Due to an increase in international activity and growth in FHS, the Internationalisation Standing Committee of Faculty Board was reformed. This Committee will develop protocols and procedures to ensure quality of the Faculty’s international activities.
There has been an increase in student international mobility this year with 156 FHS students participating in international experiences so far. Destinations included Timor Leste, Vanuatu, Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Denmark and China with all students receiving some level of financial support.
FHS has been successful in more than approximately 40 student mobility grants for countries such as Timor Leste and the Thai Burma Border for 2015. Four applications for travel grants have also been submitted to the 2015 Colombo Plan Grant Schemes.
The Faculty is currently in the process of recruiting for a new position of International Co-ordinator in the Faculty, which will assist with increasing international activity.
New course development and review is underway for implementation in 2015/2016, including the introduction of an exciting new course for our new School of Science; the Bachelor of Biomedical Science will be offered in Brisbane, North Sydney and Melbourne from S1 2015 and an extension of the offering to our Canberra and Ballarat campuses from 2016 is currently under development.
The introduction of the Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Simulation Education in 2015 is also expected to fulfil a niche in the postgraduate professional market.
A number of course reviews have been undertaken in line with our quality assurance and accreditation processes. A number of other new and revised offerings for 2015/2016 also include the new four year Bachelor of Social Work degree and the revised Master of Nursing Clinical Education, Master of Health Administration and Master of Clinical Nursing courses.
There is growth in applications for articulation agreements with the Office of the Academic Partnerships receiving increased requests for articulation into FHS degrees. This is a promising development in light of the competition that the higher education sector is likely to experience with the reforms currently proposed.
The Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) re-registration working party has met regularly over the past 12 months in preparation for the University’s provider renewal. As part of this process, benchmarking has arisen as an area for further development to demonstrate quality standards in courses.
Community engagement (CE) draws upon capabilities of the University’s staff and students to work collaboratively with community groups and organisations in mutually agreed projects that build capacity, improve wellbeing, and produce just and sustainable outcomes in the interests of individuals, communities and the University.
Community engagement is a key part of a student's education at Australian Catholic University (ACU) through the core curriculum. This gives students the opportunity to:
widen their horizons
gain new skills and experiences
improve their resume
make a difference in the wider community.
The University focuses its community engagement on staff expertise in teaching and research. Thus, community engagement will normally be embedded within a staff member’s teaching and/or research activities although it may, in special circumstances, be reflected in the other activities. Community engagement does not include personal community service, volunteering or fundraising.
While the Faculty’s community engagement projects in Timor Leste are very well know through the Future in Youth, and the Barefoot Nurses and Maternal Infant Health train, the trainer programs and the local community engagement activities are less well known. Three Campus-based working groups have been established to foster local CE and multidisciplinary fieldwork student experiences in 2015. These groups made up of representatives from Schools, IACE and Indigenous Education Support Units report to the Faculty Learning and Teaching Standing Committee, and provide a central point on each campus to support development of innovative CE student experiences in our undergraduate courses. Our thanks go out to the chairs of these new groups.
Staff who have ideas about community engagement are invited to share them with their working group representative, their supervisor or campus IACE representative.