Straight from the top - join the VC's blog
Alumni can now engage directly with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis, via the VC Open Line, the University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor’s Blog.
Members of the University community and the wider public are invited to submit questions for Professor Davis to answer via the ‘ask the VC’ link.
The blog also features speeches, audio and visual material including Professor Davis’ address at the National Press Club, and his comments and opinion pieces which have featured in the media.
Read the VC’s welcome below, or explore the VC Open Line at http://vcblog.unimelb.edu.au/.
Colleagues, friends, members of the University community and the general public – welcome.
This blog has been created so you have the opportunity to engage with me on issues affecting the University, the broader education environment and public policy.
As you may know, in late 2005, the University adopted a curriculum which was a first for Australian universities.
Encompassed within the Growing Esteem strategy, it combined the best of European and US educational systems, replacing the traditional undergraduate/postgraduate model with a suite of undergraduate degrees and graduate programs.
The new combination was aimed at delivering an academic and disciplinary grounding followed by superb professional or research training, increasing students’ ability to study and work around the world and providing multiple points of entry to courses.
The strategy reaffirmed Melbourne’s intention to be one of the finest universities in the world.
It was a difficult birth – as systems created through revolution often are – and there have been modifications along the way.
However, the incredible persistence and hard work of our staff and our students’ preparedness to consider a different approach are paying off.
Recently, first round offers to students through the Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) showed Melbourne had performed exceptionally.
VTAC data showed first preference applications for Melbourne’s degrees jumped by 21 percent overall from last year, the largest increase in Victoria.
There was also a 24 percent increase in applications through the Access Melbourne program for disadvantaged students, including large increases for those from rural areas and low socio-economic backgrounds.
In addition, Melbourne had five of the 10 most sought degrees offered by Victorian universities, as measured by first preference applications through VTAC.
The demand has also contributed to a rise in the Australian Tertiary Admission Ranking (ATAR) for all our degrees – we were the only university in Victoria to achieve that.
Melbourne’s attraction to international students has also continued to grow despite a significant national downturn, with the University making 40 more offers to that group through VTAC than last year.
We believe the increased overall demand reflects the growing awareness of our new programs and their attractiveness to students from all backgrounds.
However, there is still much work to do as the challenges facing the tertiary sector continue to grow.
Nevertheless, we believe we are well placed to meet those challenges and 2012 promises to be an exciting year for the University.
The current CEO of the Australian Research Council, Professor Margaret Sheil, will take up the role of Provost, bringing a breadth of experience to the role. Both the University and Victoria will benefit from her appointment.
Our new Research Strategy will establish a 10-15 year framework for University to continue its 19-year trading of excellence into this millennium and beyond.
And we will pursue increasing internationalization and collaboration with Asia – notably India and China – and a greater focus on partnership with government and industry.
As Vice-Chancellor, I am very proud of our staff, our students and the fact that we are Australia’s leading university and one of the finest in the world. I look forward to your questions and responses and to engaging with you as the year unfolds.