Victoria University will be fundamentally restructured in a plan released today by Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Dawkins.
The restructure will be implemented by 1 January 2013.
Professor Dawkins said that reduced funding in both the Higher Education and Vocational sectors and an increasingly market driven policy environment led the University Council and senior management to seriously re-think its operations.
"The new funding environment requires us to operate with greater agility and efficiency. In line with that we aim to be nationally and internationally recognised for our learning and teaching and to strengthen the opportunities for our students," Professor Dawkins said.
"This will be the most significant structural change to Victoria University since its foundation in 1990 and may be a forerunner to other such changes to institutions in the sector."
The structural change to the University means that the faculty model will be replaced with eight colleges in line with the University's distinctive specialisations – business; creative industries and creative arts; education and early childhood; engineering, science and the built environment; health; law, justice and government; social science and communities; and sport science.
Courses will be structured to encourage seamless pathways from TAFE to Higher Education and all courses will be reviewed in line with the new structure.
Professor Dawkins said, "We need to make more of our dual-sector status, in growing pathways and improving opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds. New 'broad access'bachelor degreesin arts, science or business, will offer multiple entry and qualification recognition points."
With less funding available for the delivery of TAFE courses and aggressive competition in the sector, a Victoria University Trades Academy will be established to focus on the delivery of apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and VCAL.
There will now be extensive consultation with staff over the coming months to further refine the plan entitled The VU Agenda: Excellent, Engaged and Accessible.
"We will be communicating with staff in an open, honest respectful way, whilst seeking their involvement opinion and ideas," Professor Dawkins said.
"This model clearly differentiates us from most other tertiary institutions and provides the added benefit of delivering long term economic sustainability in a difficult budgetary environment. A shared services model, which is also part of this plan, will enable us to be efficient in the services that support our core business of learning and teaching, research and knowledge exchange."
For further information and a copy of: The VU Agenda: Excellent, Engaged and Accessible.
Christine White, Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University, 9919 4322; 0434 602884; firstname.lastname@example.org