Media releases

Victoria University launches First Year Model: An Australian first

In an Australian first, Victoria University is excited to announce the launch of the First Year Model – a bold, new approach to learning for undergraduate students beginning their first year of University in 2018.

As the University of Opportunity and Success, Victoria University has a long-standing commitment to giving students, from the west of Melbourne and beyond, the opportunity to succeed in their studies and create a pathway to rewarding careers.

“Victoria University’s First Year Model is designed to enhance the experience of first-year students on a scale not seen before in Australia. It has the potential to shape the national tertiary agenda as First Year Model navigates students around the expectations of university life and equips them with the knowledge and personal skills they need to become motivated and independent to succeed in the first year and beyond.

Our First Year Model is one of a number of new initiatives that Victoria University intends to implement that place the student firmly in the centre of all we do. This is part of our on-going strategic plan to ensure we have the highest levels of student satisfaction among first year students of any university in Victoria by 2020.”

- Professor Peter Dawkins, Vice Chancellor and President, Victoria University.

How the First Year Model works

Already embraced by progressive educational institutions in Canada, Sweden and North America, First Year Model will be adapted for the 21st Century student.

Instead of insisting students engage with four units of study concurrently, First Year Model, offers students the ability and flexibility to study their chosen degree course in sequential ‘blocks’; completing one unit and its assessment at a time, before moving to the next. This will provide substantial benefits to students and staff including:

  • A single focus, rather than juggling multiple units with competing demands and deadlines.
  • The chance to immerse themselves in each unit, learning through discussion and group interaction.
  • Strong and lasting peer connections formed through close contact with one group at a time.
  • Getting to know and be known by your educators.
  • Timely support from a multidimensional team.
  • Regular feedback.
  • Early success to help build confidence and motivation.

“There has also been much debate in Australia and abroad about a need to transform how tertiary education is delivered, to make sure students receive the right support that will see them graduate with the necessary breadth of skills and knowledge to become successful in future jobs.”

Professor Ian Solomonides, Pro Vice Chancellor, Learning Innovation and Quality.

Underpinning the First Year Model, will be a suite of development opportunities for students to explore ranging from: leadership programs, coaching sessions, and academic skill development.

VU remains committed to providing current and future students with First Year Model; an innovative platform that is flexible, immersive, and more importantly, inclusive. Victoria University is determined to achieve this goal and other significant initiatives, with the ongoing support of our students, academic and professional staff, valued partners and the community in Melbourne’s west.

Available for interview

Professor Peter Dawkins is Vice-Chancellor and President of Victoria University. This position follows six years in high level leadership roles for the Victorian Government, and 28 years in the university sector. He was Deputy Secretary of the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance (2005-2006) and Secretary of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2006-2010).

Professor Ian Solomonides is Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning Innovation and Quality at Victoria University in Melbourne where he is leading the implementation of a variety of initiatives related to technology enhanced learning and teaching, academic quality assurance, enhancement and management, and access to higher education for a wide range of 21 Century students.

Media Contact:
Frances Atkinson
External media
+61 3 9919 4061 or mobile +61 435 960 793

See all media releases