Murdoch University - Department of Education and Training

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2014-16 Mission-based Compact
Between:
The Commonwealth of Australia
and
Murdoch University
CONTENTS
4
Context
A. Policy Setting
4
B. The Purpose and Effect of this Compact
4
C. Establishment of the Compact
4
D. The Principles of Commonwealth Funding Support
4
E. The Structure of this Compact
5
Part One: Focus & Mission
6
Part Two: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access and Outcomes
12
Part Three: Innovation and Engagement
16
Part Four: Teaching and Learning
25
Part Five: Research and Research Training
37
Part Six: General Provisions
45
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This compact is between
The Commonwealth of Australia (Commonwealth) represented by and acting through:
The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research
Assisted by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and
Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE)
ABN 77 599 608 295
Of
Industry House
10 Binara Street
Canberra ACT 2601
And
Murdoch University
ABN 61 616 369 313
A body corporate under the Murdoch University Act 1973
Of
90 South Street
Murdoch WA 6150
(University)
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CONTEXT
Policy Setting
The Australian Government believes all Australians are entitled to a productive, fair and prosperous life
and our higher education system is crucial to achieving this. Universities impart the skills and knowledge
Australians need to realise their personal and professional aspirations and contribute to the broad
economic and knowledge base of our society including the cultural, health and civic wellbeing of the
community.
Over the term of this mission-based compact (compact), Australian universities will confront a range of
opportunities and challenges in fulfilling their social and economic remit. These opportunities and
challenges include, but are not limited to, changing national and international educational markets,
dynamic global financial arrangements including the rise of the Asian Century, new approaches to
teaching and learning, rapidly changing information technologies and evolving priorities for research and
innovation.
Australia’s universities are well equipped to harness the opportunities and meet these challenges that lie
ahead. The 2014-16 compact supports this process by articulating the major policy objectives and the
diverse approaches and commitments universities will adopt to achieve these strategic goals over the
term of the agreement.
The Purpose and Effect of this Compact
This compact is an agreement between the Commonwealth and the University. Entering into a compact is
one of the quality and accountability requirements which a higher education provider must meet under
the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) as a condition of receiving a grant. Specifically, subsection
19-110(1) of HESA requires Table A and Table B providers must, in respect of each year for which a grant
is paid to the provider under HESA, enter into a mission based compact with the Commonwealth for a
period which includes that year.
The compact demonstrates the Commonwealth and the University have a shared and mutual
commitment to provide students with high quality educational experiences and outcomes and to building
research and innovation capabilities and international competitiveness.
The compact recognises the University is an autonomous institution with a distinctive mission, operating
within a state or territory, national and international higher education environment.
The purpose of this compact is to provide a strategic framework for the relationship between the
Commonwealth and the University. It sets out how the University’s mission aligns with the
Commonwealth’s goals for higher education, research, innovation, skills development, engagement and
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access and outcomes.
The Commonwealth and the University agree this compact will be published on Commonwealth websites
and may be published on the University website.
Establishment of the Compact
The Commonwealth and the University agree the Term of this compact is from 1 January 2014 until 31
December 2016.
The Principles of Commonwealth Funding Support
The Commonwealth articulates its vision for the higher education sector, through Transforming
Australia’s Higher Education System (available at the DIICCSRTE website), and the role of universities in
driving our national innovation system, through Powering Ideas (available at the DIICCSRTE website).
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In supporting Australia’s universities, the Commonwealth seeks to promote:
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academic freedom and institutional autonomy;
a diverse and sustainable higher-education sector;
opportunity for all;
access to university based on merit;
world-class teaching and learning that advances the international standing of Australian education;
world-class research and research training that advances knowledge, critical thinking and Australia’s
international standing; and
responsiveness to the economic, social and environmental needs of the community, region, state,
nation and the international community through collaborative engagement.
To ensure Australia’s higher education system remains robust and of high quality in a globally connected
and competitive world, the Australian Government has adopted and implemented a number of systemwide quality measures including establishing the Higher Education Standards Framework, and the Tertiary
Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).
The Structure of this Compact
Part One provides for the Commonwealth’s focus for the compact and a description of the University’s
Mission Statement and Strategic Priorities.
Part Two provides for matters related to improving access and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people. It contains Commonwealth objectives, university strategies and performance indicators
and targets.
Part Three provides for matters related to innovation, industry and skills and engagement. It also contains
Commonwealth objectives, university strategies and performance indicators and targets.
Part Four provides for matters related to teaching and learning including student enrolments, quality,
equity and infrastructure. It contains Commonwealth objectives, university strategies and equity targets.
Part Five provides for matters related to research and research training including research performance
and research capability. It contains Commonwealth objectives, university strategies, performance
indicators and targets.
Part Six provides for general provisions of the compact including compact review, privacy, confidentiality
and information sharing, changing the compact and notices.
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PART ONE: FOCUS & MISSION
The Commonwealth’s Focus for this Compact
The Commonwealth's ambitions for higher education include:
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providing opportunities for people from all backgrounds to participate to their full potential and be
supported to do so. This includes supporting the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people through improved access and support arrangements. The Commonwealth is committed to
ensuring the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people participating in undergraduate and
higher degrees by research (HDR), as well as staffing and academic representation, reaches
population parity;
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providing students with a stimulating and rewarding higher education experience;
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producing graduates with the knowledge, skills and understanding for full participation in society and
the economy;
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better aligning higher education and research with the needs of the economy, and building capacity
to respond to future changes in skills needs;
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increasing universities’ engagement with all parties and linkages between universities and Australian
businesses in particular;
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playing a pivotal role in the national research and innovation system through the generation and
dissemination of new knowledge and through the education, training and development of world class
researchers across a wide range of intellectual disciplines;
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improving knowledge transfer and commercialisation outcomes;
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consistent with the Asian Century policy framework, ensuring education is at the forefront of
Australia’s engagement with Asia; and
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being amongst the leading Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
countries in terms of participation and performance.
In support of these objectives, the Commonwealth encourages universities to consider the following
important measures in their planning and delivery:
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developing partnerships with schools and other organisations to improve the participation of people
from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education;
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working with business, industry and Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers to provide the
Australian economy with the graduates it needs;
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the suite of performance measurement tools being developed through the Advancing Quality in
Higher Education initiative, work on quality in research training, and a feasibility study on research
impact assessment (including the possible implementation of a mechanism, separate from Excellence
in Research for Australia, to evaluate the wider benefits of publicly funded research);
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applying the principles and procedures required to support a continuous improvement model for
intellectual property; and
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the National Research Investment Plan, including the need for a strategic outlook to address
Australian Government priorities and principles at a national level.
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1
THE UNIVERSITY’S MISSION AND STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
1.1
The purpose of the University’s Mission
The University's Mission sets out its values and aspirations, what it does and how it can best serve
the interests of its students, staff and key stakeholders. The Commonwealth and the University
recognise the University's Mission may evolve.
The University and the Commonwealth recognise the University is an autonomous institution
which is responsible for the determination of its Mission and for its aspirations and strategies for
their achievement.
1.2
The University’s Mission and Strategic Priorities
A high quality research-led international university.
Murdoch University has adopted the Strategic Plan 2012-2017 with a focus on 'renewing the
University’s academic heart'. The Plan provides the impetus and capacities to drive a 21st century
vision of Murdoch as a leading international research-led university pursuing excellence in select
areas of knowledge production and dissemination.
This is a propitious time for Murdoch University. It is genuinely working with Asia as the region
grows and opens new opportunities for research, teaching and institutional engagement. At the
local level, Murdoch will act as the ‘knowledge hub’ in the development of the Murdoch Activity
Centre (MAC) which incorporates a new tertiary teaching hospital, existing private hospital and
business district collocated with the University.
Underpinning implementation of the Strategic Plan are three fundamental cultural changes structural change reflecting the University’s needs for the 21st century, a recalibration of
Murdoch’s approach to quality in teaching provision, and a shared governance model.
An academic restructure into eight new Schools has been driven by the University’s academic and
pedagogic focus, bringing together groups and individuals into academically cohesive Schools. The
Schools’ configuration takes into account research strengths, current and future engagement with
Asia and the potential impact of the development of the MAC. Professional services have been
restructured to facilitate greater integration between units and more effective cooperation in the
way that services are provided to meet the non-academic needs of the academy.
Murdoch is revitalising its emphasis on quality in teaching provision and learning. This
encompasses comprehensive curriculum renewal, strengthened quality assurance processes,
changes to the model of provision for transnational education, and a strengthening of
postgraduate programs to meet governance and policy needs in Asia. This will ensure that
Murdoch is at the vanguard for teaching quality and restores its long-standing reputation for
teaching excellence.
