The University has developed comprehensive strategies concerning education, internationalisation and research, with success measures to chart our progress. A summary of these strategies and measures appears below, whilst the full documents are available for internal purposes within the University.
Our education activities will be subject to the following guiding principles:
- Student-centred: Our policies and practices will focus on enhancing the student experience.
- Engaging: We will strive for excellence in the delivery of a high quality student experience.
- Adaptive: We will respond to the needs of our students, our staff, and our community.
- World Class: We are committed to delivering a world class teaching and learning environment.
- Innovative: We will support and value innovation in teaching and learning.
We seek to provide a rich, intellectually stimulating and supportive student experience that in turn will lead to better outcomes for our students and an improved reputation within the wider community. Student-centred access, choice and flexibility across our coursework offerings will encompass multiple dimensions:
- location (in Canberra, regional study centres, interstate, internationally, online);
- time (asynchronous, weekends, after hours, hour long classes through to full-day blocks);
- pathways (credit packages, formal articulation, non-award, MOOCs, short courses);
- intensity (winter term, block intensives);
- modes of delivery (face-to-face, blended, online only, online supported, intensive, work integrated learning).
Staff will be able to access new professional development opportunities to support the creation of innovative curriculum that meets student and employer needs, and allow them to curate and deliver content in online and flexible modes.
UC courses will become available through a national network of partners. Pathways into these courses from our partner network and the University of Canberra College will be enhanced, and new opportunities provided to regional students via online delivery supported by pop-up campuses.
We will measure our success through:
- Improved teaching performance while growing student load: We aim to achieve a student load of 16,500 EFTSL by 2018, including 800 domestic postgraduate EFTSL. This will be achieved by offering 40 new courses in flexible modes, as well as attracting students through new partnerships and articulation pathways.
- Student experience and satisfaction: Alongside this growth we aim to demonstrate continued improvement in eleven specific, independent measures of teaching quality, student progress and retention, and student experience and satisfaction. New indices based on data collated from focus groups and other student feedback will show continual improvement in student-centredness every year 2013-17.
- Student-centred access, choice and flexibility: by 2018, all of our units will be supported by online resources (currently 54.3%). Forty per cent of units will be offered completely online (currently 1.5%) and 10% of our units will be available in a mix of online and intensive face-to-face teaching (currently 2%). This will result in 30% of UC courses being available in flexible modes by 2018 (currently 0.1%).
- Participation, retention and progress rates amongst students from equity groups: by 2018 our performance will be equal to or greater than the average for benchmarked universities, despite our traditional drawing pool and Canberra's relative affluence. In particular, we aim to double our ATSI enrolments and completions.
Our engagement with the wider world will be subject to the following principles:
- Consolidation: We will begin by consolidating our existing offshore programs, study abroad and articulation relationships in order to focus on future recruitment and ensure quality.
- Collaboration and partnership: We will create a hierarchy of relationships with selected institutions, keeping firmly in mind the brand and reputation of the University. These relationships should be enduring and involve more than one aspect of our international activities.
- Innovative pedagogy and offshore delivery: We will work with international partner universities to jointly create and implement new curricula, as well as business and teaching models that take full advantage of digital technologies and social media and blend cohorts of students regardless of their location or chosen mode of study.
- International experience: We will facilitate international experiences for our students and staff that are targeted to their field of study and add value to the education we offer.
Our partnerships with universities, private education providers and industries internationally will provide opportunities for UC staff and students to thrive in a new era of globalised higher education, research, industry and innovation.
Premier partnerships will be enduring, multi-disciplinary and potentially include the offering of co-badged degrees as well as joint research activities. We will also work in partnership with a larger group of institutions to identify areas of demand and design new curriculum and articulation arrangements for specific locations or cohorts, as well as facilitate high impact research collaborations down to a researcher-to-researcher level. Examples will include jointly run English language centres offshore, and new postgraduate offerings, either franchised from elite institutions around the world or developed with partners in-country on the basis of market research.
We will pursue innovative packaged offers to attract students onshore, including placement in UC Senior Secondary College, intensive English language courses, work integrated learning and post-graduation employment opportunities. We will also provide further opportunities for students completing VET and overseas diplomas to articulate into our degrees. The time taken for us to generate an offer to an eligible applicant will be reduced by the introduction of a new online portal for agents, establishing virtual offices in key markets, and further automation in our admissions process.
Students will have access to high quality, affordable accommodation for the entire duration of their studies. Tailored programs will be available as part of international scholarship schemes established by foreign governments and civil service agencies. Demand will also be buoyed by our increased visibility offshore. Additional scholarships will be made available on both a merit and equity basis, funded by an internal levy on international student revenue.
We will measure our success through:
- International student load: We aim to grow our international student cohort in both number and proportion, with a target of 5,000 EFTSL by 2018. This will be achieved whilst reducing our reliance on traditional source countries, and the use of agents for recruitment.
- International experiences: By 2018 at least a third of our graduating cohort (including both domestic and international students) will have had an international experience that includes industry-based study tours, work integrated learning, intensive language and culture programs, and for-credit study at partner institutions.
- Partnerships: We will establish at least one premier partnership with an overseas institution each year. In addition, we will establish a larger number of international partnerships focused on specific disciplines, courses or cohorts.
Our research endeavours will be subject to the following guiding principles:
- Focus: Given our size we will focus our efforts in the research domains of environment, governance, communication, health and education.
- Excellence: Our staff will strive for excellence in their research and research training endeavours and this will be evidenced by an increase in the national and international influence of our research.
- Partnerships: We will support the formation of research and research training partnerships with local, national and international research universities and institutions, at both the strategic and individual level.
- Impact: Our research discoveries and applications will lead to early improvements in the changing world around us, and directly benefit industry, business, government and the wider community.
Our chosen research domains reflect our current and emerging strengths, societal need and opportunity. We will invest in these five areas by creating and enhancing research institutes and centres. A greater proportion of our academic staff will be recruited on the basis of their success in obtaining research income, with some being research-only appointments.
Whilst five areas have been specified, we will ensure that our focus research domains continue to underpin the interdisciplinary approach required to generate impact and contribute to solving some of the big societal problems.
We pride ourselves on the applied nature of our research and already engage strongly with end users of our research. We will maintain and develop these links not only for the benefit of the research activity, but to ensure that our research training programs are relevant to industry and business where our graduates are likely to find employment.
We will measure our success through:
- Research publications, citations and international collaboration: We aim to increase the number of indexed publications per research active staff member by 10% per annum, and increase the citation rate for our publications by 10% per annum. To help facilitate this we are also aiming to increase the percentage of our publications with international co-authors by 5% per annum.
- Research income: We aim to increase the income we derive from national competitive grants by 16% per annum.
- Quality assessment: We aim to have at least two fields of research receive a rating of 5, and a further five areas receive a rating of 4 in the 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment at the two-digit level.
- Students completing higher degrees by research: We aim to grow our HDR completions per academic staff member by 1% per annum, and reduce the average time to completion by 4% per annum by offering additional entry pathways and professional development for students and supervisors. This in turn will help us meet our overall student load target, and contribute to the upskilling and research capacity of our academic staff.
The excellence and academic influence of our research will be a key determinant in our performance in international university rankings. This is turn will drive the University's reputation and attractiveness to both domestic and international students.
Sustainable and Successful
Completing all three of these objectives will make UC sustainable and successful in a market-driven, global higher education system that is increasingly based on digital learning, international collaboration and strong brands.