You’ve made it through another big year and undoubtedly earned a well-deserved break – and for those who’ve completed their studies I wish you the very best for your future endeavours. With the academic year nearing end, it is timely to take a look at what we’ve achieved in 2019 and set our sights on the opportunities ahead in 2020.
During the past 12 months we’ve settled into our new College structure and worked hard to transform how we deliver our courses. I acknowledge that there are still things we need to address and that’s where your ongoing feedback is highly valuable. Following the 2018 academic restructure, Colleges have brought on new staff during the year and filled most of the vacant positions. We now have more staff, at higher levels in permanent positions, reducing our reliance on casual staff and giving students, greater continuity and a better overall learning experience.
We have brought greater focus to how our academic staff manage their roles by reducing red tape, creating more opportunities for specialist teachers dedicated entirely to student success, and some devoted to research – with both providing valuable support to the majority who continue to balance both teaching and research in their roles.
We will go into 2020 knowing there are challenges, but that we’re well positioned to meet them. Constraints on federal funding won’t prevent our pledge to invest an additional $100m in education up to 2025, and another $100m in research over the same period, benefitting current and future students.
Our focus on quality facilities and easy access to support services has seen improvements rolled out across the main campus with better College shopfronts and upgrades of various teaching and learning spaces. Improvements to the way we communicate and share information with our students has seen introduction of the Ping! student e-news, and revitalisation of the student support webpages, including Health, Counselling and Disability and Financial Support sites. We’re continuing to invest in accommodation, learning and research spaces, with planning for Flinders Village well underway and work to commence next year on a Health and Medical Research Building near the soon-to-be-completed Flinders rail station. Additional student accommodation will follow, along with food, shopping and entertainment – all aimed at creating a great place to study, live and work.
As always, if you have feedback, concerns, or suggestions, we want to know. Change is a constant in life and we are always responding and adapting to ensure your learning success. Your input could play a part in all students having a better learning experience. I encourage you to submit your thoughts through the Student Ideas Gateway, or let staff in your College know of any issues, what’s working and what you’d like to see more of, so that we can keep on delivering.
Best of luck to those still finishing their exams, congratulations to those who are finishing their studies this year, and to everyone I wish a safe and happy holiday season.
Professor Clare Pollock
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Students.