August Provost update

Published: Monday 11th August 2014

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to be able to share with you some recent highlights from the work of my portfolio:

High performance in the postgraduate market

High Performance 2

Part of the work of my office, involves working with faculties and directorates to allocate funding to projects which further enhance ACU's postgraduate profile. In particular, funding is directed to faculty projects, which build product and respond to the needs of our market.

Under the auspices of the Postgraduate Strategy 2014-2018; in 2014, faculties and directorates submitted proposals via an Expression of Interest process for postgraduate funding. Approximately 20 high priority projects have been funded and faculties are currently working on delivery of these by year end.

Postgraduate is core business for the university and building programs to attract new student cohorts in a variety of disciplines is critical to ACU's enrolment success.

One prime example of the utility of this funding has been the work of the Faculty of Health Sciences recently, in developing with a modest grant from the Office of the Provost; a suite of programs focused on High Performance Sport. The original aim was to try and attract 30 students. The project has significantly exceeded targets with 84 enrolments within 12 months. Applications for the 2014 suite of programs stand at 156 (as at June 2014).

Professionals and graduate students from all around Australia, as well as the UK, Dubai and Hong Kong have enrolled in the new degree. Sports scientists, high performance mangers, fitness, rehabilitation specialists, performance analysts and the like, now form part of ACU's burgeoning postgraduate cohort.

Professor Michelle Campbell noted that "we, with the support of the Provost, prioritised to build a program where we knew there was an untapped market. We built it relatively quickly, matched it with flexible modes of delivery and this investment is now producing strong results for the faculty and the university".

The Enrolment Planning process underway, underscores the importance of building and sustaining growth in our postgraduate market. Faculties and directorates are currently working through their load projections against targets for the 2015-2020 Enrolment Plan. As of July 2014, the university has exceeded its postgraduate targets.

High Performance 1

2014 Health Executives Symposium

Executive Symposium 3

ACU Executive Education have delivered an extremely successful inaugural event, the ACU Executive Symposium- Complexity and Transformation in Healthcare, which took place 25-27 June in Port Douglas.

In conjunction with facilitating partner, McKinsey Company, the event attracted local and international C-level executives from across the Hospital, Aged Care, Health Insurance and Education sectors.

A focus for ACU Executive Education, under the leadership of Tom Ristoski, is identifying opportunities for new partnerships, which build and showcase ACU's strengths embedded in our faculties and build a pipeline of new offerings for our university.

This symposium did just that and enabled senior executives, predominantly in the Healthcare field to meet and engage in topics such as dealing with complexity, through to enacting transformational change. The event focused on providing practical tools and frameworks to help address complex problems across the sector, as well as within individual organisations.

Participants also benefited from the global experience of McKinsey in conjunction with ACU academics.

Feedback from participants was very positive, including this comment from Peter Collery, Chairman of Catholic Homes.

"This was without a doubt one of the best planned, structured and delivered symposiums I have ever attended. I gained an enormous amount from it. Well done!!"

This initiative underscores the important role ACU Executive Education plays in building profile for ACU with industry leaders together with our faculties. The directorate also contributes to our postgraduate strategic approach, as well as carving a niche in the professional development market.

Executive Symposium 1

ACU reaches 30,000 student* mark!

ACU's mid year intake (as of 24 July 2014) shows strong results for the university, when comparing our performance (2013-2014 mid-year intake periods). A 31% increase across Headcount and 34% increase in offers.

Each year, I work with each faculty to analyse existing load and to assess the need for mid-year intakes across specific disciplines, courses and funding sources. This work assists with driving the achievement of Enrolment targets; as well as to mitigate any risks by diversifying load.

The development of annual mid-year strategies is an important strategic project, as it allows faculties to take stock of the 'state-of-play' in their faculties including matters such as:

  • past enrolment trends and course performance against targets
  • post graduate targets
  • international data
  • relevant admissions data
  • articulation arrangements regarding pathway courses including Executive Education offerings
  • a range of external factors including sector and market insights, advice from disciplinary-based advisory boards and relevant government policy advice.

ACU's entrenchment focus is centerd on maintaining sustainable growth, so if load is altered across some courses then the aim is to maintain total load within the discipline or faculty as a priority.

My thanks to the faculties who are working hard to diversify offerings and entrench our universities growth. As at 24 July 2014, ACU's current headcount stands at more than 30,290 students.