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VU launches transformation agenda

Victoria University’s Vice Chancellor and President Professor Peter Dawkins (AO) has released a White Paper, which joins all the elements of the university’s significant transformational agenda.

At the heart of this agenda is 'a university without boundaries', a pledge to support any student from any background to be successful in education. “VU has a compelling vision and mission to transform lives and communities through the power of education and research,” Professor Dawkins said.

With the changes in the environment it is operating in, VU recognises the need to undertake a transformational agenda to be an agile, innovative, dynamic and growing university as well as be financially sustainable. The White Paper defines and elaborates on this transformation.

“We’re based here in the west of Melbourne, where there is a diverse and thriving student community and a region itself undergoing rapid transformation. At Victoria University, I am fortunate to work with people who feel a great sense of purpose - that we are here to do something important for humanity. This is a proud and distinctive part of our history and culture,” said Professor Dawkins.

The University is working to significantly reform and innovate its approach to learning and teaching as well as focus its research in areas of strength and relevance to the industries and communities we serve to deliver our vision and mission.

Two major initiatives outlined in the White Paper include the First Year Model and VU Research.

Read more about Victoria University's transformation agenda in our White Paper

First Year Model

The introduction of the First Year Model at VU will involve a genuine innovation for Australian higher education. It is an Australian first.

The First Year Model will be implemented by the First Year College (FYC), commencing in 2018. It will deliver the first year of bachelor degrees and integrated personal support to our first year students.

The model is intended to ensure a sense of belonging, learner sophistication and the other known predictors of learning gain. It means that students will be able to focus on a single subject, rather than juggling multiple units with competing demands and deadlines; to immerse themselves in each unit, learning through discussion and group interaction; to form strong peer connections; to get to know and be known by their educators; to receive timely and targeted support; and, crucially, to achieve success early to build confidence and motivation.

Through this significant innovation we are delivering on our commitment to be both open to students who are less prepared to undertake higher education and excellent in the education we give them.

VU Research

VU will continue to strive for research excellence. The introduction of new entity, VU Research, to lead and manage the University’s research and research training programs will also involve a more focused investment in a smaller number of fields of research.

VU has already built a significant profile in defined areas of research that builds on well-established capability and disciplinary expertise and align with the University’s flagship areas of strength – Health, Sport and Active Living and Sustainable industries and Liveable Cities. Designed to be interdisciplinary, our areas of research focus will create opportunities for collaboration and growth and enable innovative solutions to immediate and pressing issues of the day. VU will position itself as a solution hub.

These transformative initiatives, along with others outlined in the White Paper, are underpinned by four big ideas, these ideas capture the essence of our Vision and Mission and pay regard to the rapidly changing environment in which we operate.

VU, along with its students, staff and the communities it serves is reconceptualising tertiary education, and in so doing become a truly great university that is agile, innovative and dynamic.

Victoria University will follow up the release of the White Paper with a number of key announcements and events to progress and promote its agenda over the coming months including the official launch of the First Year Model on the 8 December.

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