October update from the Provost Portfolio

Image of ACU Provost, Professor Pauline Nugent.

A message from the Provost, Professor Pauline Nugent.

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share with you some recent highlights from my Portfolio:

ACU strengthens collaboration with South American partners

I was recently in South America on official business with Faculty of Health Sciences Executive Dean Professor Michelle Campbell where we held meetings with ACU’s international partners including the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, University of Sao Paulo (USP), Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC). Discussions centered on international exchange opportunities for students particularly in the fields of health sciences, international relations, business, and law. Our South American colleagues have also expressed interest in potential joint academic collaboration at ACU’s Rome Campus.

In Chile, ACU and PUC signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) to deepen cooperation, collaboration, and mutual support between our universities in the areas of student and staff exchange, curriculum development, research, delivery of joint courses, information exchange, and joint participation in internationally-funded projects. I am very pleased with this significant agreement which promotes our common mission for academic excellence in Catholic higher education and strengthens ACU’s international profile.

ACU Provost Professor Pauline Nugent and FHS Executive Dean Professor Michelle Campbell with executives from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC).

ACU Provost Professor Pauline Nugent (fifth from left) and FHS Executive Dean Professor Michelle Campbell (third from right) with executives from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) headed by Rector Dr. Ignacio Sánchez Diaz  (fourth from right).

'Safeguarding Children: Leading Change’

On 27 September ACU hosted the 'Safeguarding Children: Leading Change’workshop to supportchild protection practitioners in Catholic organisations through the sharing of research, learnings and practice. It was great to see over 45 people attending from across Australia. A broad range of Congregations and Catholic services were represented on the day, with Ms Sheree Limbrick, CEO of the newly established Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL) attending to discuss the organisation’s role and next steps in working with Church and Catholic sector representatives.

Much of the discussion involving child protection, governance and policy officers, legal counsel and volunteers across the Catholic sector was focused on the importance of evidence-based practice in Mission-led organisations. Professor Daryl Higgins and Dr Tim Moore from ACU’s Institute of Child Protection Studies (ICPS) were key presenters with a focus on creating safe cultures and sustaining preventative approaches. The Institute’s recent research undertaken for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was also featured with children and young people’s perspectives discussed as central to practice.  A number of case studies were presented by Catholic Education Melbourne, the YMCA and ‘Child Protection Sunday’ organisers to share learnings and approaches, with time allocated to discuss practical issues and potential partnering strategies with ACU to maximise impact.

I would like to thank the Strategic Partnerships Directorate for organising the workshop and Br David Hall for facilitating the session. Such efforts reflect ACU’s University-wide approach and demonstrate the tangible ways ACU can work with Church and other Catholic partners to support dialogue and evidence based practice to address this important issue.

Image of Sheree Limbrick speaking at the Safeguarding Children: Leading Change Workshop hosted by ACU.
Ms Sheree Limbrick, CEO of Catholic Professional Standards Ltd speaks at the Safeguarding Children: Leading Change Workshop hosted by ACU.

Enrolment Plan 2018-2023

I am pleased to advise that the Vice-Chancellor and President has endorsed the Enrolment Plan for 2018-2023.

The new Plan embeds a more subdued growth each year for the next six years and takes ACU to more than 32,000 EFTSL by 2023. Faculties have planned load across disciplines, courses, campuses, and funding sources based on various factors including past enrolment trends, international data, postgraduate targets, competitor analysis, employment trends, advice from discipline-based Advisory Boards and ACU strategic priorities. Recent proposed government higher education funding reforms have also been top-of-mind in this year’s Enrolment Planning process.

I wish to thank the various areas involved in this year’s enrolment planning, in particular the Faculties for their detailed and time-consuming work, which is of vital importance to our University. Likewise, my office and I appreciate OPSM for the support they have provided.

Professor Pauline Nugent
Provost


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