15 August 2013

UniSA’s five-year strategic action plan released 

Students relaxing at City East campus.University of South Australia Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd has released an action plan for the next five years that puts the student experience front and centre in university life.

Launching the action plan, Crossing the Horizon, Prof Lloyd says an outstanding student experience, from how they are taught and how they are nurtured and supported at university, right through to the sports and clubs they can join and the fun they can have on campus, is vital to the success of the university.

“Students are why we exist, so providing the best environment we can for them is core business,” Prof Lloyd says.

“The plan outlines a range of initiatives to progress each campus as a village in its own right – places that feel like a home away from home. Every incoming student will be assigned a staff buddy to help them better understand our systems and procedures and provide additional pastoral support and reassurance wherever needed.

“The objective here is to build a lasting culture of care and lively, enjoyable, campus environments.

“Crossing the Horizon also moves to develop our academic offerings to more closely meet the demands of an increasingly competitive employment market so that our students are best prepared to take their place in the world and build rewarding careers.”

The plan outlines enhanced graduate qualities for students so that they graduate as globally capable, industry aware and have a range of capabilities in the creative, innovative, cultural, societal and digital spheres that will make them more job-ready.

It also heralds a move to a dual layer learning model in some disciplines with a three year bachelor degree followed by a two year professional masters where that model best meets the needs of industry and the professions.

Other initiatives include the notion of the “flipped classroom” which sees a blend of online and face to face learning – with more time preparing and researching online to support improved face-to-face tutor/student learning in smaller groups.

Professor Lloyd says Crossing the Horizon is a blueprint for the future of the University, positioning UniSA as Australia’s university of enterprise.

The plan includes seven separate action sets and a range of priorities for immediate and progressive action.

They focus on the student experience of university; research and curriculum; improved efficiencies and investment in staff; infrastructure; engagement with society both locally and internationally; and administrative and cultural changes that will support the plan.

“Our planning process started with one of the widest open consultations ever held by a university in Australia when we ran the online forum unijam – the world’s first crowd sourced strategic planning process in a university context. We had 18000 inputs from nearly 8000 participants and more than 2100 of those were students and those ideas have informed and shaped our plan,” Prof Lloyd says.

“We have a shared blueprint for what we can achieve together in the next five years.

“My goal through this plan is to build our reputation as an institution that is innovative, engaged and enterprising.

“Part of the way we will do that is to graduate not only highly skilled workers, but people who will bring to their work a positive, confident, enterprising spirit.”

You can read the full strategic action plan, Crossing the Horizon, online.

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office: 08 8302 0966 mobile: 0418 823 673 email: Michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au





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