Dean's Report

Vice-Chancellor's visit to MGSE

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell visited MGSE yesterday as part of his annual roadshow to the University’s faculties and graduate schools to discuss the future focus of the University. His visit this year coincides with both his one year anniversary as Vice-Chancellor and the publication of the University’s 2030 Strategy Discussion Paper which he outlined in some detail in his presentation. Duncan spoke about the turbulent policy and funding environment that tertiary education finds itself in and some of the challenges this presents for the University. He also talked about the aspirations we should have for the University and where we should place our ambitions. The five themes of the Strategy he detailed broadly coalesce around students and education, basic research, cross disciplinarity and translation, global leadership, place and people, diversity and inclusion. It was interesting to reflect on our own MGSE strategy and how many of our key initiatives fit into this new vision which he enunciated for us. I encourage you all to read the Strategy Discussion Paper and to provide your feedback to Chancellery.

G8 Roundtable Discussion

Last week Dianne Vella-Brodrick and I attended the G8 Roundtable discussion on India’s potentially transformative Draft National Educational Policy (DNEP) to further our understanding of this draft policy and the potential opportunities for MGSE to assist in this focus on high quality education for all. The DNEP is the first comprehensive Indian education policy developed since 1986 and proposes changes across all levels of education from early childhood to University. With a population of 1.3 billion people, including a fifth of the world’s youth, the policy is aiming for a target of 50% of youth being enrolled in a University by 2035 (currently it is 24.5%). The scale of this challenge shouldn’t be underestimated but it does provide distinct opportunities for the University of Melbourne in terms of research partnerships, open and distance learning and our expertise in the internationalisation of education. One of the main areas of interest for MGSE is the potential major role we could play in teacher training as India looks to other countries to assist in training the staff in universities who will be responsible for training teachers for their new system.

Diversity and Inclusion Staff Survey

The results of the Diversity and Inclusion Staff Survey were recently released and this starts an ongoing conversation about working together to identify practical steps to build a more inclusive culture at the University and here at MGSE. While there was some positive feedback, the survey also showed that we are not where we want to be and that we need to focus our energies to establish a much more inclusive culture where everyone feels valued, respected and welcome. In order to achieve this the University has identified some key areas to concentrate on: ensuring more people feel safe to speak up, addressing leadership commitment, better understanding our diverse experiences of inclusion and enabling people to feel comfortable to be who they are at work. I’m pleased that the survey has now been sent to all casual staff of University to gain their valuable input. We have a range of current guides and policies about diversity and inclusion at MGSE and please feel free to contact me or our Assistant Dean, Diversity and Inclusion, Dr Jessica Gerrard if you have concerns or ideas about how to improve this important area across MGSE.

Dean's Lecture tomorrow

I encourage you to take the time to attend the Dean’s Lecture tomorrow evening at 6 pm in Q230 (register here) where the federal member for Cooper, and former President of the ACTU, Ged Kearney will be discussing the role of government in the anxious century – an interesting topic at a time of instability across many parts of the world.

New Talking Teaching Episode

The latest episode of Talking Teaching went live today and centres around interviews with Professor John Polesel, from our Centre for Vocational and Educational Policy and Peter Noonan, Professor of Tertiary Education Policy at Victoria University. The podcast examines the troubled recent history of the Vocational Education and Training sector (VET) and the policy changes needed to alter the perception that VET is a second class educational option.

MGSE Grand Final Celebration

Finally, my thanks to the Social Club for organising a wonderful function last Thursday to celebrate all things Grand Final. It was also a chance to meet and begin our association with our newest neighbours MSPACE. Now that the footy season is over I will be able to turn off the telly and turn on my complete concentration on work!