Realising the University’s vision requires strategic enablers. This incorporates the active
participation of quality people who share the vision, governance structures that are agile and
responsive, and an infrastructure that can facilitate changing teaching and research needs and
evolve according to developing strategic needs.
The variety and complexity of university activities, together with externally imposed transparency,
accountability and compliance, produce interdependence between the academy and professional
staff. Recognising this, Murdoch is implementing a shared governance model that enables
regulatory and accountability requirements to be met in a manner that preserves and strengthens
its core values of teaching, research and community engagement. This puts in place a consultative
approach to decision making that ensures all those with relevant expertise are able to make a
contribution to deliberations. Importantly, it is underpinned by an academically driven vision that
captures the synergies between the academy and professional staff.
Within the framework provided by the Strategic Plan and a strengthened academic culture,
Murdoch’s core priorities are:
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The production of internationally competitive leading edge, blue sky and translational
research;
High quality teaching and learning through the delivery of world-class degree courses; and
Promotion of societal engagement and knowledge partnerships at the local, national and
international levels
Murdoch’s Research Agenda
Murdoch has rejuvenated its focus on research as a core institutional activity. It seeks to be a
research led university with a reputation for high quality international research in select areas of
knowledge, engaging with significant social and scientific challenges of our time. Implicit in the
Strategic Plan is a renewed emphasis on translational research and benchmarking.
In the 2012 ERA assessment, Murdoch was rated as achieving world-class standard or above in
over two thirds of the assessed areas. The University has particular strengths in some of the
science disciplines and has an excellent track record in ‘blue skies’ research that underpins
ongoing research efforts.
Murdoch also has a long tradition of multi and trans-disciplinary academic practice that underpins
meaningful research partnerships and collaborations. This is demonstrated through a strong
applied and translational focus in current research and future growth areas, including areas such
as animal health and an expanding emphasis on public policy engagement. An expanded range of
translational research will be developed by looking at the local environment and how research
might have an impact on the community, including business, industry, and the broader
population.
The establishment of the Eastern Precinct within the Murdoch Activity Centre will provide
opportunities for the University to nurture and develop specific areas of research, especially in
the broadly defined fields of health, biomedicine and related areas. The concentration of
specialised medical practices and leading-edge medical technologies in the precinct will generate
productive synergies in terms of both pure and applied biomedical research as well as facilitating
high-level research training in these and other fields.
A more strategic approach will be taken to building capacity through concentrating on a select
number of research domains with the aim to excel internationally in these areas. Domains will be
compartmentalised into defined areas, such as Food and Water Security (animal production;
grains research; fish and fisheries research; desalination); Animal and Human Health and Welfare
(drawing together research in the interaction between animals and humans, ranging from the
treatment of Australian bred animals in Indonesia to the interaction between food production
and habitat loss); or Securing Australia’s Future (intellectual property security, utilising political
science, governance and policy in the translation of research into practice). Research capacity will
be strengthened by enhancing existing areas of research excellence, restoring some areas that
may have stalled and actively pursuing several new areas of research activity.
Murdoch considers research as an integral component of its teaching and learning mission.
Graduate attributes about research capacity will be delivered through a compulsory sequence of
curriculum components that enable students to develop research skills. The more general
reinvigoration of the research mission includes changing the pattern of academic work to a
40:40:20 (teaching:research:service) workload model that seeks to strengthen research-led
teaching and maintain the positive correlation seen at Murdoch between CEQ satisfaction and
ERA outcomes.
Murdoch is building its analytic capability and establishing a campus-wide culture of external
benchmarking. In the research sphere, this will facilitate the identification of key research areas
for strategic investment and Murdoch aims for 80% of research to be assessed at world standards
or better. Rankings are being used to provide a core comparison of external performance. Surveys
of key international institutions in Asia and Africa have been used to develop benchmarking
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metrics and formal benchmarking exercises with similar institutions (for example Sussex, East
Anglia, Dalhousie, Simon Fraser, Canada) will be used to monitor progress.
Murdoch has a track record of high quality research, especially in the area of translational
research. Over the period to 2016, the University aims to refocus, realign and grow its research
and research training. In building research capacity, Murdoch will enhance its local and
international reputation and ensure ongoing sustainability.
Teaching and Learning at Murdoch
The University has a proud reputation of quality teaching, interdisciplinary studies and a strong
commitment to access and equity. These remain integral characteristics of a Murdoch education.
In that context, Murdoch’s strategic goal is to provide a rich and diverse academic learning
experience with a curriculum integrally linked to quality research and up-to-date pedagogy,
equipping students with life-long learning skills and the capacities to successfully engage in a
global world.
Significant and ongoing change in the nature and financing of higher education nationally and
internationally have underpinned a review of Murdoch’s undergraduate and postgraduate
coursework offerings in a Curriculum Commission.
The Commission undertook extensive consultation with students, academic and professional staff
and external stakeholders. Open, ‘Town Hall’ forums as well as separate sessions with students
(managed by student associations) and external stakeholders (e.g. high school principals) were
held on the initial discussion paper and a preliminary Green Paper. This was supported by briefing
and consultation sessions with key internal committees and external groups such as Principals,
transnational (TNE) partners and Open Universities Australia (OUA), as well as data from
employers about the strength of students’ skills and their needs. Over 100 written submissions
were received through the process. They provided feedback on foundation units, interdisciplinary breadth studies, and degree models that contributed to the revision and
advancement of proposals in these areas. An example of this is the retention of some
undergraduate professional programs because of the nature of Murdoch’s student cohort
(relatively high levels of educational, social and economic disadvantage).
From 2014 Murdoch will offer only seven bachelor degrees that will:
 Include a compulsory transition unit that introduces the degree-specific academic skills
necessary for success at university study;
 Equip students with the skills necessary for life-long learning, including research skills
acquisition through compulsory units designed for cognate majors;
 Ensure that every student acquires depth of knowledge in at least one discipline or
profession through a major course of study that concludes with a capstone experience;
 Expose students to inter-disciplinary breadth studies through the curriculum; and
 Instil Murdoch’s graduate attributes, through the overall design, structure and content of the
degree and its constituent parts.
The new bachelor structure is a positive and unique model because of these elements, especially
the capstone experience, transitional unit, and strengthening of the research/teaching nexus.
Bachelor degree structures will meet government regulatory requirements as well as workplace
skills demands coming from students and employers. The curriculum renewal process will ensure
that Murdoch’s reputation for high quality teaching and learning is strengthened across all of its
courses and with all student cohorts, be they internal or external, onshore or transnational.
Progression and retention rates of under-represented student cohorts remain a key element of
Murdoch’s commitment to access and equity. The Building Aspirations and Learning Links for
Young people to go to University project, funded by the Commonwealth, aims to remove the
barriers to university education faced by young people from low socio-economic backgrounds,
particularly students in the Peel and Rockingham/Kwinana regions. It is envisaged that this will
bring students to Murdoch that would otherwise not have attended university. Together with a
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range of institutional initiatives that provide ongoing support, such as the successful First Year
Advisors and literacy and numeracy programs, Murdoch aims to improve progress and retention
rates that have been historically below sector averages.
Murdoch is closely monitoring trends in the effect of technology on higher education, especially
in regard to the growth in the online delivery of subjects and courses by prestigious international
universities. A new Learning Management System and Enterprise Content Management system
are being implemented. Together with revitalisation of ICT infrastructure and capacities, this will
enable Murdoch to build on its current strength in online education and blended learning to
potentially expand engagement in this arena.
Renewal of the model for transnational educational (TNE) operations will be continued,
transitioning to a higher quality TNE model in which the delivery and oversight of courses is more
closely controlled by Murdoch faculty. This will enhance Murdoch’s reputation as a quality
provider in offshore markets, especially in South East Asia.
By providing high quality postgraduate coursework programs in areas of institutional strength,
Murdoch will take advantage of the rapid growth in student demand in Australia and overseas for
professional masters programs and to meet changing workforce needs. To this end, postgraduate
offerings will be renewed and new programs offered.
The Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs has been established to
offer professionally focused masters coursework degrees and higher degree research courses that
will combine theoretical and applied analytical training in public policy and management with
area and policy specific concentrations. It will have a strong international orientation and offer
students a range of international study options.
Murdoch’s Engagement Agenda
In ‘renewing its academic heart’, Murdoch University will revitalise the promotion of societal
engagement and knowledge partnerships – the third pillar of the core mission of universities. The
University will more actively communicate and engage with its various communities at the local,
regional and international levels, cultivating knowledge partnerships, intensifying and diversifying
community partnership endeavours, sponsoring and nurturing alumni networks; and promoting
and supporting faculty contribution to public debate and cultural enrichment. This will ensure
that Murdoch develops a strong and strategic institutional profile in the areas of translational
research and applied public policy.
