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Strength in partnership

Great collaborations with strong benefits for students are very much on UniSA’s agenda in 2008.

During Federal Budget Week, UniSA and the Australian National University sealed a deal to collaborate in delivering degree programs that will meet the needs of students at each university.

At the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, ANU Vice Chancellor Professor Ian Chubb and UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj said the agreement built a solid framework for working together in research and research training.

The first collaborative programs are expected to commence in the 2009 academic year. The deal includes plans for ANU and UniSA to establish programs in epidemiology and public health on a common education platform.

"The MOU underpins a new approach to higher education in Australia, with universities working together to play to their strengths for the benefit of students," Prof Chubb said. "Each university will contribute according to its existing and emerging specialisations."

Prof Høj said the agreement was designed to build strength and capacity in the sector.

"To lift the quality of Australia’s higher education system so that we can prepare graduates to meet future challenges, we need to harness and develop excellence across the system," Prof Høj said.

"This kind of intelligent cooperation recognises each university’s unique mission and ensures that students with particular career goals get the best our education system can offer."

At the launch in Canberra Senator Kim Carr said the agreement represented exactly what Government was looking for.

"We can’t afford to fund all conceivable options at every institution, so we have to encourage universities, public research agencies and business to work together to get the very best value for public money."

Closer to home UniSA has forged a new partnership between Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Centre (ETC) and the School of Communication.

The agreement brings together aspects of ETC’s elite postgraduate program in interactive digital media with UniSA’s highly regarded communications degrees.

UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Lee said the partnership would build important skills capacity in a State which has already nurtured high profile digital media enterprises.

"SA has some extremely successful niche businesses and individual players who have made a splash in industries such as computer games development, special effects, and digital animation," Prof Lee said.

"We have the perfect environment to develop that creativity and expertise further, and strengthen and broaden opportunities for students here. This move will build our reputation for capacity, excellence and innovation in one of the most significant new industries of the 21st century."

The partnership includes combined curriculum offerings in ECT’s Building Virtual Worlds and UniSA’s media arts curriculum; a joint visiting faculty program and teacher exchanges; a student exchange program; UniSA student visits to Silicon Valley before the end of 2008; and a co-badged Masters in Entertainment Technology Communications to be delivered by UniSA’s School of Communication.