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Curtin University
Vice-Chancellor
Note to staff

29 May, 2008

 
 

Curtin ‘triple-i’ model

Most staff will be aware of the curriculum reform being undertaken at Curtin through the Curriculum 2010 (C2010) project. One of the tasks of C2010 was to revisit the shape and emphases of the Curtin award, particularly with a view to diversifying our offerings in the higher education sector.

There are three main emphases which have emerged: they are already what differentiates us in many ways, but we will make them more obvious in all our courses as we move forward. We can describe this as the Curtin ‘triple-i’ Curriculum Model:

  • industry
  • international/intercultural/indigenous
  • interdisciplinary

Links with business and industry will be further enhanced and expanded with increased work placements, internships and work-related learning. This will greatly benefit business and industry by ensuring that graduates acquire knowledge and skills directly relevant to their field.

Curtin is acknowledged for our expertise in international and Indigenous education and the new model will enhance this expertise by ensuring that students graduate with an awareness of other cultures and the ability to work with them. This awareness will be contextualised, embedded and assessed in every course. This is critical given the strong growth being experienced by newly industrialised nations such as India and China, which will increase the need for graduates with the knowledge and skills to allow them to cross cultural divides and to work in an ever more global environment.

From 2010, students in undergraduate degrees in Arts, Commerce and Science will be able to mix and match majors across Faculties; we will seek greater interdisciplinarity as appropriate within professional, accredited and postgraduate courses.

The adoption of this new model will meet both students’ expectations of career focussed courses and the increasing demand by industry for our highly employable graduates.

The development of the ‘triple-i’ model continues to further differentiate Curtin from other Australian universities and I commend the work being undertaken by the C2010 team and all teaching areas and staff who have participated in the C2010 project to date.

We will continue to update you on developments and progress within the project.

Federal Government Infrastructure Australia Advisory Council

I am pleased to advise that Professor Peter Newman, Director of the CUSP (Curtin University Sustainable Policy) Institute has been appointed as one of the 12 inaugural members of the recently announced Federal Government’s Infrastructure Australia Advisory Council.

Infrastructure Australia is a new national body tasked with developing a blueprint for fixing and modernising the nation’s transport, water, energy and communications infrastructure. The Advisory Council’s immediate responsibilities will be to:

  • Complete an audit of nationally significant infrastructure;
  • Develop an Infrastructure Priority List to guide billions of dollars of public and private investment; and
  • Advise on the removal of disincentives to greater private investment in public infrastructure, including the complexity and cost of public-private partnerships.

This is a tremendous achievement for Professor Newman recognising his long held expertise within the area of sustainability. As a member of the Council he has said he will have a focus on the “renaissance of public transport in Australia which is suffering already from high fuel costs that are likely to go higher”.

Reconciliation Action Plan

I am also pleased to advise that at an event held this week, officiated by the Director of Reconciliation Australia, the Hon Fred Chaney AO, Curtin was the first Australian university to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The University acknowledges the significance of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and recognises the importance of learning and consultation processes necessary to move towards a future of true equality. This resulted in the development, in partnership with Reconciliation Australia, of a Reconciliation Action Plan which outlines steps that will be taken by the University to continue to build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Curtin, as a leader in providing excellence in education and research to the community, seeks to effect change in areas of housing, health, education, training, employment, governance, social and communal relationships, law and justice. The University is dedicated to promoting an understanding of Indigenous culture and history; implementing strategies to effect the increased participation of Indigenous students and staff; and continuing a commitment to fostering partnerships in Indigenous research and development.

This is a significant milestone for the University and I would like to thank all staff who have been involved in the development of the Reconciliation Action Plan.

Enterprise Bargaining 2008

In my address to staff on 23 April, I announced that Curtin will shortly commence consultation with staff and management in readiness for negotiations for new workplace agreements. There will be separate negotiations with the unions for each of the new agreements.

Curtin anticipates negotiations to commence by end May for the academic agreement, and toward the middle of the year for the general staff agreement. Preliminary discussions are already being held in relation to the VTEC certified agreement.

To achieve a bargaining strategy that fits the overall aims of the University as well as offering benefits that will be attractive to new and current staff, the University will consult directly with staff, managers, administrators and focus groups throughout the negotiations.

Use of a variety of communication channels will allow for interaction with all stakeholders. Staff Services is developing a website for enterprise bargaining which will be dedicated to informing staff of progress of the negotiations, as well as providing facilities for online interaction and feedback. Staff will be advised once this website is operational.

Curtin wishes to reach agreement with the unions on fair and attractive conditions of employment that:

  • support the University’s overall strategic objectives;
  • are written in simple, unambiguous language; and
  • are contained in a streamlined document.

The objectives of the Valuing Curtin Staff Plan provide a platform for what Curtin will be seeking from the negotiations. Curtin will focus on key bargaining matters pertaining to:

  • Reward for Performance
  • Attraction and Retention
  • Improvement in Quality of Working Life

I encourage all staff to take up the opportunities as they are presented, to participate in the consultation process. By voicing your support or raising your concerns you will influence the final decision on the terms and conditions of employment to be incorporated into the next agreements.