Murdoch considers internationalisation as a whole-of-university endeavour transforming what we
do and who we are. This incorporates research collaboration and cooperation, curriculum design
and pedagogy, widening cross cultural experience and understanding, international research
measures and teaching benchmarking, the rejuvenation of Murdoch’s staff base via global
recruitment and engagement, and international student mobility.
Education and research are developing rapidly in the economic powerhouses in the Asian region,
especially in East Asia, to sustain and advance economic and societal growth. Murdoch has a
significant teaching and research presence in the region and will strategically enhance that
engagement in the future.
Murdoch is particularly keen to make substantial contributions to the development of applied
public policy in consort with communities, industry and other societal actors. Drawing together
these strands of active public discourse, public policy and regional engagement are projects such
as The First Murdoch Commission and the Murdoch Symposium.
The First Murdoch Commission is an international commission of enquiry into Western Australia’s
broad development potential over the next twenty-five years through a set of specific themes
pertinent to the State and the Asian region, including economic prospects; diplomacy and
entrepreneurship; expertise and innovation; security and sustainability. The Commission aims to
produce evidence-based analysis of the prospects of WA in the Asian Region and to generate
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practical insight for policy development, with a view to maximising the positive role that WA can
play in the region and the positive role that the region can play in WA.
The Murdoch University Symposium 2013, The 21st Century University: Transformation and
resilience in a knowledge economy, considered how universities might meet the needs of its
diverse constituencies (government, industry, the public culture) while maintaining its
institutional distinctiveness as a site of independent scholarship. It brought together keynote
speakers from Australia, UK and Hong Kong
At the local level, Murdoch will act as the ‘knowledge hub’ in the development of the Murdoch
Activity Centre clustered around the University’s Eastern Precinct (including the Fiona Stanley and
St. John of God Hospitals). The overall project will embrace a wide range of activities including
health and biomedical services, cultural amenity and events, and hospitality and commercial
facilities. Core infrastructure and workforce elements will be developed over the next five years.
Murdoch will bring its expertise and community ethos to this project, combining its core research,
teaching and engagement activities in a dynamic integrated manner.
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PART TWO: ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ACCESS AND
OUTCOMES
2
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER ACCESS AND OUTCOMES
Part Two recognises the important role universities play in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people’s personal and professional aspirations through the provision of accessible and
supportive higher education programs. Increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander higher
education participation and success is important given the direct benefits for Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander individuals and communities and broader economic and social benefits for
all Australians.
Universities are asked to detail their strategies and targets to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander access and outcomes over the compact period in this section. Principal Performance
Indicators are compulsory and institutions may voluntarily nominate Optional Performance
Indicators and targets considered reflective of individual institutional goals.
The Commonwealth recognises that universities have diverse missions and, consequently, targets
and performance will vary between institutions. Each university should develop performance
indicators and targets to reflect its individual performance and strategic direction.
2.1
Commonwealth Objectives
The Commonwealth is committed to enhancing the participation and outcomes for Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander people in higher education consistent with the Closing the Gap initiative
addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.
In realising this objective, the Commonwealth has set an aspirational national parity target for
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff in higher education. The parity target
equates to the proportion of the population aged between 15 and 64 years which is currently
2.3%.
To help achieve this aspirational national target, the Commonwealth has introduced a new focus
on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reporting in the compact as recommended by the Review
of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
Universities should report high level Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student and staffing
plans and strategies in this part of the compact including performance targets for student
enrolments, completions and numbers of general and academic staff. Universities may also report
on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander initiatives under the Innovation and Engagement,
Teaching and Learning and Research and Research Training parts of the compact.
2.2
University Strategies
Murdoch University acknowledges that its campuses are situated on Nyungar Boodjar and that
the Wadjuk people of the Noongar nation are the traditional custodians of the land on which it
stands. Murdoch respects and acknowledges the traditional and continuing spiritual relationship,
cultural heritage practices and beliefs that form Kura, yeye, boorda (the past, present and future).
Overview
Murdoch University will be culturally-inclusive with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander people and seeks to be the University of choice for Aboriginal students in Western
Australia, and a leader in relation to Aboriginal Education, Aboriginal Research and Aboriginal
capacity building.
The disadvantages and gaps in health, education, employment and life expectancy experienced by
Aboriginal peoples are acknowledged. Murdoch aims to play a meaningful role in capacitybuilding within local and regional Aboriginal communities to contribute to closing the gap
between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
The University’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) provides the framework for strategy and action
for Aboriginal development and engagement, with recommendations aimed at the:
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Promotion of knowledge of the histories and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
peoples at the University;
Promotion and development of career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
persons;
Development of strategies to increase Aboriginal employment at the University to levels that
reflect the demographic representation of Aboriginal people in the workforce in Western
Australia (including employment targets, and timeframes); and
Develop a research environment at the University that is culturally sensitive, responsive to
Aboriginal communities and recognises and enhances Aboriginal research.
Students
Murdoch University takes a comprehensive and integrated approach to improving participation,
access and success of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students. This incorporates raising
aspirations, inclusive entry and effective student support. The Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre
(Kulbardi) has primary responsibility for the entry and support of Aboriginal students working
with Schools and professional service areas.
Critical to attracting Aboriginal students to university study is the need to raise aspirations,
particularly in areas of low participation. Murdoch received $5 million in Commonwealth funding
for the four-year Building Aspirations and Learning Links for Young people to go to University
project. This will assist in building aspirations for post-secondary education of three key target
groups with acknowledged overlap - Low SES, regional and indigenous. The project is focused on
the Kwinana, Rockingham and Peel corridor and the broader South West region in which there is
a relatively high proportion of Aboriginal students. In addition Murdoch is establishing
relationships with external stakeholders to foster programs aimed at areas such as the Pilbara,
Goldfields and Kimberley.
Murdoch is developing intensive aspiration-raising programs involving students staying on
campus or at some other residential camp which allows secondary school students to make
friendships with other Aboriginal students who are also considering tertiary study, while also
experiencing university life including attending lectures, labs and meeting university staff and
Aboriginal students who are currently studying at Murdoch University.
Murdoch will offer a 13-week core program and a four-day intensive outreach program in
partnership with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) program. The program
utilises University students to mentor Aboriginal students in high schools to give them the skills,
opportunities, belief and confidence to finish school at the same rate as their peers and to think
more broadly about post-school options.
A range of entry pathways are available to cater for Aboriginal students from both traditional
school-leaver and non-traditional academic backgrounds. These aim to provide access to degree
studies while also contributing to increased success and retention by equipping students with the
appropriate skills and knowledge for their chosen field of study. Programs include K-Track which
includes a wide range of science electives; The Aboriginal Pre-Law Programme which is a four
week intensive preparatory course providing entry to, and enhanced study preparation for Law;
and the Pre-media course preparation for courses in the School of Arts.
Murdoch is fostering partnerships with TAFE to develop programs to facilitate the transition
between school, VET and university sectors.
Murdoch is implementing a number of Aboriginal-targeted academic, social and financial support
schemes to build student capability and capacity, the “cultural capital”, to undertake university
level study effectively and improve success and retention rates for Aboriginal students to levels
equivalent to all students at Murdoch.
Schools have a responsibility to all students and working with Kulbardi is a cooperative effort to
ensure that student support is offered in a discipline-appropriate context. Kulbardi will coordinate
a Student Resource Centre (SRC) to offer a high level of support to Aboriginal students. The
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Resource Centre will provide physical resources such as access to study spaces, and/or computers
and peripheral equipment (printers, photocopying, etc). It will coordinate tutorial assistance
through ITAS and will implement strategies to better target study support on advice from First
Year Advisors in the Schools. The SRC also provides information and assistance with cadetships,
scholarships (in consultation with the University’s Scholarships Office) and employment.
Additional academic assistance programs are being considered modelled on the existing
Waardong program offered in the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences. This program teaches
Orientation Chemistry for students without a background in chemistry, and provides
supplementary enabling units for students throughout their veterinary or other health science
studies. It is proposed that discipline appropriate transition and extension activities be developed.
A policy requiring the incorporation of Aboriginal content into all undergraduate programs will be
implemented. This will be aligned to Academic Planning through the development of a
pedagogical framework to guide the development of curricula, and specific reporting
requirements of where and how Aboriginal perspectives are included in the curriculum. This aims
to build ‘cultural ownership’ of academic programs for Aboriginal students and strengthen
retention. Murdoch aims to establish an Aboriginal Board of Studies or equivalent as the formal
approval and quality assurance body for Aboriginal content within curricula to ensure cultural
appropriateness and accountability.
The AIME program will identify student mentors. It is proposed that these students will be
engaged with the Teaching and Learning Committees within Schools to help build mentor and
academic support groups for Aboriginal students, particularly in professional programs that are
careers of choice for Aboriginal students.
