Victoria University (VU) has received the national Good Universities Guide First Generation Award 2022/2023.
In the Guide’s past five editions no other metro-based university has performed as well as VU in the First Generation rating, an achievement that was recognised at last night’s award ceremony.
The University’s strong performance coincides with the introduction of the Australian-first VU Block Model™.
Founded in 2018, the award-winning VU Block Model™ allows students to study one subject at time, in smaller class sizes, with rolling assessments and regular feedback.
The latest accolade is also linked to VU’s successful First Year College, which offers students support and guidance as they navigate their crucial first year of university life.
VU’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said VU greatly appreciated the recognition. He singled out the globally-recognised VU Block Model™ and First Year College for being integral to winning the award.
“Our First Year College and the revolutionary Block Model are crucial to the success of our first-in-family students – it is a significant and important part of their story. This teaching and learning model supports our students to successfully transition to university, making them confident and capable learners. And it sets them up for outstanding jobs and careers when they finish their degrees.”
Professor Shoemaker also acknowledged the dedication of first-in-family students and the VU teachers and staff who support them.
“Everywhere at VU, our colleagues work to remove the obstacles that can hold students back — creating equal and excellent opportunity and success for all of those who come to study with us. We are enormously proud of the achievements of our first-in-family students and the promising future that lies ahead of them.”
VU prides itself as being a supportive and uplifting institution for first-in-family students, who make up more than half (51%) of its overall student cohort.
In 2019, VU’s Dr Laurie Chapin (Institute for Health and Sport) and Bret Oraison (Senior Lecturer Psychology) developed an Australian-first Kick Start program to promote first-generation students through workshops that focus on campus life, study skills, creating academic and personal support networks. In 2020, the program was supported by a philanthropic grant from Equity Trustees and the Arthur A Thomas Trust.
The Good Universities Guide celebrates and identifies universities that serve a high proportion of students that are otherwise under-represented at university. The First Generation award is one of two measures the guide has in this category and it looks at the proportion of commencing students who are the first in their family to attend university.