9 September 2012
The Regional Universities Network’s second annual Regional Tertiary Education Conference (30-31 August) agreed on a number of initiatives to improve the delivery of higher education in regional Australia.
These include an “accord” on partnerships and collaboration between RUN members that may eventually include double-badged degrees and joint research student supervision, the sharing of back office systems, and wider collaboration on research, appointments and student transfers.
They are also proposing a partnership scheme between universities and regional high schools targeting regional areas where final-year retention rates are 20%lower than in capital cities.
Year 12 Completions
RUN will work with schools in regional Australia to lift the Year 12 completion rate. At present, Year 12 completions in regional Australia are 20% less than capital cities. RUN calls for the development of a Regional University-Regional High School Partnership and Linkage initiative to improve the Year 12 completion rates for university eligible students in regional communities.This program will building on the existing initiatives in outreach to schools with universities working directly with students in their final years of school.
RUN universities are committed to enhancing their capacity and sustainability through greater collaboration as a network of like-minded universities. In a national first for Australia, RUN is committing to a multi-lateral Accord and will work towards the following:
- formalising of transfer arrangement for students between the institutions -making internal staff vacancies available to staff at other RUN institutions
- cataloguing all subjects and making them available to students across the institutions
- funding joint appointments
- collaborating in research collaborating to support improved policy developments for regions
- offering multi-badged degrees and joint supervision of higher degree by research students
- collaboration in international activities
- considering and investigating the consolidation of support functions.
RUN VCs will formally sign off on the Accord in November.
Various groups within RUN (e.g. DVC/PVC s Academic, Research, International, human resource managers etc.) are identifying priorities for action to work towards these goals.