27 November 2008: Australian Catholic University (ACU National) has won two of the seven prestigious 2008 Business / Higher Education Round Table (B-HERT) awards.
ACU National academics involved in collaborative industry, government, non-profit and educational partnerships walked away with prizes for Best Education and Training Collaboration for the My Science program and Best International Collaboration in Education and Training for delivering tertiary education to refugees on the Thai-Burma border.
My Science, a primary school science and technology program, has created a sustainable model of collaboration between schools, industry and universities. ACU staff members Associate Professor Marea Nicholson and Mrs Anne Forbes were part of the NSW-based project team.
“We and our many project partners recognise the key role that science knowledge will play in the future of all Australian industries,” they said. “The ground-work for science literacy must begin early.”
For over four years, ACU has offered a Diploma in Business and Certificate in Theology to camp-based refugees on the Thai-Burma border. Recently, Open Universities Australia and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities joined the project, which already has seen students completing the programs move on to university courses or employment in Thailand, USA and Australia.
“Many camp refugees return after study to work for NGOs to help their own people,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Gabrielle McMullen, who was the University sponsor in establishing the program. “This educational opportunity is truly life-changing for the participants.”
“The B-HERT recognition is greatly appreciated by everyone involved,” she added. “But it is the refugee students themselves who are inspirational to us all and must remain our focus.”
Australian Catholic University (ACU National) – established as Australia’s only Catholic, national, publicly funded university – is open to all. The University empowers its students and staff with a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the moral and ethical dimensions of their study and their professional and personal lives. Visit www.acu.edu.au