The Deakin Times - December 2012

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Dear Deakin Alumni Community members,

The end of a year is a good time to look back, reflect on achievements, and to look forward, to see what we still need to accomplish.

It’s been a good year for Deakin. Deakin’s Strategic Plan LIVE the future was launched by Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall at a fabulous event in June. Over 1000 people attended at one of our campuses and from Deakin’s India Office and many more joined us in the cloud including many in Deakin’s over 20 Learning Centres across Victoria and at our international offices in Beijing and Jakarta.

We also launched our new Worldly brand and the new look and feel for our Deakin website.   Deakin worldly is now everywhere on signs large and small, on trams and in bus shelters – and particularly spectacularly – at the gateway to Melbourne as you leave the airport at Tullamarine.

It has been a particularly good year for ideas at Deakin, with the University consolidating its growing research reputation.   Deakin’s success in National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Research Council funding rounds and the recent ERA outcomes affirm its place as #3 in Victoria after the University of Melbourne and Monash University.

I can also report that the number of students applying for Deakin courses for 2013 have increased on our excellent 2012 figures, an indication of Deakin’s increased reputation as an institution of first choice and an affirmation of just how highly Deakin courses are regarded both in Australia and internationally.

The statistic I am most proud of however, and one which will be a key measure of our success as we move forward with LIVE the future – is student satisfaction.  In both 2011 and 2012 Deakin was ranked first in Victoria and third in Australian for overall student satisfaction with their learning experience (Australian Graduate Survey 2012).

University rankings DO matter, and it was a wonderful affirmation of the hard work of so many Deakin staff that Deakin was awarded a 5 star rating in the prestigious QS World University rankings, indicating that Deakin is world class across a broad range of areas, with cutting edge facilities and internationally renowned research and teaching faculty.

Digital change is now catching the attention of many in the university sector.  Six months ago, few here in Australia would have heard of massive open online courses or MOOCs, now MOOCs regularly attract mainstream media attention. 

Deakin is working on developing its own MOOC and is exploring ‘cloud partnerships’ with key players in the digital industry and with major international universities. Sixteen Deakin courses are currently being reimagined for delivery in the cloud and our new Deakin mobile app enables access to news, events, maps and more from smart phones.

In November we launched CloudDeakin – a home page which leads students and staff to their unit sites, video and audio resources, a calendar, chat and support links – students can also access their e-portfolio and check the academic integrity of their assignments.

Through its new strategic plan LIVE the future, Deakin aims to be in the forefront of digital change, driving the digital frontier, not reacting after the fact to its impact.

I wish you all, my colleagues in the Deakin Alumni Community, an enjoyable festive season and a safe and relaxing holiday. 

Professor Jane den Hollander
Deakin University

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13th December 2012