and these include:
- Developing the framework for a Centre of Excellence in Equity for Higher Education to leverage our experience in the sector as a leading provider of enabling education and pathways for students from non-traditional backgrounds, including indigenous students. [Strategic Objective 1.1]
- Developing a triennial University and Academic Program and Load Model with sustainable growth targets for domestic and international students, in order to ensure that we actively manage our academic profile to ensure the best alignment of our activities and resources. [Strategic Objective 1.4]
- Identifying and creating the first of our Flagship Programs in a way that allows the University to meet the needs of emerging and existing industries, distinguish our graduates in the workforce and showcase new approaches to teaching and learning. [Strategic Objective 2.6]
- Reviewing the alignment of all organisational areas within the University that support the provision of services to students, with a view to continuing to improve the student experience. [Strategic Objective 3.4]
- Increasing consultation and engagement with students and ensure greater student engagement in key University processes. [Strategic Objective 3.5]
- Creating Innovation Teaching & Learning Exchange Groups to support excellence in teaching and learning. [Strategic Objective 4.1]
- Establishing UoNline plus as an initiative that will support the expansion and quality of online and blended approaches to teaching and learning. [Strategic Objective 4.4]
- Developing a collaborative, technology enabled culture that increases the capability and capacity to deliver high quality teaching and learning. [Strategic Objective 5.4]
This is an ambitious list. So how are we going at this early stage?
At the Senior Leadership Workshop in March, Heads of School, Directors, members of the Executive Committee and other senior managers explored the issues associated with load planning and the use of business intelligence data to model and shape our future student population to ensure the viability and quality of our programs. This is a good starting point, which - coupled with a deep understanding of how we fund programs - will give us the tools we need to plan properly for the future. We also developed some of the attributes our Flagship Programs need, and these will form the basis for further consideration in Faculties and Schools in the coming months.
The creation of the Academic Division and the opportunity this presents for coordinating student facing services, together with the allocation of over $10m in SSAF and HEPPP funding across the University, has allowed us to look closely at the provision of support services to students in a wide range of areas.
We have recently embarked upon a reshaping of the strategic IT governance in the University, and an Education Advisory Group has been formed to work on the priorities for our IT systems and future investment in IT. With the arrival shortly of Professor Liz Burd, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), we will begin to realise the future online environment, confident that we now have a process to deliver good IT outcomes and make UoNline Plus a reality.
It is early days, but NeW Directions is already framing our future educational activities. Please remember to keep sending comments through to email@example.com or to me directly, and I look forward to working with staff and students in the next phase of growth of our world-class university.