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24 May 2013

unijamAdelaide and South Australia will be an interactive global hot spot for 48 hours on Wednesday and Thursday next week (May 29-30) when thousands of staff, students and graduates from across more than 59 countries take part in an online conversation about the future of university education and the University of South Australia itself.

Led by University of South Australia’s Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd, the online brainstorm – unijam – will canvass the ideas and opinions of students, staff, industry and friends of the University on everything from the importance of online education and what makes a great learning community, to how UniSA can best support industry and business.

Prof Lloyd says the event is a world first for any university and it is the first time the IBM model for consultation has been employed in Australia, or indeed the southern hemisphere.

“We have had incredible support for this initiative from staff, students, friends and graduates around the world,” Prof Lloyd says.

“We also have some truly significant thinkers on board, so it is a chance to discuss ideas that really matter with people who are making a difference in the world.”

Among the thousands of participants are: NASA Administrator Major General Charles Bolden; former Prime Minister Bob Hawke; Australia’s Ambassador to China, Frances Adamson; Head of the Australian Research Council, Prof Aidan Byrne; President of Stanford University, Prof John Hennessy; Santos CEO, David Knox; higher education expert Emeritus Professor Denise Bradley; Adelaide Festival CEO Karen Bryant; Productivity Commissioner Wendy Craik; Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young; young entrepreneur Holly Ransom; Governor of South Australia, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce; Premier Jay Weatherill; Leader of the Opposition Steven Marshall; and many more celebrity guests from industry, media, government, political and philanthropic spheres. 

The jam conversation will be continuous for two days from 10am on Wednesday (May 29) and registered participants can join any of the discussion threads at any time. 

Many VIP participants have signed up as guests for some specially organised sessions covering topics such as the future of universities, the student experience, online learning and teaching in the digital age, graduate qualities, bringing PhDs and industry together, community engagement and reconciliation. 

Alumni and students from every Australian state and from 59 countries around the world – from Fiji to China, the United Kingdom to the United States – have registered for the jam.

Prof Lloyd says he hopes unijam will be a rewarding experience for the entire University community.

He says the ideas and suggestions made during the jam will inform the planning process for the University for the next five years and help to set priorities around teaching, research, the student experience, international engagement and working with industry to boost Australian innovation.

“This is a rare opportunity to be part of an event that collects and distills the ideas of a whole community to shape our future and I look forward to the free flow of ideas and innovation,” Prof Lloyd says.

Merging the virtual with the reality, UniSA will kick off unijam with lunchtime events next Tuesday (May 28) at all four metropolitan campuses with food, music and entertainment.

For more information about the jam, go to www.unisa.edu.au/unijam 

Media contacts: Kelly Stone office 8302 0963 mobile 0417 861 832 email Kelly.stone@unisa.edu.au

Michèle Nardelli office 8302 0966 mobile 0418 823 673 email michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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