Staff
Murdoch University will:
 Introduce measures (affirmative action) to achieve an equitable representation of ATSI staff
amongst the staff at Murdoch University;
 Support career and personal development of current Aboriginal staff members; and
 Establish workplace support mechanisms to enable staff to succeed and reach their highest
potential.
In this context, Murdoch aims to identify and strengthen the provision of traineeships,
internships, and cadetship opportunities, including government-funded programs, with a view to
long-term employment for ATSI people.
Murdoch systematically provides Aboriginal Cross-Cultural Awareness Training to academic and
professional staff. The program, Aboriginal Cross-cultural Awareness Training: First Steps Towards
Cultural Competence for Educators, aims to provide staff with an opportunity to discuss how to
be inclusive of Aboriginal knowledge, traditions, languages, and practices in academic settings.
This training will be continued and expanded, especially for managers, supervisors and members
of recruitment panels to ensure that work environment, employment policies and practice
contribute to retention of Aboriginal staff.
Research
Murdoch will develop an adequately funded Aboriginal Research Strategy which sets the
framework for success, accountability and sustainability of Aboriginal research. Within that
framework, all Centres and Schools will engage in research activities that will align with the RAP
and University Research Strategy.
A Solutions Focussed Research Group (SFRG) will be established to coordinate the development
of a critical concentration of Aboriginal researchers collaborating with Aboriginal and nonAboriginal colleagues on the production of high quality research which meets the needs and
aspirations of Aboriginal communities. The SFRG will be coordinated by Kulbardi staff.
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Aboriginal issues will be identified as key research themes within the university. A determination
will then be made of which of the proposed themes might be pursued independently or as part of
a larger program, such as Health, Environment, Public Policy or Education.
An example of such thematic research is the research conducted by the Schools of Health
Professions and Education in collaboration with the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation to carry out a
health and education needs analysis of a number of language groups in the Pilbara region in 2012.
This resulted in a number of recommendations being considered, including the proposal for a
mobile health unit to take allied health services to the region. The Mobile Health Unit will consist
of a prime mover with two trailers containing staff accommodation, clinical and treatment areas,
and teaching and research facilities.
At the individual level, an Aboriginal Early Career Researchers Scheme (including Visiting
lectureship) and a career advice and Aboriginal staff mentoring scheme will be established.
The purpose of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performance indicators and targets is to
assist the University and the Commonwealth in monitoring the University’s progress against the
Commonwealth’s objectives particularly its contribution to reaching national parity.
The University will aim to meet the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander targets set out in the
following tables.
2.3
Performance Indicators and Targets
Note: All calendar year references below refer to the previous year’s data collection.
Principal Performance
Baseline Progressive Progressive
Progressive
Indicators
2012
Target 2013 Target 2014 Target 2015
Number of all Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander student
enrolments1
Number of all Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander student
completions2
Number of all Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander
professional/general staff3
Number of all Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander academic
staff4
Optional Performance
Indicators
Aboriginal student retention
rate in Bachelor degree
programs as a proportion of
retention rate of all Domestic
Bachelor degree students
K-Track completion rate
1
173
187
208
210
226
13
15
20
25
30
7
7
10
14
18
4
4
5
6
7
Baseline
2012
Progressive
Target 2013
Progressive
Target 2014
Progressive
Target 2015
Target
2016
0.848
0.915
0.916
0.921
0.923
51.9%
52%
55%
60%
65%
Refers to total undergraduate, postgraduate and HDR students by headcount
footnote 1 for definition
3 Refers to number by headcount
4 See footnote 3 for definition
2 See
Page 15
Target
2016
PART THREE: INNOVATION AND ENGAGEMENT
3
INNOVATION AND ENGAGEMENT
Part Three recognises the important role of universities in our national innovation system, in
boosting economic productivity contributions to improved social and environmental outcomes
and growth, and in engaging, advancing and inspiring their communities. It also recognises that
universities make an important contribution to building connections and partnerships that
broaden and deepen Australia's understanding of Asia.
Under three themes: Innovation; Industry and Skills; and Engagement; universities are asked to
detail their strategies and targets over the term of this compact. Principal Performance Indicators
are compulsory and institutions may voluntarily nominate Optional Performance Indicators and
targets considered reflective of individual institutional goals.
The Commonwealth recognises that universities have diverse missions and, consequently, targets
and performance will vary between institutions. Each university should develop performance
indicators and targets to reflect its individual performance and strategic direction.
3.1
Innovation
3.1.1
Commonwealth objectives
The Commonwealth seeks to build an innovation system that ensures Australia can meet the
challenges and grasp the opportunities of the twenty-first century. The Commonwealth
encourages innovation by supporting industry-led research, promoting knowledge-transfer
activities and the commercialisation of research.
3.1.2
University strategies
Murdoch University recognises that the university sector makes a significant contribution to the
national innovation system through the transfer of knowledge created and held within
universities to industry, community and other stakeholders. It is important to acknowledge that
the higher education sector disseminates knowledge through formal undergraduate and
postgraduate coursework degree programs as well as short course programs. Notwithstanding, to
encourage the transfer of innovations developed here, Murdoch also provides support to its
researchers through its Knowledge Transfer Office, IP and Research Policies and IP regulations.
Murdoch’s Knowledge Transfer Office currently provides assistance to its researchers to help
them:
 Identify the creation of an innovation/intellectual property;
 Discriminate between technologies with commercial potential and those more appropriately
transferred to the Australian or global community by being freely available;
 Achieve best practice protection of intellectual property where appropriate;
 Seek and negotiate with industry partners for translational research funding and/or licensing
opportunities;
 Ensure appropriate sharing (and legal documentation) of IP ownership or benefits for joint
research projects with external organisations;
 Develop technology specific commercialisation plans; and
 Seek external capital where spin-out company creation is desirable.
This assistance is guided by Murdoch’s IP and Research Policies and Regulations that outline:
 The responsible conduct of research;
 Circumstances where IP is owned by the university;
 IP ownership by students;
 Procedures and forms to notify the university of IP creation (Invention Disclosure); and
 Revenue sharing arrangements between contributing researchers and Murdoch University.
Page 16
Murdoch has, on an ongoing basis, reviewed and refined the role and activities of its Knowledge
Transfer Office (and previously Commercialisation personnel) as informed by local and national
policy settings and best practice within the Knowledge Commercialisation and Tech Transfer
Sector. During 2013-2017, Murdoch plans to develop an overarching plan for Knowledge Transfer.
This will take into account how the knowledge and expertise held and developed at the University
can be utilised to benefit industry and society more broadly and will position Murdoch University
as a key provider, supporter and driver of Australian and international innovation.
A likely outcome might be a greater focus on the impact Murdoch research makes on the
Australian or global community, not just through direct economic impact such as licensing to
industry but also through impacts on social and community outcomes. This may then require us
to develop measures to encourage researchers to create and monitor impact and to develop and
implement processes to advise researchers more broadly on how best to translate research
results into useful improvements and increased uptake of university derived technologies. For
example, by early engagement with commercial and community parties to seek information on
market problems and market need for a particular technology, Murdoch would be able to advise
its researchers on research direction and on what aspects of their research are important to
potential end-users, thereby setting-up a greater chance of adoption.
As part of Murdoch’s Research Strategy we will also seek to foster increased links with industry
bodies and organisations. Strategies to grow this research segment will drive active engagement
with government and industry programs for translating research knowledge and innovations into
practice. This will include strategies to increase industry-linked competitive grants (ARC linkage,
Industry Transformation, CRC, etc); increase joint appointments with industry; and, based on
greater direct interaction, increase joint publications with industry. These linkages with industry
will facilitate Knowledge Transfer.
Murdoch has the academic capacity to assess and evaluate intellectual property claims and
understand how information is transformed into sustainable knowledge with practical
applications. In this context Murdoch is committed to using its knowledge brokerage capacities in
active partnerships with local communities, government and industry, regional organisations and
international forums. Allied to this aim is Murdoch’s strategic aim to develop a strong institutional
profile in the areas of translational research and applied public policy.
The Murdoch Activity Centre, an education, health and activity precinct being created by the
State Government is geographically centred on Murdoch University and the Fiona Stanley
Hospital and will provide Murdoch with opportunities for broad knowledge brokerage, providing a
‘knowledge hub’ for the broad development. Predicated on using a highly networked public
transport system, the Activity Centre’s success also depends on harnessing the intellectual capital
and economic multiplier of the core institutions.
The University is particularly keen to make substantial contributions to the development of
applied public policy in consort with communities, industry and other societal actors, from the
local to the regional. The First Murdoch Commission on the topic of ‘Western Australian in the
Region’ is indicative of this commitment.
