At their heart, universities are about people: what they can become, what they can create and how they can inspire. Our students are at the heart of all that we do; our graduates are our proudest achievement. We seek in our new Global Strategy to ensure our graduates can work competently across cultures and time zones, and are in demand throughout the world of industry and research for their disciplinary expertise and collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit.
We are a community of scholars that values research excellence, which in itself is a hallmark of the best universities and a determinant of student and staff demand. Such research excellence increasingly requires international collaboration in a world where competitive rankings, nationally and internationally, influence funding and reputation.
Our research must be recognised consistently if we are to achieve the greatest impact, and there is more that we can do to bring it to the attention of the world. Partnerships, especially international partnerships, and increased accessibility of publications, will enhance the recognition and citation of our work.
At the same time, we are a fine university, part of an established and esteemed collective of global institutions, a signatory to the Magna Charta Universitatum and strategically global in all that we do. The impact of our work gives us a confident voice, which we take to national and international stages. Creative and enthusiastic, we collaborate across industries, disciplines, borders and cultures, attracting and holding the world’s talent and attention, our independence lending authority and authenticity to our work.
International students comprise a growing proportion of our student body. We will rebalance our focus, prioritising the associated sociocultural enrichment of our university and community environments with the lives, experiences and cultural histories of our international students.
Thanks to the focus of the University’s new Global Division, our students will benefit from exchange programs, enriching their experience through education overseas. The development of cultural competence, including proficiency in modern languages and knowledge of other cultures, will be encouraged, enabling more of our graduates to work and live in a global society.
Engagement must also bring the world to us and further integrate our University with the world. Carefully selected strategic partnerships with organisations and individuals that share our aspirations will bring new impetus to our teaching and research, leveraging resources and ideas.
By attracting scholars and thought leaders from around the world to the University and supporting our staff and students to spend time at other institutions, we will expand our sphere of influence and provide a vibrant and progressive environment for our staff and students.
The Global Strategy will formalise the importance of our new Global Division and our commitment to bringing the University’s talent and discoveries to the world in an integrated and impactful way. For this reason alone, it is crucial we consult and listen to the views of all who make up our ever-growing family. I encourage all staff, students, alumni and friends of the University of Tasmania to engage with this Green Paper and contribute to the making of the first truly Global Strategy in our 127-year history.
Professor Peter Rathjen
Tasmanian at Heart Global in Impact
The Green Paper outlines the challenges we face and the unique strengths we offer to address those challenges. It brings to the fore the values we seek to inculcate amongst our staff and graduates in order to ensure the University of Tasmania becomes a globally-connected partner and a destination of choice for staff and students from around the world.
Our unique location in the island state of Tasmania helps drive our capabilities to address the global issues for this millennium. We are global knowledge leaders in bio economies, in marine, maritime, agriculture, forestry, environmental sustainability and climate change sciences. Our medical research is driving improvements in population and preventative health. Our research agenda across these strengths is underpinned by sensor technology that leads the world. We offer a unique creative and performing arts culture acknowledged nationally for its innovation and enterprise. Our new courses are borne from our research excellence, our creative and entrepreneurial spirit and our fragile, unique and rich environmental location.
Our mission and values inform our modes of discovery and teaching, our engagement with the world and the outlook of our graduates. Together these form the basis of the objectives that guide the Global Strategy.
The new Global Strategy will complement the University’s existing International Plan. We seek input as to how we can embed the Global Strategy and the new Global Division as one of the core Divisions of the University, sitting alongside Teaching and Learning and Research. We value your ideas about how we can structure university governance for Global in order to ensure that accountabilities are shared across the University and that we have ongoing wide input into the evolution of our global goals and strategies. We want to understand the aspirations of our staff, students and alumni community for our University on the world stage and we have created a series of objectives to help guide the discussion.
Our goal is to be recognised globally as a knowledge leader in our specialist thematic areas and for our contribution to local, national and international development. To achieve this we will need to establish strategic partnerships with highly-ranked institutions that drive opportunities for collaboration in research, industry and teaching, and in staff and student mobility, and which draw the best academic minds to our State.
- How can the university better communicate and promote our greatest areas of research strength?
- How can we create communities of excellence across the globe that drive innovation, entrepreneurship and applications of our specialist knowledge?
- How should we ensure a cohesive and collaborative approach with respect to international partners?
The world’s leading research-intensive universities are increasingly spending resources and bringing focus to strengthening of multilateral relationships with global partners. Offshore presences are common for universities seeking to enhance a particular research and disciplinary strength and profile. To this extent we will consider the opportunities afforded by the establishment of regional offices and joint partnership laboratories, programs and/or institutes to achieve our strategic aims.
- How should we build our presence across the different regions of the world? Should the University have a physical presence offshore?
- Who are our key partners and how should we ensure strong partnerships with the best universities in the world in our speciality areas?
- Is a differentiated model appropriate to servicing different kinds of global partnerships? What distinctions should we make between established and emerging institutional relationships?
