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Ideas, Progress & the Future

2020 vision: what do UC's Deans predict for the year ahead?

It’s the beginning of a new year at the University of Canberra, and with many exciting events and celebrations coming up, 2020 is looking to be one of our best years yet! As we kick off O-Week and begin the academic year, the Executive Deans of each Faculty have provided their opinions on what the year (and decade) ahead will bring for UC.

Professor Jason Bainbridge, Faculty of Arts and Design

2020 always sounded like some science fiction future, didn’t it? A utopia of jet packs, flying cars and matching skivvies. But now that we’re here, it’s offering us a range of wicked problems, design challenges and disruptions that only confirm creativity will become one of the most important resources over the next decade.

In the Faculty of Arts and Design (FAD) we already teach students, train businesses and conduct research around creative solutions. In 2020, we’re expanding our focus even further.

We’re working closely with our partners across the ACT to provide more Work Integrated Learning opportunities for our students, along with civic engagement possibilities through our new Design Studio and the launch of our UC Cultural Pass.

We’re also launching the International Business Quality Centre, a global international first in improving building quality and sustainability.

All these activities will confirm FAD’s role in the wider community. They will provide greater opportunities for our students and staff alike, as we equip the creative workforce of the future with the skills they need to navigate the challenges that the next decade will bring.

Professor George Cho, Faculty of Science and Technology

Everywhere one looks, science and technology form the bedrock of our lives. Probably the first thing that one touches on waking up is some form of technology – whether it be the phone alarm or a digital assistant. The day is also infused with all manner of science and technology, beginning with the journey to work, continuing at the desktop, and including the communications that take place throughout the day.

The Faculty of Science and Technology operates in all areas from the environment, biomedical science, and forensics through to the information technology space including robotics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and bioinformatics.

The conclusion to curriculum renewal in 2020 will bring to fruition most of the needs of training and upskilling scientists and information technologists in preparation for a professional career.

The decade ahead in research, teaching and societal impact will surely be different from the one that we have just left behind, and we are working to ensure that eventuates.

Professor Wendy Lacey, Faculty of Business, Government and Law

2020 will be a year in which the Faculty of Business, Government and Law will establish solid foundations for its future success. We intend to position the Faculty as the provider, partner and educator of choice in the ACT.

One of the Faculty’s priorities in 2020 will include the development of a new Faculty Strategic Plan that will drive our performance in the coming five years and will be underpinned by a set of core values which reflect the way we want to teach, research, engage, collaborate and contribute to Canberra, the region, and the world.

Our plan will build upon our existing strengths as a Faculty, and contain clear strategies for growth, enhanced student experiences and graduate outcomes, as well as the increased impact of our research, external collaborations and partnerships.

We know that the way that professionals will learn in the future is changing. The Faculty aims to position itself as the educator of choice both locally and nationally, through the delivery of flexible, scaffolded programs tailored to the needs of both employers and professionals.

Professor Barney Dalgarno, Faculty of Education

In recent years, we have seen transformational change in early childhood, school and post school educational contexts. These include new teaching approaches, new kinds of digitally enabled learning experiences, and a renewed focus on equal educational opportunities. In this context, the Faculty of Education has a critical role to play in the preparation of teachers who can meet the challenges presented by this transformational change.

The Affiliated Schools Program, a ground-breaking partnership between the Faculty of Education, the ACT Education Directorate, and 25 ACT schools, has a key focus on establishing a teaching workforce that meets these future needs.

2020 will see the first cohort of graduates taking up positions in ACT and NSW schools and will see the expansion of the program into additional schools and additional teacher education cohorts.

The next decade will see enhancements to the Faculty’s distinctive and future-focused curriculum offerings, including specialised products that leverage our research strengths and cross-Faculty partnerships delivered using innovative approaches, which harness the affordances of digital technologies for flexible and engaging student learning experiences.

Professor Michelle Lincoln, Faculty of Health

Health is an incredibly rapidly evolving area. There are new breakthroughs in our understanding of health and wellbeing, new treatments and new technologies every week!

This makes the Faculty of Health an exciting place, as we contribute to this expanding knowledge base through our research and prepare our graduates to be experts in change and knowledge management.

This year we will lead sector-changing research that demonstrates the impact of pharmacists embedded in residential aged care facilities and enhance our student’s employability through interprofessional learning, international experiences and placements in the UC health precinct. 2020 is an Olympic year, so we will watch with pride as our research, alumni and students contribute to Australia’s success.

The next 10 years will see the Faculty of Health make a sustained and effective contribution to the health and wellbeing of the ACT region and Southern NSW through the provision of a future-proofed health workforce, health services and locally-anchored research.

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