Victoria University's new integrated College structure will be in place by 1 January 2013.
The University is becoming an integrated, collaborative institution, made up of eight Colleges, seven of which will offer students a curriculum incorporating Higher Education and TAFE, and a fresh approach to learning that will distinguish it from other Australian universities. The eighth College will focus on trades education and aim to be a national leader in its field.
In outlining the details of the University's Blueprint for reform, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Dawkins said, "The seven new Colleges are central to the University's organisational reform because they will provide the means by which the University's separate parts will come together as a coherent whole with an integrated curriculum."
The Colleges are: Arts; Business; Education; Engineering and Science; Health and Biomedicine; Law and Justice; and Sport and Exercise Science –in line with the distinctive specialisations of the University's Strategic Plan.
The Trades College will form the basis of a groundbreaking Trades Academy to be developed during 2013 for implementation by 2014.
The curriculum will be reformed around the Colleges and will offer students distinct categories of degrees including a small suite of career start bachelor degrees and a larger suite of professional bachelor degrees, alongside the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science.
Professor Dawkins said, "A career-start bachelor degree will enrol students who may not be able to get the required ATAR scores for the professional bachelors degrees, but who we think with extra support can be successful at the bachelors level. We will then provide them with foundation skills and transition support.
"This VU model is a new and distinctive approach to curriculum not seen in the sector before, consisting of integrated colleges with modular integrated curriculum and qualifications, flexible transitions and quality teaching."
The College structure will also provide the environment for improved productivity and efficiency by offering professional and administrative services across the Colleges.
"This far-reaching organisational reform will reduce red tape and improve efficiency, and return the University to a financially sustainable path, by focussing resources on the core mission of learning and teaching; the student experience; and research and knowledge exchange," Professor Dawkins said.
The new College structure is underpinned by the shared services model – shared education, research and professional services – which will be more cost effective.
Professor Dawkins said, "Broadly speaking this is the implementation of a significant plan which is innovative and forward thinking, that addresses a number of issues including the market driven policy environment facing Victoria University and the Higher Education sector as a whole."
A copy of The Blueprint for Organisational Reform: Excellent, Engaged and Accessible is available
Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University,
9919 4322; 0434 602 884; [email protected]