I am pleased to share this first issue with you, and I look forward to the opportunities for scholarly discussion that Education Quarterly will present into the future. Education Quarterly will be sent to your inbox four times per year, and will provide a forum for discussion and debate, celebration of success, and the sharing of professional practice.
I wanted to use this issue to once more extend the invitation to the University community to take part in consultation as we engage in the Vision 2030 strategic exercise. Within that broad framework a new Education Plan is being developed and the Green Paper, “Education and the Student Experience”, is now out for consultation. At the heart of this paper is an aspiration for UWA to be recognised as a leader in education in WA, Go8 and nationally. Moreover, the Green Paper reaffirms the belief in the necessity of being globally recognised for excellence in research and teaching - for a research-intensive University this is the greatest opportunity.
The Green Paper does not prescribe precise ways forward but issues a series of challenges about the future of student learning; of contemporary teaching; of changing perceptions of the student experience and how we might increase diversity and inclusion and a lifelong learning focus. All of these questions are contextualised by an analysis of global and national trends and of the need to equip our students with skills to successfully navigate and shape societies that are facing disruption through automation, robotics and AI, as well as grappling with “wicked problems” and rising inequality.
Further consultation papers will focus on specific issues such as defining work integrated learning; flipped classroom teaching; professional recognition of teaching through the fellowship scheme of the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE); assessment of learning outcomes; research informed teaching, mentoring, student orientation and enhanced collegial approaches, amongst many other issues.
As I look back over my first six months in the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), there is much that has already been achieved, thanks to the efforts of so many. In respect of student learning, we have started a much more strategic discussion about many aspects of experiential learning and in the case of work integrated learning, have participated in the national audit by Universities Australia; have allocated significant strategic funding to faculties and are at the cusp of two major developments - a major increase in student placement opportunities and in late May, a WiL Summit to plot the institutional future.
In regards to teaching, under the leadership of Professor Peter Dean, the new Educational Enhancement Unit is now reframing and broadening the support to faculties and academic staff. We also have celebrated many teaching awards in faculties and in the case of A/Prof Natalie Skead, the award of the prestigious Australian Award for University Teaching in Law. In regards to the student experience, last year saw the signing of the landmark Guild-UWA Partnership Agreement and now we have a 2018 Action Plan focussed on the goals of the development of a new Education Plan, the campus masterplan and further initiatives against sexual harassment and assault within the Respect Now Always framework. In this latter issue, I acknowledge the strong leadership being shown by the residential colleges. In addition, 2018 has also seen a new approach to orientation and commencement, including an excellent new ceremony that so many of you participated in.
So, I thank you for such a strong start. There is much to do of course, but I want to hear your views on what we should plan for and prioritise. This publication will be a place for such debates - and in new ways we hope to recapture some of the spirit behind an older publication - Issues of Teaching and Learning at UWA - as well as share topical articles, showcases of good practice across the University and examples of student projects.
Enjoy this first edition.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)