Victoria University has today launched the VU Academy for Social Change and Leadership aimed at aspiring student leaders who want to shoot for the stars.
As part of the Academy, VU will be the first university in Australia to send selected students for a study-tour to NASA in Houston Texas later this year.
Other projects include mentoring and training with the VU Academy Activator for budding entrepreneurs to establish and grow their own enterprises. Students can join an existing project or propose their own, which will be judged for $5000 worth of funding in a ‘shark-tank’-style pitch event.
Academy Director and award-winning lecturer Associate Professor Thinh Nguyen said the Academy was established to provide experiences and programs that prepare VU students for life.
“The Academy’s range of social impact and personal development programs are aimed at helping students make an impact as they create and work on real-world social and environmental projects.
“These projects enable students to develop leadership, entrepreneurship and 21st century skills that will help them in their future careers and their day-to-day lives,” he said.
Behind-scenes look at NASA
The two-week study tour to NASA for first-year students in science, engineering, technology or design is expected to become a biannual activity. Participants will have access to exclusive areas in NASA as part of the HASSE International Space School.
Past and present students are invited to join in several social impact programs to encourage networking across a range of levels, disciplines and experiences.
Students can also become ‘STEMers’ (educators of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) by working with VU tech artists, or in outreach programs such as VU’s popular Family Science Night or with the state-wide travelling Science Troupe.
Personal development programs are available to all VU students, and include workshops in creative mindfulness, acquiring a success mindset, the skills of ‘super learning’ and controlling social media.