13 November 2019Share
I would like to provide you with an update in regard to our current enrolments at ACU. As at 30 October 2019, total load is 25,083 EFTSL (Equivalent Full Time Student Load) against a target of 26,539 EFTSL. ACU has exceeded total fee-paying overseas targets by 3.8 per cent or 129.54 EFTSL and represents a 4.4per cent growth (150 EFTSL) from the same last year.
The new Enrolment Plan 2020-2025 has been finalised following a cross-university consultation process including the Enrolment Planning Committee, which I chair. The new plan embeds slight growth over the duration of the plan and takes ACU to 27,190 EFTSL by 2025. Key considerations in the enrolment planning process this year included government funding caps, the cliff year in Queensland, and the new Blacktown Campus, among other factors.
The Queensland Cliff Year Strategy is being implemented and early signs are cautiously positive to manage the predicted 30 per cent less school leavers in the Brisbane market for 2020. As at 29 October 2019, ACU has the highest increase in early offers of any Queensland university in a highly competitive market. ACU has the lowest decline of first preference applications of any Queensland university, along with the second lowest decline of all preference applications. Strategies to mitigate this impact include focus on growing the international and postgraduate load, early entry schemes, alternative entry pathways, flexibility around offers, collaboration with industry partners and TAFEs and joint course offerings between faculties. These strategies are underpinned by a suite of marketing initiatives linked to the ACU brand.
Faculty of Health Sciences signs agreement with Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) for nursing student placements in Hyderabad
I am pleased to share that the Faculty of Health Sciences has recently entered into an agreement with the Catholic Health Association of India (CHAI) for ACU nursing students to undertake professional internships and community engagement placements in Hyderabad.
CHAI is a not-for-profit organisation and is one of the world’s largest healthcare networks with 3,468 member institutions serving more than 21 million people annually.
The Student Placement Agreement will facilitate new international learning opportunities for ACU Health Sciences students from the disciplines of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Health, and Public Health. The first placement program is a Short-Term International Student Experience (STISE) which has been approved for eight to 12 undergraduate nursing and midwifery students to run from 24 January to 9 February 2020.
The Faculty of Health Sciences has submitted a New Colombo Plan application to support the ACU student placement programs with CHAI.
India is one of the key strategic regions for ACU’s international activities and further discussions are underway to strengthen existing relationship with CHAI and explore opportunities for other disciplines.
Highlights from recent offshore visits
I have recently returned from Europe where I held meetings with ACU’s current and potential university partners.
A highlight for ACU was the SACRU meeting in Barcelona, which I attended with the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Greg Craven and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Global and Education Pathways, Mr Chris Riley. The Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities (SACRU) was formed in 2018 and this was the second annual meeting of the group. The meeting was hosted by Ramon Llull University and included discussion around the mission, goals, and governance of the alliance, followed by presentations from each university on their research vision and highlights. The successful meeting strengthened this new research collaboration and provided insights into potential joint research projects for the eight member universities.
Professor Greg Craven AO GCSG (front row, second from left), Professor Pauline Nugent (front row, fifth from left), and Mr Chris Riley (back row, left-most) join delegates from partner universities at the Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities (SACRU) Meeting. Delegations from ACU, Boston College, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile, Pontificia Universidade Católica Do Rio De Janeiro, Sophia University, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Universidade Católica Portuguesa and Ramon Llull University attended.
Earlier this year I was invited by the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) to participate in their annual forum in Rome, held from 4-5 November. The Forum, themed 'New Frontiers for University Leaders', was dedicated to the key challenges faced by global societies and the cutting-edge issues and topics that are driving the transformation of universities. I participated in the panel discussion entitled 'The Future of Health Education', discussing the integration of technology into courses, particularly health and allied health offerings, and ACU’s experience and insights in this regard. I also joined other delegates in a private audience with His Holiness Pope Francis at the Vatican and the forum’s gala dinner hosted by the Embassy of Portugal to the Holy See.
Professor Pauline Nugent with Dr José Manuel Durão Barroso, Former President of the European Commission (2004-2014) and Dr Isabel Capeloa Gil, IFCU President and Rector of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa during the IFCU Annual Forum’s Gala Dinner at Villa Lusa (Rome), the seat of the Embassy of Portugal to the Holy See.
Dr Isabel Capeloa Gil, IFCU President and Rector of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa presenting to His Holiness Pope Francis during a private audience for IFCU Annual Forum delegates.
As the end of the year approaches, I would like to thank my directorates, faculties and staff for all the hard work that has been undertaken over the past twelve months. I wish you a joyful Christmas and I look forward to providing further updates from the Academic Portfolio in the new year.
Professor Pauline Nugent