Dean's Report

Melbourne Leadership Studio

Last Friday Keryn and I attended the University’s Leadership studio which was focused on the graduate student experience at the University. The Melbourne Leadership Studio is a forum designed to bring together members of the Melbourne Leadership Group to engage on important strategic issues and to build a cohesive approach to leadership across the University.

Much ground was covered including the key dimensions of the graduate student experience and where the expectations and experiences of graduate students match and mismatch. I was pleased that two of our MGSE students participated in the Graduate Student panel discussion. I expressed the view that we needed a greater level of engagement and consultation with students as well as a personalisation of our graduate student services. There was strong agreement that the development of the University’s Graduate Student Experience Strategy will not be successful unless it is developed closely in collaboration with students. Some interesting data was presented that showed the profile of the University’s graduate students including the undergraduate pathways into graduate courses and the motivations of students to study at Melbourne, with 95 per cent of students declaring that the quality of our academics was the most important reason they chose the University followed closely by the quality of our courses.

Asia Education Foundation Advisory Board

Last week I also chaired the Asia Education Foundation Advisory Board meeting which was held at the beautiful Sydney Opera House where we discussed, among other matters, the Declaration for Educational goals and cross curriculum capability in Asian literature, which is one of the main priorities of the Australian Curriculum area of Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia in every subject from Foundation to Year 12. This important priority provides a regional context for learning in all areas of the curriculum.

Graduate Research Completions

At a recent seminar on Enhancing Quality and Timely Graduate Research completions: Central Strategies, Support and Future Directions, Professor Justin Zobel, the Pro Vice-Chancellor Graduate and International Research and Michelle Green, the Manager of Graduate Research, Student Administration presented on how the University is enhancing the quality and timeliness of Graduate Research completions across the organisation. Michelle outlined the policies, processes and procedures that underpin the examination process and a Q & A session elicited thoughtful responses from the many MGSE Graduate Research supervisors who attended. This is an important area across the University and one that MGSE has been reviewing and working hard to improve.

Associate Dean appointments

I’m delighted to announce two recent appointments at MGSE - Professor Sophie Arkoudis who will take up the position of Associate Dean (Research) and Associate Professor John Quay who will take up the Associate Dean (Learning & Teaching) position. Both will commence their new roles on 1 January 2020 for a three-year term. I thank both Sophie and John for putting themselves forward for these important leadership roles and I would also like to acknowledge the stellar work of Associate Professor Larissa McLean Davies and Professor Jan van Driel in undertaking these roles over the past few years.

Academic Mentor Program

The inaugural Academic mentor program came to an end in November with a finale celebration which included videos, presentations and a very amusing skit centered around the MGSE lifts! I am delighted at how well the program has been received and it is clear that it has been invaluable to the mentees and provided significant benefit for the mentors as well.  We are currently working on our 2020 program.

In my blood it runs screening

Lastly, MGSE recently sponsored a screening of In my blood it runs, a film about a ten year old Arrernte boy’s view of the world as he grows up Alice Springs. A child healer who speaks three languages yet is failing in school faces increasing scrutiny from welfare and the police while his family fight to give him a strong Arrernte education alongside his western education. This most captivating but challenging film was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Dr Melitta Hogarth, Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Education at MGSE. I strongly recommend all staff see this film.