Murdoch is a participant in the Australia’s Knowledge Gateway (AKG, http://akg.edu.au). AKG is a
search engine which highlights the activities of Australian researchers and makes them more
accessible to business, government, foreign affairs and trade officials, students and the wider
community. It is a partnership with the Group of Eight universities and the University of South
Australia. Data included in the search facility capture staff expertise, projects and publications and
allow search by research topics Field of Research codes.
Page 17
3.1.3
Performance indicators and targets
The purpose of the innovation performance indicators and targets is to assist the University and
the Commonwealth in monitoring the University's progress against the Commonwealth's
objectives and the University's strategies for innovation.
The University will report principal performance information and aim to meet the innovation
performance indicators and targets set out in the following tables.
Note: All calendar year references below refer to the previous year’s data collection.
Principal Performance Information5
2012
Number of patent and plant breeder’s rights
families filed, issued and held
Number of all active licences, options or
assignments (LOAs)6 executed and income
derived
Number and value of research contracts and
consultancies executed7
Investment in spin-out companies during
the reporting year and nominal value of
equity in spin-outs based on last external
funding/liquidity event or entry cost
Filed
3
No.
4
No.
131
Investment ($)
0
Issued
3
Held
23
Value($)
10,790
Value($)
$8,949,964
Value($)
2,066,877
Note: All calendar year references below refer to the previous year’s data collection.
Principal Performance
Baseline
Progressive
Progressive
Progressive
Indicator
2012
Target 2013
Target 2014 Target 2015
Category 4 Income
2,679,413
3,105,356
3,555,162
3,484,059
Note: All calendar year references below refer to the previous year’s data collection.
Optional
Baseline Progressive
Progressive Target
Progressive
Performance
2012
Target
2014
Target
Indicators
2013
2015
Development
of a
Knowledge
Transfer Plan
5
Consult with Academic
Staff, Industry,
Government, Venture
Capitalists and other
stakeholders on
requirements for
Knowledge Transfer
Develop a first draft
Knowledge Transfer
Plan
Consult with group
indicated above for
feedback on draft Plan
Progress
Plan through
institutional
governance
Implement
key elements
of the
Knowledge
Transfer Plan
Target
2016
3,414,378
Target
2016
Ongoing
implement
ation of the
Knowledge
Transfer
Plan
This set of performance information does not require targets. Universities will be asked to advise their baseline performance and will report on
their future performance in the context of the Institutional Performance Portfolio Information Collection commencing in 2013. Patent and plant
breeder right family refers to a group of patent or plant breeder rights applications or grants emanating from a single filing. Note: this question
only concerns patent and plant breeder rights families, and is not in reference to families of other forms of registered IP (i.e. trade marks).
6 A LICENCE agreement formalises the transfer of technology between two parties, where the owner of the technology (licensor) grants rights to
the other parties (licensee). An OPTION agreement grants the potential licensee a time period during which it may evaluate the technology and
negotiate the terms of a licence agreement. An option agreement is not constituted by an Option clause in a research agreement that grants
rights to future inventions, until an actual invention has occurred that is subject to that Option. An ASSIGNMENT agreement conveys all right,
title and interest in and to the licensed subject matter to the named assignee.
7 Please use the definition of contracts and consultancies utilised in the National Survey of Research Commercialisation (NSRC). A copy of the
survey is available at this URL: http://www.innovation.gov.au/Section/Innovation/Pages/TheNationalSurveyofResearchCommercialisation.aspx
Page 18
3.2
Industry and Skills
3.2.1
Commonwealth objectives
The Commonwealth encourages universities and employers to work together so that courses
meet the needs of employers, where relevant. This may include integrating work and learning,
meeting professional accreditation requirements and involving employers in course development
and delivery.
3.2.2
University strategies
Modes of engagement with government, industry and community are opening for the higher
education sector beyond the traditional activities of commentary, policy advice, and the
sponsoring and nurturing of alumni networks and activities. Murdoch will continue to pursue
these traditional connections but will also enhance and extend its engagement activities
consonant with contemporary circumstances.
A major driver of engagement with industry continues to be workforce planning. The WA
Department of Training and Workforce Development has developed “Skilling WA - A workforce
development plan for Western Australia” that provides a framework to build, attract and retain a
skilled workforce in Western Australia.
Skilling WA identified skills and labour needs based on a strategic and multilevel approach to skills
and workforce planning. Several key groups, including government, enterprises, industry, and
education providers, nominated specialised occupations that should be the focus of planning as
well as being contributors to overall workforce development planning. This broad strategy is
guiding Government and business investment in training and higher education and, therefore,
Murdoch continues to engage with the Department to help identify educational needs to address
skills shortages as well as incorporating identified areas of future demand in academic planning
processes.
The location of Murdoch’s campuses has a strong influence on the mix of students as well as
workforce demands. The main campus is within the Murdoch Activity Centre, an education,
health and activity precinct being created by the State Government centred on Murdoch
University and the Fiona Stanley Hospital.
The Peel and Rockingham campuses are located in the rapidly growing corridor to the south of
Perth. Indeed, the Peel population growth rate is expected to be more than double that of WA
over the next 10 years. Regional population growth and surges in State and regional employment
opportunities, compounded by comparatively lower qualification and skill levels amongst Peel
residents, have contributed to substantial growth in demand for post-compulsory education and
training.
Health Care and Social Assistance is the fourth largest industry employment sector in the Peel
region, and is projected to reach almost 3,000 employees over the period. This reflects the
findings of the Health Workforce 2025 report which identified a highly-significant shortage of
nurses and other health professionals by 2025 with an uneven distribution of the medical
workforce across Australia particularly affecting rural and regional communities. Human services
occupations are also critical to the longer term economic and social well-being of the Peel
community.
Taken with the needs of the Fiona Stanley Hospital, the workforce needs of the region will be
focused on health and aged care services (including nursing, rehabilitation medicine, aged care,
mental health and disability services); tourism and tourism services; and the environment.
Murdoch will expand its existing relationships with employers and local government in the region
to strengthen these regional teaching and research opportunities.
The University contributes to public debate and cultural enrichment through partnerships with
business organisations In particular, Murdoch is a founding and series partner of the Leadership
Matters program in Perth, a series of six annual events that feature leading business, government
Page 19
and community leaders presenting to audiences of up to 1,500 people. The University continues
to partner with the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) in the Inventing
the Future initiative that includes a series of forums for business leaders, government, academics
and community organisations which present current thinking and provide a context for research
outcomes. These forums build effective links with industry that feed into curriculum planning.
The Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs will offer professionally
focused masters coursework degrees and higher degree research courses that will combine
theoretical and applied analytical training in public policy and management with area and policy
specific concentrations. Programs include three inter-disciplinary masters coursework degrees in
the social sciences: Public Policy and Management, Development Studies, and International
Affairs. The Graduate School will position Murdoch as a key provider of professional graduate
education meeting the needs of state, national and international markets.
In consultation aligned to the Murdoch University Curriculum Commission, Murdoch identified
significant potential to develop a range of professionally focused postgraduate coursework
programs particularly in the sciences, social sciences, health sciences and engineering that meet
the long-term needs of both students and employers.
In designing new postgraduate coursework qualifications, there needs to be a detailed
understanding of the different types of masters degrees and their specific purposes. It is
acknowledged that students undertake postgraduate coursework for a variety of reasons
including:
 the acquisition of entry level qualifications for professional practice;
 the acquisition of advanced qualifications to assist in career development and promotion
prospects;
 to support a change of career direction; and
 out of interest in the subject matter.
Postgraduate coursework programs will incorporate curriculum design, assessment, pedagogy
and delivery methods that reflect the different needs and expectations of these students and
their employers. Relevant market research will be undertaken with employers and graduates to
determine the demand for profession-specific skills and knowledge that will underpin course
development.
Murdoch is establishing industry advisory groups that will align with research domains identified
as priorities for the University. It is proposed that these will be extended to postgraduate
programs and to those Schools where there are not formal professional links, noting that the
latter are predominantly through associations responsible for accreditation.
At the undergraduate level, Course/Discipline Advisory Committees have been implemented
across Murdoch to facilitate input from business and industry into teaching and learning design.
These groups will be refreshed to more closely align with the new Bachelor degrees, with
membership taking into account for advice on workforce planning and skills requirements as well
as research and workplace learning opportunities.
Murdoch and the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry have a strong partnership to assist
small, medium and large businesses to participate in work integrated learning (WIL) programs.
The most common form of WIL involves a student placement or project within a workplace. The
new Bachelor degree structure actively encourages a work-integrated teaching experience and
Murdoch proposes to expand WIL opportunities for students. A recent example is a 16-week
placement for an Instrumentation and Control Engineering student with WorleyParsons at their
client site at BP Kwinana that constitutes 12.5% of the student’s work for the course. The WA
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIWA) identifies a range of benefits to employers
including the availability of flexible options, fresh ideas and approaches, workplace ready
graduates, the recruitment pathway options, return on investment and partnerships with
universities.
