The Green Paper outlines the challenges we must address to ensure The University of Queensland (UQ) continues to be a destination for the world’s best and brightest students. It also includes proposed strategies that encompass all areas of the student experience from curriculum delivery to campus design and student support.

Peter Høj

Outstanding students, staff and alumni, cross-sectoral partners, imaginative teaching, and supporters in government, industry and philanthropy, have all combined to position The University of Queensland in the top echelons of the world’s universities.

UQ graduates become national and international leaders and contribute to solving some of society’s greatest challenges. They are sought-after employees, valued for their ability to think on their feet, work in cross-cultural settings, and identify opportunities for innovation often overlooked by others. This is in no small part a reflection of the tireless efforts by UQ staff to provide high-quality learning opportunities through student-focused, researchbased teaching. It also reflects the emphasis in the UQ Strategic Plan on student success and the development of ‘must-have’ graduate employees as the first of UQ’s six foundations for the future.

We have already taken a number of steps to welcome students to UQ, enhance online systems and services, develop employability strategies and produce world class online learning materials, and are looking at strategies to free up resources to be re-directed to the academic purpose. There are also many examples of effective, future-oriented practices in student learning across UQ from which we can learn. However, there is a clear view that the University should do more.

Drawing on the perspectives of students, staff and alumni, several data sources have informed this Student Strategy Green Paper, which intends to open a discussion across UQ and its stakeholders on UQ’s distinctive student experience. Following the synthesis of feedback on this Green Paper, a White Paper will be released in early 2016. The next steps will prioritise goals and assess resource implications. In turn, the student strategy will inform UQ’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, thereby setting an ambitious, five-year enhancement process that will include all UQ coursework students, staff, and stakeholders and enrich the career and life prospects of graduates. I hope you will engage actively with this process.

Peter Høj

13. Challenges and opportunities: Creating change through transformational learning

The following lists potential strategies for your consideration that UQ may use in response to the challenges arising from a shifting higher education context. In the course of consultation, other ideas for key strategies will be welcome.

Challenge 1:

How can UQ’s comprehensive breadth of programs provide all students with cutting-edge knowledge and creative enterprise skills that advantage them in ever-changing communities and workplaces?

Key strategies to consider

1.1 Reimagine UQ’s Graduate Attributes to drive program coherence, develop future employability skills and meet graduates’ aspirations and employers’ expectations

1.2 Expand opportunities for extension experiences – including a suite of online and blended flagship courses and experiences – that reflect the comprehensive liberal education UQ is able to provide

1.3 Build significant industry and government partnerships that strengthen and expand opportunities for authentic and attractive WIL experiences across all programs

Challenge 2:

How can UQ support flexible learning options that attract, empower and guide a diverse student population to choose when and how they best engage in their own learning?

Key strategies to consider

2.1 Develop options for students to design their learning across a year-round academic calendar (e.g., intensive blocks, trimesters, MOOCs and online programs)

2.2 Recognise prior learning for program acceleration and enrichment

2.2 Recognise prior learning for program acceleration and enrichment

Challenge 3:

How can UQ authentically partner with our outstanding student cohort across the learning enterprise?

Key strategy to consider

3.1 Create opportunities for students to collaborate with staff in learning, leadership and outreach

Challenge 4:

How can UQ strengthen the translation of our research excellence into consistent ‘high-value, high-impact’ research-based learning opportunities across all disciplines for all students?

Key strategy to consider

4.1 Extend students’ access to collaborative research experiences that provide quality interaction with UQ’s research and research partners

Challenge 5:

How can UQ ensure all students’ learning is built around active, best-practice pedagogies?

Key strategies to consider    

5.1 Incorporate best-practice blended learning pedagogies across every program

5.2 Develop and apply a signature UQ learning model across all programs that is driven by learning theory and enhanced by innovative technology strategies

Challenge 6:

How can we develop and resource assessment and feedback practices that support student learning and enhance the student experience?

Key strategies to consider

6.1 Create program-level assessment frameworks that stipulate meaningful, authentic tasks and that include quality and timely two-way feedback mechanisms that are supported by enabling technologies

6.2 Progress the development of UQ’s learning analytics capacity to afford students and staff ready access to assessment outcomes and provide support where required

Challenge 7:

How can UQ enhance its staffing profile to provide exceptional teaching, learning and student support?

Key strategies to consider

7.1 Value the pursuit of teaching excellence across UQ through recognition and reward that considers the aspirations and commitment of our teaching staff

7.2 Invest in new staffing capacity and capabilities – including innovative educational technologies and learning design – to complement and support existing expertise

7.3 Through rigorous and comprehensive professional development, encourage staff to practise a transformative, team-based, whole-of-program approach to enhancement

Challenge 8:

How can UQ provide students with quality support from transition to graduation that fosters a sense of belonging and guides them to become autonomous and resilient learners?

Key strategies to consider

8.1 Provide readily accessible, real-time integrated services (virtual and physical) through student hubs to resolve issues at point of best impact

8.2 Leverage the talent and commitment of students, staff and alumni through mentoring programs and peer-based networks

Challenge 9:

How can UQ develop accessible, vibrant and inviting campus environments for students, staff and the broader community that add genuine value to time on campus for all?

Key strategies to consider                                        

9.1 Develop open and engaging, multi-functional spaces and places across campus for formal and informal learning, relaxation and rest, and socialising

9.2 Transform all campuses into vibrant living and learning ecosystems – including St Lucia and Gatton based residential complexes and commercial services – that promote and sustain an energising student experience

9.3 Find sustainable, convenient and cost-effective transport options for UQ campuses