News from the Students, Learning and Teaching Portfolio.

Photo of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching) Professor Anne Cummins.

A message from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching) Professor Anne Cummins:

Dear Colleagues,

As we go into a new Commonwealth funding cycle on the back of the new Higher Education Reform Package which seeks to drive better outcomes for both students and taxpayers, I’m pleased to say that as a University we have had our eye on this and I’m confident that we will be able to meet these requirements.

Much of the funding provided by the Australian Government is directed to learning and teaching in higher education through a range of initiatives. These initiatives assist with infrastructure, student support, increasing equity and improving quality in higher education.

ACU is tracking well to meet this challenge as we are a student-centric University which focuses on allowing our students to pursue their personal interests while achieving their academic goals.  Our academic and professional staff strengthen the quality of our student experiences.

Renewing our approach to quality

Excellence in educational delivery is found in universities where the dialogue around learning and teaching is strong. ACU programs like Peer Observation and Review of Teaching (PORT) enable that dialogue and help in maintaining the University’s alignment to be student-centric.

The Learning and Teaching Centre continues to facilitate development of initiatives like PORT through the Learning for Life framework in order to further improve learning and teaching practices at ACU. Academic staff are encouraged to participate in reflective teaching practices through the PORT program.

PORT is a voluntary program designed to be developmental for staff. PORT has been implemented across the faculties with over 100 academics taking part. Resources are available on the Learning and Teaching website as well as a case study on how colleagues in the School of Exercise Science have used PORT.

ACU sports stars awarded Order of Australia Medal

Two of our elite athletes recently received one of the highest accolades in Australia.

North Sydney student Ms Emma Tonegato and Melbourne student Mr Mack Horton were each awarded the Medal of The Order of Australia (OAM) for their outstanding performances at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last year.

We congratulate these students who have been honored for this great achievement. The University is proud to have Emma and Mack as part of the Elite Athlete and Performer Program which promotes the achievement of students’ academic goals alongside their sporting goals.

Students from Catholic University in Erbil, Iraq

At the 2015 International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) Conference in Melbourne, ACU and several other Catholic universities made a commitment to the Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, Archbishop Basha Warda, to assist with the establishment of the Catholic University in Erbil (CUE) Iraq.

This year we welcomed an initial cohort of six Masters students from CUE to study at ACU, supported by tuition scholarships.  These students will be the new academic leaders of CUE and will teach Business, Education, Public Health, Nursing and IT. I am pleased to report that all the students are doing well in their studies and are enjoying the Australian culture.

As the CUE’s curriculum, infrastructure and resources evolve over time, ACU will continue to provide tuition scholarships for further Masters students who will join CUE’s academic staff. In the future we anticipate that our faculties will begin to partner with CUE to help develop curriculum and set up academic structures.

Students, Learning and Teaching Conference

If you are in a student facing role, don’t miss out on this year’s conference. To be held on Friday 14 July, the conference will provide a refresher on our Students, Learning and Teaching services and will also provide insight and new ideas on how to engage students in the wake of the Higher Education Reform Package.  Visit the Conference website here for registration details and more information.

With best wishes,
Professor Anne Cummins
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching)

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