Page 20
3.3
Engagement
3.3.1
Commonwealth objectives
As part of its social and economic remit and as an important precursor to innovation, the
Commonwealth encourages universities to engage with all levels of government, other
universities, businesses, schools, the vocational education and training sector, employers, the
professions, research institutions and the wider community including international partners
particularly those in the Asian region.
3.3.2
University strategies
Murdoch University’s Strategic Plan 2012-2017 states its goal for engagement as:
Murdoch will continue to communicate and engage with its various communities at the local,
regional and international levels, cultivating knowledge partnerships, participating in mutual
endeavours, and contributing to public debate and cultural enrichment.
International Engagement
In 2012, as part of its internationalisation strategy and commitment to make substantial
contributions to the development of applied public policy, the University planned the inaugural
Murdoch Commission. This international commission is now actively inquiring into the evolving
region of South East Asia and Western Australia.
With WA closely entwined with the dynamic economies of the Asia Pacific, the Murdoch
Commission will guide business, academia and government on WA’s future role in the region. The
12 Commissioners are a distinguished group of leaders appointed from government, business and
academia in their countries of origin. They are examining economic engagement and integration
beyond local and national preconceptions, identifying and analysing some of the major challenges
facing the region over the coming decades and recommending how they may be addressed.
The first meeting of the Murdoch Commission took place in February with the second in Jakarta in
April. Meetings are now planned for China, Korea, India and Japan before the final report of
findings and recommendations is due to be released at the end of the year.
This is the first of a panned series of Commissions that will investigate and report on national and
international trends and issues in future years.
Aboriginal Research and Community Engagement
Many of the University’s students participate in community outreach programs which involve
work in the field in regional and remote WA and in South East Asia. Chiropractic students have
been working in the Pilbara region of WA for over seven years in remote mining campus and
indigenous communities. As a development of this program, the Schools of Chiropractic and
Education secured funding from Rio Tinto and the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation to carry out a
health and education needs analysis of a number of language groups in the region in 2012. This
has resulted in a number of recommendations which are now being considered including the
proposal for a mobile health unit to take allied health services to the region.
This project is rapidly progressing with funds of $1.4 million already pledged by two
philanthropists toward the $8 million, five year project. The Mobile Health Unit will consist of a
prime mover with two trailers containing staff accommodation, clinical and treatment areas and
educational facilities. It will travel a repeated route in the Pilbara, visiting each community every
few weeks. The project will involve collaboration with other WA universities and volunteers as
well as organisations such the Royal Flying Doctors’ Service and state and federal government
agencies.
Alumni Engagement
The University’s 50,000 plus alumni are located across the globe with a large proportion in
Australia but a growing number in Asia and Singapore in particular. An increasing number of local
and international events have happened in recent years and will continue in order to engage with
local and international alumni and to connect in regions where the University focuses on student
Page 21
recruitment and international research collaboration. In 2012 and 2013 this has already involved
events and activities in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Dubai and China.
Philanthropy and Corporate Support
The University works closely with a range of private donors and corporate supporters to enhance
teaching, learning and research activities. Philanthropy and corporate support has become a
growing income stream for the University since the establishment of the Murdoch University
Veterinary Trust in 1999 and the Murdoch University Foundation in 2002. Since their
establishment, these two entities have raised funds totalling more than $25 million. This
successful fundraising has been the result of engagement with individuals, trusts and foundations
and businesses that support the goals of the University.
In 2012, strong relationships were maintained with key partners, including the McCusker
Charitable Foundation, the City of Rockingham, Rio Tinto, Alcoa of Australia, Energy Resourcing
and Fremantle Ports to help support the University. These donations are not only an expression of
generosity, but also a clear and beneficial investment in students, research and the wider
community through programs such as prizes and scholarships for students; new staff positions
including funded chairs; public lectures and programs; research projects and equipment; and new
buildings and infrastructure.
The University will be focussing its fundraising efforts on support for internationalisation and
research in future years seeking to secure funding for PhD scholarships, post-doctoral fellowships
and research infrastructure.
Promoting Public Debate and Engagement
Murdoch aims to expand the scope of its public engagement and in doing so to add to public
discourse on areas of particular relevance to the University through open lecture series.
The annual Sir Walter Murdoch Lecture at our main campus in October and the Lecture in
Singapore in November, launched in 2012, address significant international and national issues.
Most recently, Canadian political analyst Professor Kim Nossal from Queen’s University, Canada
reflected on the rise of China as a global political powerhouse, and how this may affect the future
of the Asia Pacific region.
The Keith Roby Trust was set up with community donations to fund a biannual lecture on science,
technology and society. In 2013, additional donations of $125,000 have been secured which will
allow the program to become an annual event and involve more community participation.
Communicating Research Impact
The University has strategy of promoting and communicating research outcomes to academic
colleagues and the broader community. This includes support for The Conversation and regular
communication to a range of media channels specific to each research focus. Academic staff are
provided with media training to assist them to communicate their key points and to deal with face
to face and radio interviews. Information is also included on the University’s website and through
social media outlets.
Regional Campus Engagement
The University has two regional campuses in Rockingham and Mandurah and continues to engage
with local government, community members and businesses in those regions. This includes
securing funding for professorial positions, PhD scholarships and undergraduate scholarships for
students in the region to encourage them to aspire to university study. All of these are supported
financially by local individuals and organisations.
The University has been given in-principle support by the National Trust to lease the heritage
working farm at Whitby Falls in the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale. The 230-hectare site has
significant historic and cultural value. It will be maintained and used by the University to support
teaching and research in veterinary and agricultural sciences, as well as other disciplines such as
environmental science and conservation. The University plans to invest $1.7m into the
Page 22
infrastructure needed to re-establish a working beef cattle and sheep farm and will be seeking
further investment and support for the development of teaching and public facilities.
Regional WA Scholarships
Students in regional and remote Western Australia are supported by scholarships co-funded by
the George Alexander Foundation which has just committed to another five years with increased
numbers and funding for each scholarship. This will amount to funding of more than $1 million to
support the living costs of students disadvantaged by their distance from Perth.
Encouraging national and international collaborations
To support collaborations with world leading scholars and universities and raise the University’s
profile among the global research community, the Sir Walter Murdoch Adjunct Professorship and
Distinguished Collaborator schemes were established with internal funding in 2012. Eight Adjunct
Professors were appointed in 2012 along with 16 distinguished Collaborators. This program will
continue to grow in future years.
The Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Collaborator Scheme supports embryonic collaborations
with the view that successful collaborations will develop into Sir Walter Murdoch Adjunct
Professorial appointments. Some of the universities involved in the collaboration schemes in 2012
were the University of Oxford, the University of Copenhagen, Pennsylvania State University, the
National University of Singapore and Hokkaido University.
As part of an ongoing strategy to bring together international researchers aligned to the
University’s defined research domains, joint research centres have been established. These
include the Asia Pacific Centre for Media Economics and Communications Management Research
(partnership with Communication University of China in Beijing) and the Australia-China Centre
for Wheat Quality (partnership with Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences).
Strategies to strengthen collaborative efforts as well as promoting research impact will include
the hosting of national and international conferences. A recent example of this focus was the
2012 Omics Australasia Symposium which brought leading omics (genomics, proteomics or
metabolomics) researchers, industry and government together to identify and collaboratively
work on common goals.
Page 23
3.3.3
Performance indicators and targets
The purpose of the engagement performance indicators and targets is to assist the University and
the Commonwealth in monitoring the University's progress against the Commonwealth's
objectives and the University's strategies for engagement.
The University will aim to meet the engagement performance indicators and targets set out in the
following table.
Note: All calendar year references below refer to the previous year’s data collection.
Principal
Baseline
Progressive
Progressive
Progressive
Target
Performance
2012
Target 2013
Target 2014 Target 2015
2016
Indicators
Number of active
126
150
155
160
165
collaborations8 with
industry and other
partners in Australia
Number of active
36
40
44
49
56
collaborations9 with
industry and other
partners overseas
Category 3 Income
$9,919,922 $10,713,515 $11,570,600 $12,496,245 $13,495,944
Note: All calendar year references below refer to the previous year’s data collection.
Optional Performance
Baseline
Progressive
Progressive
Progressive
Indicators
2012
Target 2013
Target 2014
Target 2015
Philanthropic or
$2.6
$4 million
$4.5 million
$5 million
sponsorship income
million
received by the
Murdoch University
Foundation or the
Murdoch University
Veterinary Trust
Number of enrolments 3,821
4,483
4,850
5,150
in units with an
approved Work
Integrated Learning
component
8 Collaboration
Target
2016
$6 million
5,350
involves active joint participation with other organisations, by contributing resources such as intellectual property, knowledge,
money, personnel or equipment, with the aim of obtaining a shared goal or objective. Straight fee-for-service arrangements, such as contracts
and consultancies, are deemed not to be collaborative and are therefore excluded. Collaboration with Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) is
also to be excluded. This definition is in line with the ABS and OECD definitions of collaboration.
