Welcome to 2024. This year we celebrate 70 years as a university.

More information here https://www.une.edu.au/connect/events/celebrating-70-years   


Enrolments and load

Do you know the difference between enrolment and load? Enrolment is the actual number of students/people studying. Load is calculated by the number of units in which they enrol. Annual full-time enrolment is 48 credit points. Each 48 credit points is captured in the term Equivalent Full Time Student Load or EFTSL (pronounced something like Eft-sool). Most of our students in HASSE do not enrol full-time. An example I shared with the VC recently is that in 2023 the Bachelor of Agriculture had 240 students. Our Diploma of Modern Languages last year had 319 students. However, in terms of income, BAGR had 140 EFTSL whereas our DML had 68.5 EFTSL. If all of our DML students enrolled full-time we would have 319 EFTSL in the diploma which would be an incredible $5.7m income (about 6 Level B positions).

Commencing (new students) and continuing (already enrolled) are reviewed separately because commencing tells us how our marketing is going, and is the pipeline for future continuing. Our current situation is we are doing quite well in regards to commencing load. We agreed a modest target of 4% growth for the year which we have not yet met but we are tracking well against last year. Given that year on year we have dropped enrolment numbers and load, it is a lift when looking at our starting numbers and seeing them align with last year.

All of this information is available at https://app.powerbi.com/home

However, the downer is that our continuing load is behind. For example, last week we noticed that about 300 BA students who completed units with us in T2 and T3 last year are enrolled in no units for 2024. Please socialise the information that students do not need to wait for their T3 results to enrol in 2024 units. It also may be that the financial stress of the cost of living at the moment is likely impacting our students who are prioritising their time and finances, or may need to take on more work.


Health, wellbeing, safety

At a faculty forum in 2022 I mentioned my concerns around workplace incivility. Incivility is characterised by low-intensity interpersonal mistreatment, or as Akella and Eid (2021)[1] describe it, a series of routine indignities. It is not bullying per se but rather small slights such as ignoring greetings in passing, not turning up to an agreed meeting without explanation, or leaving areas such as the tea room or lecture space messy after use. In my view incivility is increasingly a pernicious and destructive dimension of university life; eroding collegiality, entrenching distrust of colleagues, and negatively impacting meaningful social and relational connections that are a vital against stress, and which can strengthen individual and collective resilience in difficult times.

We can work together to eradicate incivility. Let’s be careful with people’s feelings. Be kind, be respectful. Remember that the school and faculty leadership are working with you to make improvements. I love it when you bring ideas to us for growth and strengthening, especially in relation to our student numbers and load. It is fine to disagree with people, and with decisions, but I exhort you to focus on the idea or issue, not the person. My consistent expectation is that we will work together within a co-created and evolving culture of support and kindness.


[1] Akella, D., & Eid, N. (2021). An institutional perspective on workplace incivility: case studies from academia. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal16(1), 54-75.