Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Rorden Wilkinson thanks Macquarie staff for their enthusiastic contribution to the University’s first whole-of-institution education strategy and details its next steps.
Not surprisingly for a university famed for its collegial culture, the development of Macquarie Advantage has been a distinctly consultative and collaborative process.
Together with the co-chairs of our program streams (which I shared with you in my previous This Week update – service excellence later having been added as the sixth stream), I have been privileged to hear from thousands of members of the Macquarie community over the last 14 months, each with their own unique and valuable view on what makes Macquarie so special.
Through all this, I continue to be struck by the sense of responsibility and custodianship that Macquarie staff carry for this great university, and their desire to be part of this next-generation strategy.
The outstanding ideas emerging in Macquarie Advantage have been powered by consultation activities including:
- initial ideation with leadership teams
- extensive data gathering and analysis
- working group initial sprints and plenary sessions
- staff and student workshops
- an all-staff and student survey generating more than 650 responses
- more than 5000 comments captured through the workshop and survey activities, which have been analysed using a purpose-built model
- triangulation of workshop and survey feedback with other data including the QILT Student Experience Survey (SES), which showed strong alignment.
It is a testament to the strength of the ideas generated in our initial consultation activities that 85 per cent of the survey respondents indicated that our proposed areas of focus were “Right” or “Mostly right”. Only 15 per cent indicated that one or more areas were “Not quite right”, and some local issues were also highlighted for further discussion with faculties and portfolios.
The institutional strengths that emerged strongly through this consultation echo my own very positive first impressions of the University: our stunning Wallumattagal Campus environment, the quality and dedication of our teaching staff and the strong sense of welcome and belonging that we all feel when we are at Macquarie.
Other advantages that were identified by our community include our location in the Macquarie Park Innovation District; the employability of our graduates; our facilities; our focus on diversity, inclusion and wellbeing; and our excellent access to transport.
Opportunities that were identified include embedding employability skills in courses; a strengthening connection between research and education; equity of access and participation; improving student support services; financial support and funding; digital technology; industry engagement; advancing the Macquarie brand; and flexibility of study options.
With the momentum of our community consultation behind us, we now move to the next steps in launching the Macquarie Advantage, which are:
- finalising the strategy
- establishing governance mechanisms, including for the six program streams
- defining measures of success and markers of progress
- detailing specific programs of work
- prioritising projects
- ensuring engagement and communication with our community on projects and initiatives
- developing a framework for monitoring and evaluation, including an annual update to the Macquarie community on progress
- launching the strategy in early 2024 to align with Macquarie’s 60th anniversary.
I look forward to working with you all as we move towards an exciting future for transformative education at Macquarie.