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Open to Talent

This month the University will release a Green Paper, or a first working draft, of its next Strategic Plan, Open to Talent.

Open to Talent will set the agenda for the University for the next five years, with a forward horizon of at least 10 years.

Understanding how UTAS might look in 2022 and beyond is no small task. The plan needs to be simultaneously bold and future-seeking, a contemporary interpretation of our enduring values and respectful of the University’s strong 120-year history.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the consultation process has been the breadth of internal and external engagement. Several hundred staff have attended forums held across the University’s campuses and there have been more than 1000 online submissions from individuals, organisations
and community groups, and our students.

A strong theme to emerge has been the almost symbiotic relationship between the University and Tasmania itself; through geography, environment, social fabric, history and identity. The view that this relationship - and the associated opportunities – defines UTAS resonates clearly, as does the evident enthusiasm of staff, students and key stakeholders to explore how it can be manifest in teaching, research and engagement of special value.

These conversations will be reflected in core strategic priorities of learning, research, participation and engagement outlined in the Green Paper.
To thrive over the next 10 years UTAS, as the sole University on the island, will need to juggle potentially competing agendas. We must both preserve a research mission that positions us as an institution of international excellence, and embrace the Australian Government’s ambitious agenda for 40 percent of 25-34 year olds to attain a Bachelor degree or higher by 2025.

And with many more students from increasingly diverse backgrounds on our campuses there is opportunity to refine the nature of the student experience and the relationship between town and gown.

The strategic plan is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to position the University nationally and internationally. Tasmanians all have a large stake in the University as an agent of positive change, social and economic prosperity for the State.

I encourage all to scrutinise the Green Paper so that input and feedback can be included before the final new Strategic Plan is ratified by the University Council early next year.

Peter Rathjen

Published on: 19 Oct 2011 9:58am