I often reflect on how my time as an undergraduate helped shape who I am today. It wasn’t just that I had the opportunity to earn a great education, it was about the people I met along the way; inspirational teachers, committed staff and a network of friendships that will last a lifetime. So while we often focus on the outcomes of education, we should not ignore the importance of the journey.
Many of you will have fond memories of your own journey at Flinders and of campus life at Bedford Park. We want the students of today to have equally vivid memories when they look back on their time at Flinders. That’s why we’re creating a new Plaza and Student Hub to give a modern and vibrant focus for students at the heart of our campus.
The redevelopment is taking shape before our eyes and will add spark to the campus experience through enhanced services. It includes study spaces, a one-stop-shop for student services, and fabulous food and entertainment. The construction is well underway and we are planning an exciting range of events and activities to celebrate its unveiling early next year.
One of Flinders’ strengths is its rich diversity of students, underscored by the University’s commitment to equity. We want every student to have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, but for some, their financial situation is challenging. As part of the University’s current Annual Appeal, I encourage you to watch this video where donors and students speak from the heart about their reasons for giving, and the amazing impact of receiving.
One of the things I love about Flinders is its ambition – not content to simply be good, we are constantly striving to be better. That’s something we can all contribute towards and can all take great pride in. From your perspective, what are the things that could be improved? Innovations you’d like to see? Facilities that should be available? You can help “good” become “better” by sending me your thoughts through my blog or via Twitter @colinstirling.
The changes across the Flinders landscape in the past year have been momentous – from the birth of Tonsley to the transformation of the new Plaza and Student Hub. The 2015 Open Days on 14 and 15 August are a great opportunity to check out the developments at Bedford Park and explore our exciting new campus at Tonsley.
August marks National Science Week, and Flinders will be showcasing some of the potentially life-changing research emerging from our Faculty of Science and Engineering at our new Flinders Investigators Public Lectures. This free event will feature three thought-provoking lectures under the theme Making waves: the science of light. Come along to each of our three campuses to be “enlightened” about the latest developments in solar power (Victoria Square), using light to reset our body clocks (Tonsley), and the use of light as a remote sensing technology (Bedford Park).
Lastly, but certainly not least, please don’t forget that Flinders University celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, and I encourage you to visit the 50th Anniversary web pages to find out what’s on and how you can get involved.
Professor Colin J Stirling