An update from the Vice-Chancellor and President

20 September 2018

Dear colleagues

As Semester 1 Orientation Week starts today, please join with me in giving our new and returning students a warm welcome whenever you have the opportunity. Our new cohort includes over 200 international students and I hope they will also receive a special welcome to our university community.

This week is an important part of a student’s transition to university life and designed to create a positive start to their university experience. New students will meet their mentor, familiarise themselves with campuses, meet academic and support staff and be provided with information to help them succeed in their chosen program. The complete orientation program can be downloaded from the Orientation Week webpage at https://www.federation.edu.au/current-students/starting-at-feduni/oweek.

Enrolment update

While enrolment figures will not be finalised until census date on 31 March, it is pleasing to note that semester 1 VTAC offers are up on 2017, with strong continuing demand for Berwick. However, Gippsland and Mt Helen campus offers have not yet reached the same level as 2017. The introduction of a minimum ATAR of 65 for Teacher Education programs has contributed to this result. Direct Applications are progressing well, as are International On-Campus enrolments. To date, Confirmations of International Enrolments (CoE) are as follows: Mt Helen (137), Churchill (2) Berwick (100) and Brisbane (12). I’m pleased to report that the Brisbane campus will have its first cohort of students studying the Masters of Technology in Semester 1.

Proposed Academic Portfolio Restructure

The final consultation period for the proposed academic portfolio restructure ended on 14 February.  An impressive level of constructive engagement and feedback was received during both consultation processes.  Professor Andy Smith, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), held a further set of meetings across campuses to discuss the changes made to the original plan and the implementation details. It is expected that implementation of the new structure will commence on 7 March and be fully operational in time for second semester. Your contribution to this process has been invaluable and resulted in a much improved structure. Thank you again to the many individuals and groups for your input. Further work now lies ahead to ensure its smooth implementation.

Enterprise Agreement

As you are aware, we have recently commenced the Enterprise Bargaining Agreement process. This is a critical opportunity for us to work together to shape a sustainable future for our University. We held a constructive initial meeting last Thursday with representatives from NTEU and AWU. I used this opportunity to discuss where FedUni is positioned and the evolution currently underway to ensure we continue to meet the changing needs of our students and wider community.

Initial bargaining meetings have been scheduled, and a FedUni Enterprise bargaining webpage and e-mail address will be established in the near future. I encourage all staff to participate and provide your thoughtful views throughout our bargaining process.

Opening of Ballarat Tech School

On Friday 16 February, the new Tech School was officially opened at the SMB campus by the Premier of Victoria, Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, accompanied by Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, James Merlino MP. FedUni partnered with the State Government to develop this facility to provide educational opportunities for secondary school students in areas of learning that provide jobs for the future. Students will be learning with the assistance of virtual reality, robotics and 3D printers. The Tech School provides another opportunity for local students to increase their pathway opportunities into tertiary studies.

Many FedUni staff were involved in the development of this first class facility to ensure it was ready for the new school year. I would like to thank all those involved, in particular Sofia Fiusco, Director of the Tech School, and her team, and Adrien Rousset, Project Manager, Physical Works Projects.

Best regards

Helen Bartlett

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