We are moving towards the end of another year of achievement marked by continuing success at an institutional and individual level. This success is the result of outstanding effort from all staff. No matter what your role on campus, your contribution is valued and appreciated.
Most importantly, we continue to close on our ambitious goal of being counted among the world’s top 50 universities by 2050 and the top 100 by our centenary in 2013 (as measured by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities). This ranking is not just about prestige – it is about the benefits that flow from a highly regarded international research university, positively affecting the lives of people in our local, national and international communities.
Another important milestone in 2009 was the launch of the $100 million International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research – a joint venture with Curtin University of Technology. There is no doubt that this new centre will place our State and our universities at the head of Australia’s effort to secure the massive international $2.5 billion Square Kilometre Array project.
Earlier in the year we also opened our new $50 million Business School, which will support new generations of business leaders.
And there were many other significant events, such as the opening of two new centres in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences which are already playing a significant role in teaching and research – the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy; and the Centre for Geothermal Excellence.
We were also pleased to celebrate 10 years in Albany, where we have gone from strength to strength in partnership with the regional community to deliver high-quality teaching and research into the Great Southern Region.
Also important have been institutional awards such as our success at the recent national Diversity@Work Awards.
And our long-term advocacy of equity was also reflected in the launch of Aspire UWA, aimed at students from 24 schools with a low transfer to tertiary education.
At the same time, there have been many major individual achievements – too many, in fact, to try to list here. But worthy of note is that researchers from our University have again dominated the list of finalists for this year’s Western Australian Science Awards to be announced soon. This recognition reinforces our place as the pre-eminent research and teaching institution in the State and is a testament to the excellence of our academics and students. And the high standard of our teaching was again recognised in successful outcomes at the 2009 Australian Awards for University Teaching.
Also this year, we received a very positive result from our audit by Australia’s foremost higher education
review body, the Australian Universities Quality Agency. Our University was described as an “excellent, high quality, well-managed university with a bold vision”.
As we continue to meet our overarching goal of achieving international excellence, I would like to thank every one of you for your excellent efforts throughout 2009 and wish you all the very best for a safe and happy festive season.
- Alan Robson, Vice Chancellor