The Faculty has ended the year with 2,071 enrolments which was slightly below our anticipated target of 2,195. The big drop came from the International sector, where we had a 31.5% drop in commencing students (from 377 in 2011 to 258 in 2012). This has not been unique to the Faculty or ACU as a whole but an issue for the entire sector with a downturn in demand based on visa restrictions and a strengthening Australian Dollar.
The following table shows performance against plan for 2012:
The strategy advance held in September proved to be a wonderful experience for the professional staff in the Faculty and the School of Business. The group covered topics such as induction, process mapping, the new website and other administrative matters. Overall, we all went home feeling that together we had accomplished some great initiatives.
From a learning and teaching perspective, the Faculty is looking with renewed confidence to the year ahead, with a planned modest growth to enrolments of 1.6%. Following the course review, 2013 will be a period of consolidation and bedding down of all our administrative processes to ensure a better student experience. There are new courses that will need development during the year, and this will come with numerous challenges and rewards for the team.
We are also working with the administrative sections of the university as well as the academic units to ensure we can deliver on our promises and provide the support necessary for successful course deliveries. In particular we are strengthening our bond with fees, scholarships and enrolments, academic registrars, admissions and MER.
Our budget is currently being formulated, and we will look to be smart custodians of our funds and ensure the best possible returns for our stakeholders. The Faculty should see a small sum carry forward into 2013 and will continue the stance of conservative spending, balanced with providing opportunities and incentives for students and staff.