|The rest of my week has been consumed with meetings (what a surprise!) across a spectrum of issues. Some staff leaving UNE asked for exit interviews and it was most informative to hear their experiences as part of the UNE community; I would like to acknowledge their generosity and honesty.
I spent time with various groups that are focusing on our academic performance, most especially our retention data. It is quite challenging to see the data, which highlights how attractive our academic offerings are and how capable our students are, and then analyse attrition. Given UNE’s mission as an institution is to serve those in ‘need’ of the benefits which education offers and the quantum of public funding we receive, there is clearly much for us to consider around how we hone our support for students who have stepped up to the challenge of tertiary education.
This week also provided an opportunity to see an early draft of the emerging UNE Model proposal which will underpin our approach going forward. It is no small challenge to aggregate what we do well and focus on what needs to be shape shifted to create an educational template for our future. The adoption of the flipped classroom, the embedding of digital tools to enhance support, the design of the curriculum offer, both in terms of content and construct to serve a diverse student body, and the embedding of experiential learning into our programmes are all critical discussion points which sit alongside consideration of the design of the next Learning Management System and the overarching ambitions of UNE to be a distinctive tertiary education provider. What kind of educational partnerships we develop and why is another piece of the puzzle. I was also involved in conversation with our colleagues from NOUS Group about progress with the Tamworth campus review and our growth plans for this location.
Running alongside all of these meetings was the business of hosting Apricot Consulting who were here to work with Senior Executive members on designing the Senior Leadership Development programme for 2020. We hope to offer a thematic programme which provides both information relating to key areas of the business, as well as deeper leadership developmental support.
Another focus of this week’s planning discussions was the work currently underway to develop the UNE 2021+ Strategic Plan framework, which will be refined over the coming months. I am determined that our new Strategic Plan will be developed through a collaborative dialogue across staff, students, alumni and key stakeholders. At a time of great change in the education sector here in Australia (for example consider the implication of the Coldrake Review) and the shifting demographics of the population, there can be little doubt that UNE must progress with refining its strategic drivers and develop a distinctive competitive response to serve us over the next decade and beyond.