Has it really been more than a year since we held our unijam consultation? You probably think that life has moved at a rapid pace since then, and it has, but we have already started transforming the University by doing what we said we’d do. And we’ve done it very successfully so far.
In our strategic plan, Crossing the Horizon, we laid out the actions we would take between now and 2018, and we have already begun to deliver.
We promised enhanced educational offerings and an outstanding student experience. An important part of that is to give students exposure to the professional environments where they will eventually have careers.
To deliver on this we have developed some powerful new partnerships with industry that will open opportunities for students to innovate, to engage with and to learn from the kind of industries where they will eventually work.
Our partnership with global IT company Hewlett-Packard will provide not only a new degree program with a pathway to internship for our students, but also a unique physical environment where students, graduates, commercialisation experts and industry will have opportunities to explore new ideas for business and products. It will act as an incubator for new small to medium enterprises and a pipeline for the commercialisation of new innovations.
We also partnered with Hills Limited to put South Australia at the forefront of innovative product design and technology expertise for a wide range of industries, from aged care and health, to security and safety.
And while we’re looking for bright ideas from students, we’re backing this up with investment. A new initiative developed by UniSA and the South Australian Government will help students translate their ideas into new business opportunities. The new ‘Venture Catalyst’ program we have put in place will provide up to $50,000 in seed funding to individual student ventures selected by an independent external panel of successful entrepreneurs. This seed money and the advice that will accompany it will help translate those ideas towards developing a product, service or process and take it to market.
Another vital partnership cemented in the past year is the one we made with SA Pathology to create the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB). The CCB will combine our multidisciplinary expertise in areas such as health sciences, drug delivery systems and nanotechnology in a partnership with Australia’s leading research centre in leukaemia, all based in phenomenal new facilities in the planned UniSA Health Innovation Building on North Terrace.
All these partnerships in their various ways will be of enormous benefit to our students, our community and the wider South Australian and national communities.
We promised transformational infrastructure that makes UniSA an inspiring place to work and study.
This is coming on-stream too. We opened the new Jeffrey Smart Building in late April, an $80 million student learning centre with eight floors of cutting-edge learning spaces and services. The building pioneers our ‘flipped classroom’ concept where students engage with their teachers, ready to learn. You can read more about the Jeffrey Smart Building – and the dynamic learning spaces it has – on the next page.
We promised to strengthen our position as the University of Choice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students by creating a safe environment for them to grow and learn and contribute to their communities. That process is underway.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan is a real and measurable set of actions that bring cultural change to the University.
We are the first university in Australia to make a formal commitment to reconciliation and to embed this in our core values.
Just some of the actions that we’re taking towards putting our Reconciliation Action Plan in place include installing an official Acknowledgement of Country on every campus to complement the existing reconciliation stones; commissioning a Kaurna shield for use at graduations; building an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alumni association; establishing deeper working relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander professional associations; updating our Indigenous employment strategy so that we reach our two per cent employment target; and using more Indigenous suppliers wherever we can.
When we brought you enterprise magazine in 2013, we were recovering from unijam and sifting through all the ideas that our community put forward. A few projects that stemmed directly from that consultation are already in place. Our free Campus Connector bus now runs on the hour between Magill and Mawson Lakes campuses, a huge help to those students who have programs across both campuses, and for staff too.
We prohibited smoking on all of our campuses on World No Tobacco Day (May 31). And we now have our new uni branded hoodies and T-shirts which are selling at a great rate. It’s great to see students on campus wearing the gear that they had input into designing and that says ‘I’m part of this place – and proud of it’.
We’ve even taken UniSA offshore with new programs being delivered through Hong Kong Baptist University and in July we launched a new UniSA-branded campus in the Singapore CBD at Orchard Gateway.
We said we’d be a university of enterprise: progressive, creative and innovative. We’re getting there and we’re attracting exactly the kind of attention we wanted.
Both the QS and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings place us as Australia’s youngest university in the top 50 of world universities under 50 years old. And we’re rapidly getting another sort of attention: as a smart, globally connected place to do business.
Inside this magazine you’ll see the reasons why UniSA deserves your attention, now and into the future. You’ll see some of the amazing breadth of work being undertaken at UniSA. You’ll see that we are committed to bringing together intellectual capital with creativity and innovation to work on projects that improve our local and global communities.