3 April 2013

Plenty of project activity over the past two weeks:

Campus Makeover – Master Plan – A review panel met with three shortlisted architects to determine the appointment of the most suitable consultancy to develop and implement the Master Plan for the Campus.  A tenderer has been selected and negotiations and contractual arrangements are underway. Central to the master plan is the development of innovative teaching and learning spaces for the campus – our campus lends itself to such a renewal.  Signadou and Black Friars were purpose built. We need to adapt/ modify the ‘build’ of the past to meet the current and future needs of the University. The appointment of Professor Kevin Ashford- Rowe as Director of the ACU Learning and Teaching Centre has been opportune as Professor Ashford-Rowe has had significant experience in the development of such innovative spaces. We are keen to accept his input and insight into the project. We will soon be able to announce the successful tenderer and update everyone on next steps.  

Secondary Education Degree – We have been meeting with other tertiary institutions including ANU, ADFA (UNSW) and CIT regarding cross institutional agreements to deliver arts, maths, science and language subjects to satisfy undergraduate requirements for a BA/ BTeach or BA/ BSc. Discussions have been progressing well and are continuing.

New Education Model – With the Catholic Education Office being a significant partner in the advancement and employment of our education graduates, we have met with the Director and others from the CEO to strengthen opportunities. Agreement has been reached to progress the formation of an innovative school immersion model of teacher education that from our point of view will deliver a real point of difference for ACU Education.  A small working party is to be formed between ACU and the CEO to progress the development and integration of the model. The proposed model will be applicable to other school environments beyond the CEO.

4 Year Social Work Degree – Discussions continue around the application of a 4 Year Social Work Degree. In a similar vein to the introduction of the Secondary Education Degree we are assessing cross institutional agreements to support appropriate subject delivery. Pathways are also being reviewed and investigated with current and proposed institutes we have or wish to have partnering arrangements.

Allied Health – We are continuing to investigate opportunities to introduce new Allied Health programs.

Centre for Social Wellbeing – The concept of the Centre for Social Wellbeing has generated a lot of interest from many internal and external stakeholders. In developing introductory commentary around the centre, the following draft goals and objectives were prescribed:

Social wellbeing is a state of affairs where the basic needs of the populous are met. The aims and objectives of the Centre are:
  • To create compelling new social relationships between previously separate groups or individuals and ACU Canberra
  • To provide an outreach service to community through the combination of hybrids of existing and developing expertise within  ACU Canberra
  • To enhance teaching, learning and research opportunities of students and academics through practical application and outcomes in their chosen field of endeavour
  • To accelerate individual and group journeys to achieving social wellbeing, and
  • To further the mission of ACU around social justice.

We have been speaking with a range of organisations gauging their interest and thoughts around contributing to the establishment and development of such a centre.  The Centre is to be seen as an Outreach, a way of connecting the mission of ACU to the broader community. Importantly the Centre provides opportunities for Faculties and Schools within ACU Canberra to enrich their teaching, learning, research and community engagement.

We will soon be constructing a working party to further advance the project.

Stakeholder Engagement – the importance of strengthening our stakeholder engagement is critical. We have been impressed by the reach that ACU has in the Canberra community and beyond. In thinking strategically about our stakeholder engagement we need to understand the following:
  • Why engage?
  • Who to engage with?
  • What to engage about? and
  • Confirm a strategic alignment

To this end we are developing a strategic engagement plan which will require input from all. More to come!

Other project activity – the project plan also includes items around on campus accommodation, space optimisation and improving the student experience. Each of these items connect to our campus master plan and information updates will come soon.

Dr David M Williams
Director, Business Development.