Innovation at ACU

A message from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Innovation), Professor Zlatko Skrbis.

I am excited to share with you some key initiatives that are currently being implemented across the university.

Course incubator

Further to the Vice-Chancellor’s announcement in August of the establishment of the three Innovation Working Parties, a lot of groundwork has gone into developing the right approach and roadmap to diversify and enhance our current courses. We’ve focused on alignment with our mission, current and future job trends and workforce needs.

In 2020, ACU will launch a new course incubator, to provide a testing ground to explore opportunities, respond to changing workforce needs and manage risks effectively. This approach recognises that the future of work will continue to change, and our graduates need to be equipped with the skills and experiences to help them navigate the changes successfully. The ACU Blacktown Campus will play a critical role in this space and will ensure there are solid links to enhance equity group access and participation, industry partnerships, community engagement, pathways and product diversification.

The course incubator will be ‘activated’ in early 2020 with implementation to be undertaken with faculties and other key leads across the university. We will share more information about this exciting new initiative in the new year.

Strengthening the student voice

In order to deliver outstanding student experience, we must think about student experience beyond generic support, systems or services. We need to ensure all our students have an excellent student experience from their first encounter with ACU, all the way through to graduation and beyond.

To this end, in 2019 we commenced in-depth research to look at ACU practices through the eyes of our students. This is the first time ACU has undertaken such comprehensive research, reflecting a collaborative effort with students and between portfolios, aimed at shaping a truly outstanding student experience.

The research aims to address current barriers and improve processes, systems and touch points that impact on our students’ experiences. In 2020 we will move into the design and implementation stage to address the barriers identified by our students in the research.

Digital transformation

The Education and Innovation Portfolio is developing a comprehensive education strategy, including digital, to support learning and teaching excellence. An extensive consultation phase will commence in the new year.

The strategy and associated frameworks will clearly articulate pedagogical approaches that will enhance student learning opportunities and success. A plan to further enhance the capacity of academic staff in the area of digital education so that they can confidently assist students in their learning journey will follow the development of the strategy.

Digital education is both a key part of this strategy and a critical lever and feature in the new learning and teaching design. In 2020 we will be accelerating efforts to enable student access to education at the right time, the right place and in the right format. We also have plans to capitalise on the growing demand for non-degree programs and to ensure we transform our operations for more effective digital delivery and alignment.

Finally, as the year draws to a close, may I take this opportunity to wish you, your families and your loved ones a wonderful and meaningful Christmas and all the best in the New Year. Have a wonderful break whereever you are and I look forward to working with you in 2020!

Best wishes
Professor Zlatko Skrbis
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Innovation)


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