9
See footnote 8 for a definition of collaboration.
Page 24
PART FOUR: TEACHING AND LEARNING
4
TEACHING AND LEARNING
4.1
Student enrolments
4.1.1
Commonwealth objectives
The Commonwealth is committed to expanding higher education to provide high quality
opportunities for people of all backgrounds to participate to their full potential. An expanded
higher education system will educate the graduates needed for Australia's future economy, which
will be based on knowledge, skills and innovation.
The main objectives of the Commonwealth are to ensure that:
 by 2025, 40 per cent of all 25 to 34 year olds will hold a qualification at bachelor level or
above;
 by 2020, 20 per cent of undergraduate enrolments should be students from low socioeconomic backgrounds;
 national parity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff is achieved over
time; and
 universities are producing graduates that meet the nation’s skills needs.
These objectives are supported through the Commonwealth Grant Scheme and, in particular, the
demand driven funding of students in bachelor level courses.
4.1.2
University strategies
University Student Enrolment Planning
Murdoch’s Strategic Plan 2012-2017 aims to build on its historical strength in quality teaching,
interdisciplinary studies and commitment to access and equity while 'renewing the academic
heart' of its coursework programs, expressed in the goal that:
Murdoch will provide a rich and diverse academic learning experience with a curriculum integrally
linked to quality research and up-to-date pedagogy, equipping students with life-long learning
skills and the capacities to successfully engage in a global world.
To this end, Murdoch is implementing the recommendations of the Murdoch University
Curriculum Commission (MUCC) that will see seven bachelor degrees offered that will:
 Include a compulsory transition unit that introduces the degree-specific academic skills
necessary for success at university study;
 Equip students with the skills necessary for life-long learning, including research skills
acquisition through compulsory units designed for cognate majors;
 Ensure that every student acquires depth of knowledge in at least one discipline or
profession through a major course of study that concludes with a capstone experience;
 Expose students to inter-disciplinary breadth studies through the curriculum; and
 Instil Murdoch’s graduate attributes, through the overall design, structure and content of the
degree and its constituent parts.
The structure of undergraduate degrees is explained below. All units will be standardised at 3
credit points, or 0.125 EFTSL.
Page 25
Diagram detailing the structure of the Undergraduate degree at Murdoch University.
Each year includes the listed units as follows:
Year 1: Transition Unit - Skills unit for degree/ group of majors
Major 1 Introductory unit, may be exclusive to major
4 x Foundational unit for degree/ group of majors
2 x Major 1 Core unit may be shared with other cognate majors
3 x Elective or Major 2
Breadth - Relevant for degree
Year 2: Research skills relevant for degree/ group of majors
3 x Major 1
3 x Elective or Major 2
Breadth: Uni wide – various “Timeless Themes”, ”Hot Topics”
Year 3: Research skills relevant for degree/ group of majors
3 x Major 1
3 x Elective or Major 2
Breadth: Uni wide “Breadth into Practice”
All degrees will be required to provide clear pathways beyond the bachelor degree to
employment, research training, or postgraduate coursework. Murdoch will review its suite of
postgraduate coursework programs with a view to developing new qualifications that are high
quality, internationally competitive, reflect the long-term needs of both students and employers,
and are in proven and emerging areas of demand. This requires reinvigoration of curriculum
design, assessment, pedagogy and delivery methods to ensure they are appropriate to meet the
specific learning needs of students.
Half Cohort Planning
Based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the total cohort expected to graduate
from High School in 2014 will decrease by 38% on prior years. If Murdoch’s school leaver intake is
reduced in proportion to current enrolments, then a reduction of approximately 350 EFTSL is
projected.
To offset this reduction in load and income, Murdoch is targeting non-school leaver applicants,
providing alternative entry routes for school leaver applicants who do not meet direct entry
requirements and seeking to build international student numbers.
While some changes in load mix were projected to arise as a result of movements in preferences,
the restructure of undergraduate degrees is expected to reduce the variability of the impact
across Schools.
Murdoch will also work with its staff to manage its total workforce and detailed staffing profile to
ameliorate the financial impact where possible.
Page 26
Sub Bachelor Planning
Murdoch has identified Low SES student access, progress, retention and completion as key
indicators of success in its Strategic Plan 2012-2017. With respect to access, the University was
granted $5.028 million by the Commonwealth government for four linked projects, Building
Aspirations and Learning Links for Young People to go to University, which includes specific
support for alternative pathways to university entry. The Building Aspirations program aims to
remove the barriers to university education faced by young people from low socio-economic
backgrounds, particularly students in the Peel and Rockingham/Kwinana regions. It is envisaged
that this will bring students to Murdoch that would otherwise not have attended university.
Murdoch has focused on its key enabling program, OnTrack, offering it at all three campuses each
semester.
OnTrack is a TISC option, designed to allow OnTrack staff to maintain control over admission
criteria. Murdoch also uses OnTrack as a pathway for students who have met most but not all of
the criteria for ‘special entry’ programs. A key element of this is students who have taken
Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) Level 1 English in Year 12 and thus do not
meet English language requirements for university entry.
A range of entry pathways are available to cater for Aboriginal students from both traditional
school-leaver and non-traditional academic backgrounds. K-Track is the first half of a two-part
bridging program for Aboriginal students that concludes with OnTrack. In addition, the Aboriginal
Pre-Law Programme is a four week intensive preparatory course providing entry to, and enhanced
study preparation for Law; the Pre-media course preparation for courses in the School of Arts;
and the Waardong program provides entry to as well as ongoing academic, social and cultural
support for students in Veterinary Science or participating Health Science courses. Other
preparatory and support courses for Aboriginal students will be considered for renewal.
In line with the MUCC recommendation, Murdoch will establish a set of not-for-credit modules
addressing areas such as Academic Integrity, academic English language proficiency, advanced
writing skills, and numeracy. These modules will be offered in the Winter and Summer terms to
supplement degree studies, providing an opportunity to improve generic skills beyond the
learning that already occurs within their degree. The Waardong program provides a model for this
interleaved academic support.
Based on projected growth in both OnTrack and K-Track and the introduction of broader
support/enabling programs linked to undergraduate degrees, Murdoch will be taking
opportunities to apply for additional sub-bachelor degree places as they arise.
Bachelor Degree Planning
From 2014, Murdoch will only offer seven undergraduate degrees:
•
Bachelor of Arts
•
Bachelor of Business
•
Bachelor of Science
•
Bachelor of Education
•
Bachelor of Engineering
•
Bachelor of Laws
•
Bachelor of Nursing
All undergraduate majors will have a clear progression of study opportunities beyond the
bachelor degree (AQF Level 7). This will include higher degree research study via the Honours
(AQF Level 8) degree pathway. Honours load is projected to increase with the University’s
renewed focus on research, including HDR targets, and the inclusion of a spine of research skills
through the undergraduate degree. The research skills units will enable Murdoch to offer
research design and methodology units at Honours level at a higher level of sophistication.
Historically, Murdoch has had progress and retention rates that were low relative to the sector,
resulting from a complex mix of factors including the age mix, educationally disadvantaged
Page 27
background, and the discipline mix of students. We have introduced a range of measures to
address the progress and retention, including the effective implementation of First Year Advisors;
the introduction of transition unit/s; and the move to 3-point units, as detailed in Sections 4.2 and
4.3.
The new curriculum structure requires Part I (the first year) of every bachelor degree to have a
compulsory transition unit that introduces students to the degree-specific skills that are necessary
for success at university. Normally this will be completed in their first semester of study.
The move to standardise all units at 3 credit points (0.125 EFTSL) will provide students who
receive Centrelink benefits with the opportunity to drop one unit if they are struggling with their
study or juggling other responsibilities and still retain benefits. This was not possible with the
previous 4 point credit unit structure in Part II (second year and above in the bachelor degree).
These measures will complement broader quality and equity initiatives to improve progress and
retention rates (see Sections 4.2 and 4.3) and will increase total student load. While initiatives will
take effect from 2014, load is expected to build over time.
Murdoch has grown its unit and course offerings through Open Universities Australia. This
provides an active pathway into degree programs for a subset of students but it does not
significantly affect CGS enrolments.