Increasingly, commercialisation, joint research and development and other forms of partnership with philanthropic, government and non-governmental organisations are being pursued for mutual benefit by research-intensive global universities. Key strategic partnerships are sometimes other universities but are often government, private sector and not for profit organisations seeking to achieve similar solutions to particular global challenges.
By developing new strategic partners we allow the University to establish a global brand that positions us as an international knowledge leader. This will, in turn, strengthen the University’s ability to fulfil its social mission to the people of Tasmania in creating a financially sustainable and globally relevant institution for the island.
- How will the University increase our international research rankings and other measures of international standing and impact?
- What opportunities exist for the University of Tasmania to better integrate with non-university partners to deliver both global knowledge leadership and the highest graduate outcomes for our students?
- What framework should we develop to guide the allocation of resources, support, service and management of international engagement initiatives and ensure structured engagement with partners?
Our aim is to attract high-calibre students from around the world through our global standing as a research-led institution, our unique island setting and our distinctive student experience.
We will leverage our research strengths to be recognised as a partner of choice by foreign government scholarship bodies to attract the most capable research students from around the world.
We must increase our articulation pathways for high-achieving students from partner institutions and enhance pathway offerings of our English Language Centre. The highest quality student experience will be required from first enquiry through a unique student journey to graduation and to our alumni community. We will expand our reach to include Africa, the Middle East and South America.
- What is required from us to be an attractive destination for staff and potential students? How will our student experience change and what requirements are unique to our growing international cohort?
- What kind of culture change is needed within our institution for us to truly embed global outlook and connectivity in our work and daily practices?
- What do we have to offer the world that is unique or of significant intellectual value?
- How will we ensure our proposed partnership initiatives will deliver outcomes and a continued high return on investment?
The University of Tasmania’s curriculum prepares graduates for opportunities in an evolving global economy. We aim to produce innovative, critical thinkers with deep disciplinary expertise, grounded in practical experience and multidisciplinary knowledge and the ability to apply this knowledge in changing and complex global contexts. Our degrees will include opportunities for global experiences with high-quality partner universities and offerings that include internships, language study, clinical placements, and short-term and semester based experiences.
- How will we increase international graduate employability?
- What do we need to do to free up our curriculum to make space for the experiences that students need to become competent as cross-cultural citizens?
- What would make our Degrees of Difference curriculum attractive to international students?
- What kind of networks and relationships should we develop and harness for the benefit of our students?
- How will we secure adequate resources to create globally-competent graduates?
The University of Tasmania recognises the many social and economic benefits our international students bring to the University of Tasmania and the broader Tasmanian community. We have begun to see the impressive revitalisation of central Hobart and Launceston as two examples of the benefits that international students bring when we locate our students in the heart of our cities. Some of our highest ranked students are international and they afford an important opportunity for peer-to-peer learning with our domestic students. Their stories, histories, ways of learning and of expression are of immense value to our institution and to the broader Tasmanian community.
- In our Act we are charged with enhancing the social, cultural and economic prosperity of all Tasmanians. How will our increasingly globalised student and staff population provide such opportunities?
- What are the ways in which we can recognise, leverage and expand the cultural competencies of our university community in conjunction with our global community of scholars?
- How can we effectively partner with our State and Federal governments to ensure a vibrant university and tertiary sector?
- How can we build a more supportive community network for our international students?
Our alumni are impressive individuals from more than 120 nations. Often working at very senior levels abroad, we have an excellent opportunity to engage with the local knowledge and powerful business networks of our alumni to help our current and future students.
- How do we make our alumni societies meaningful for our graduates?
- What frameworks or forms of action should we employ to motivate and help our graduates stay closely connected to their university?
- How can our alumni maintain vibrant international societies and what could the intersections be between our alumni and our current and future students?
The Green Paper is designed to start a conversation across the University community about our place in the globalised tertiary sector of the 21st century.
Our Global Strategy will build upon the impressive achievements of recent years of the international and global engagement divisions and the work within faculties and institutes to internationalise their curriculum and partnerships.
We welcome your comments on any aspects of the Green Paper. There will also be many other opportunities to participate in this process as outlined below. Please send your comments and feedback to Global.Division@utas.edu.au
The initial consultation stage will close on 28th August 2017, after which the draft Global Strategy will be released for further comment.
For students: All students will be invited to complete an online survey that will open on 3rd August and close on 28th August 2017. To participate in the survey please visit Global Strategy Student Survey
For staff: Staff in colleges, faculties, institutes and schools will be invited to contribute to open discussion forums that will be arranged and led by their respective Global representative of that area.
For divisions and organisational units: All organisational units and divisions within the University are invited to submit structured written submissions by 28th August 2017 to Global.Division@utas.edu.au
For our Alumni: Our alumni will be invited to provide their feedback via an online survey that will open on 3rd August and close on 28th August 2017. To participate in the survey please visit Global Strategy Alumni Survey
Over the next few months there will be a number of university committee meetings at which the Green Paper may be discussed.
Strategy consultation may also be an agenda item on upcoming Global Committee meetings.
We look forward to receiving your feedback and creating a Global Strategy that is Tasmanian at its heart but truly global in its intellectual focus.
Professor Monique Skidmore
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global