From the Vice Chancellor
You’re probably very aware by now of the broad vision we have for the future of this university. Many of you were closely connected with Unijam, which was held 10 months ago, and in the compilation of the action sets we are taking to deliver on our promises.
A major change was in our focus as a university. We’re not content to be just the best in South Australia. We’re positioning ourselves to be a nimble and focused institution that can respond to local, national and global changes. The emphasis is on global.
Action Set 6 in Crossing the Horizon committed us to being a globally visible university with global reach and leverage. We’re about to launch our Global Engagement Framework and if you missed the presentation in the Bradley Forum here’s an update and an invitation to come and discuss the plans in future forums.
Why global you might ask? Because it is essential for any university that wishes to remain at the cutting edge of the disciplines it teaches to be partnered with the science, technology, biotech, cultural and economic powerhouses of the world. We need to be able to access and deliver – and help create – the new knowledge that will differentiate UniSA from our competition and enhance our reputation as the go-to university for business and the professions.
Then there’s the need for rankings. We’re a young university and rankings are often the only measure that academics and employers use in judgement. There are, after all, more than 10,000 universities worldwide; it takes a number on that list to help identify you. That’s why we care so much about stats – such as being in the top three per cent of the world’s universities and being ranked in the world’s top 50 universities under 50 by THE and QS rankings. As our rankings continue to improve, more academics want to work with us and more employers want our graduates.
And being a globally visible university increases the number of international students who are attracted to our campuses. A healthy proportion of students from outside Australia helps to provide the kind of international environment that makes university such a vibrant place for students who can then learn from each other, broaden their horizons and build the personal and potential professional networks they need for their future global careers.
Not only are we focused on bringing more students here, in Crossing the Horizon we committed to increasing UniSA’s offshore footprint across the Asia-Pacific through international campus collaborations.
Back in 2007 we started withdrawing from our transnational operations and, while there were good reasons for doing so then, there was a perception that our engagement in the Asia Pacific was a less than committed one. We learned some lessons – that’s the business we’re in after all – and we’re back in the region stronger than ever.
We’re offering a new set of programs through Hong Kong Baptist University and in Singapore we’re creating a dedicated space on Orchard Road in the CBD that’s branded UniSA. We’ll be the only foreign university to have a dedicated city centre campus and, in true UniSA style, there will be a strong element of employer engagement. Internships and career opportunities are integrated into the programs and reinforced by a dedicated Director of Employment and Industry Engagement with a contact book you couldn’t jump over. This campus will offer UniSA programs, initially from the Business School, EASS and ITEE, with Health Sciences to follow.
Global reach and leverage was our initial goal but global mobility sounds pretty good too, not just for offshore students to get the same UniSA experience as their onshore colleagues, but for local students and for our staff to travel and make their own global connections.
Nobody around here stands still for long.
Professor David Lloyd
Vice Chancellor and President