The success of the State Government’s creation of a strategic activity centre in the suburb of
Murdoch depends on harnessing the intellectual capital of the University as well as the existing St
John of God Private Hospital and the Fiona Stanley Hospital. This will strongly affect workforce
planning for the southern corridor of Perth. As a result, Murdoch will review and renew its course
offerings in clinical and allied health sciences at the Murdoch and Peel campuses in the light of
shortages in skilled health professionals identified by the State Government and the Health
Workforce 2025 report, with particular emphasis on the needs of the Health precinct. It is
expected that student load in relevant Funding Clusters will increase both in absolute and relative
terms within the University. This will include areas such as rehabilitation science as well as current
high demand courses in psychology, sports science, exercise physiology and physical education
(teaching). The effect of the changes in cluster load will begin to be felt through the period from
2015 - 2020.
Murdoch is committed to its campuses at Peel and Rockingham and will develop and implement
strategies to increase load at these campuses. Arising from the MUCC and institutional
restructure, the School of Health Professions was established, incorporating the disciplines of
Nursing and Midwifery, Chiropractic and Counselling. It will operate on a dual campus model
headquartered at the Peel campus and will see the transfer of the Chiropractic and Counselling
programs to the Peel Campus. There will be an incremental development of resources and
academic and administrative presence at the Peel Campus from 2014.
Linked to the Building Aspirations program is an incremental strategy to develop unit offerings at
Rockingham and Peel that appeal to the specific cohorts at each campus. This includes offering
compulsory units at Rockingham in alternative semesters to availability at the main campus to
provide additional incentive for students to enrol at the Rockingham campus. These initiatives will
provide organic growth at those campuses over time.
Overall, implementation of the recommendations of the MUCC will make Murdoch an attractive
destination for students and build undergraduate load. At the undergraduate level this will be
offset by changes in Funding Clusters, reduction in the length of some existing bachelor degrees
(from four to three years) and the move of some professional programs to the postgraduate level.
Postgraduate Planning
Murdoch has identified that its future sustainability will depend in part on diversifying its income
sources which requires reducing its relative reliance on undergraduate domestic students. By
providing high quality postgraduate coursework programs in areas of institutional strength,
Murdoch will take advantage of the rapid growth in student demand in Australia and overseas for
Page 28
professional masters programs and to meet changing workforce needs. To this end, postgraduate
offerings will be renewed and new programs offered.
The establishment of the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs and
the development of new flagship masters coursework programs in areas such as Public Policy and
Management, International Affairs, and Development Studies will increase the absolute numbers
and relative proportion of fee-paying postgraduate coursework load. The resultant increase in
load is likely to be small in 2013 but grow strongly from 2014. This development is geared
towards positioning the University as a key provider of professional graduate education in state,
national and international markets.
Further opportunities for postgraduate coursework programs that reflect our teaching and
research strengths will be identified and assessed for introduction, with opportunities in the
clinical and allied health sciences arising from the development of the adjacent Health precinct a
priority. This will include areas such as rehabilitation science and nursing specialities. While the
majority of programs will be offered on a fee-paying basis, some programs aligned to areas of skill
shortage with lower remuneration may be put forward for consideration for CGS funding. It
should be noted that growth in allied health will initially be offset by the closure of the
Commonwealth-supported Master of Pharmacy course.
Aligned with this has been the University’s entry into the executive education market, offering fee
for service non-accredited short courses to middle and senior management in the corporate, notfor-profit and government sectors. Murdoch is working with the WA Chamber of Commerce and
Industry to deliver a collaborative approach to the development and presentation of leadership
and management development programs. Alignment of short courses with units in postgraduate
coursework programs provides a transitional framework analogous to undergraduate pathways.
The University is considering opportunities to transfer some of its existing professional-entry
undergraduate programs to the postgraduate level. The University will continue to work with the
Government on any proposed course changes and/or transfers. In the first instance, it is proposed
to move the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery to the postgraduate level.
It should be noted that the decision to retain degrees in Education, Engineering, Nursing and Laws
at the undergraduate level at present does not imply that these qualifications will not be moved
to the postgraduate level in the future. With a view to international and national trends, it may be
desirable to review the positioning of these degrees at a future date.
4.2
Quality
4.2.1
Commonwealth objectives
A focus on teaching and learning quality underpins the Commonwealth’s vision for Australia to be
one of the most highly educated and skilled nations in the world.
The Commonwealth has made a commitment to provide more autonomy to universities through
the removal of funding caps on Commonwealth supported bachelor level places. In turn, the
Commonwealth requires the University to participate in the higher education quality
arrangements which are overseen by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency. The
arrangements are designed to support academic autonomy while ensuring that the achievement
of standards can be demonstrated and that there is a strong focus on enhancing the quality of
teaching and learning while expansion of the higher education system meets national
participation ambitions.
The Commonwealth’s commitment to quality is demonstrated through initiatives such as the
Office for Learning and Teaching, which provides a suite of grants, awards and fellowships to
recognise quality and promote innovations in learning and teaching.
The University also has obligations under the quality and accountability requirements in Division
19 of HESA. This compact does not change those obligations.
Page 29
4.2.2
University strategies
Murdoch maintains a primary focus on ensuring students have the best possible teaching and
learning experience from orientation through to graduation. Murdoch aims to deliver high quality
courses that provide a distinctive and rewarding student experience that will optimise graduate
outcomes.
As indicated under Bachelor Degree Planning (Section 4.1) above, Murdoch will have only seven
bachelor degrees from 2014. These programs were developed through the Murdoch University
Curriculum Commission’s (MUCC) review of academic programs and will promote engagement of
students in their learning, from effective transition to University through to reinforcing life-long
learning.
With respect to the transition to university experience, the new curriculum structure requires
each bachelor degree to include a compulsory transition unit that introduces students to the
degree-specific skills that are necessary for success at university. Evidence has also shown that
greater engagement with the university community other than through their studies enhances
successful student outcomes (retention and completion).
First Year Advisors (FYA) in each School are responsible for assisting all commencing
undergraduate students in their transition to university study. The FYAs are responsible for
delivery of a number of individual and cohort based initiatives to students that are designed to
promote a deeper engagement with their studies and, equally importantly, with university life.
Specific initiatives have been developed as ‘stand-alone’ activities managed by the FYAs, including
an ‘at risk’ outreach program, as well as cooperative ventures with the Guild of Students. These
include School-based mentoring programs, enhancement of student associations within Schools,
and Guild-based activities to strengthen clubs, societies and volunteer groups.
The acquisition of research skills will ‘future proof’ student qualifications and provide a set of
highly marketable skills that give students a competitive advantage in the graduate market. All
majors will include compulsory research skills units at 2nd and 3rd year level, designed for groups
of cognate majors or for single degrees to complement and reinforce the broader skills acquired.
This research stream will promote disciplinary engagement and reinforce the benefits of life-long
learning.
The structure of degrees may include a work-integrated learning experience and a capstone
experience that pulls together disciplinary learning and/or prepares students for the next step,
whether that is to employment, Honours study or postgraduate coursework. These elements aim
to provide ‘real world’ experience that builds graduate employability as well as strengthening
individual responsibility for their learning outcomes.
Each of the seven undergraduate degrees has a Standing Committee that enables the University
to have shared and collegial processes for the development and review of curriculum in the
undergraduate degrees. This will ensure that majors and degrees meet national and international
standards in terms of curriculum design and delivery, and learning outcomes. Quality assurance
and improvement are embedded in University strategic and operational planning processes. This
will include review based on stakeholder feedback (surveys of student satisfaction, employer
surveys), national and international benchmarking of courses, and recognition/accreditation by
professional bodies as appropriate. The use of an appropriate evidence base in the ongoing
review of bachelor degrees will facilitate embedding good teaching practice and the maintenance
of desired student outcomes (success, retention, employment, further study).
The newly established Centre for University Teaching and Learning (CUTL) provides integrated
and coordinated leadership and support in teaching and learning to students and academic staff
at Murdoch University and strategic advice to the schools on teaching and learning matters. It
makes available analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from surveys that provides an
evidence base that allows staff to monitor and improve their performance and assess curriculum
design. CUTL also manages the Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence and the Vice
Chancellor’s Citations.
Page 30
CUTL has developed and implemented the NEST (Networks Enhancing the Scholarship of
Teaching) community which promotes the aims of the Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT),
focused on the effective dissemination of OLT projects and encouraging staff to apply for OLT
grants, awards, citations and fellowships. NEST hosts seminars by OLT Project leaders as well as
lectures and seminars supporting the development of pedagogical, project management and
evaluation skills.
The West Australian Network for Dissemination (WAND) is an OLT-funded inter-university
network that facilitating sustainable, long-term enhancement of learning and teaching, nurturing
a climate of collaboration and embedding innovation and good practice. WAND oversees the
annual Teaching and Learning Forum, established in 1992, that brings together educators from
WA’s universities to discuss, share, and develop their ideas on issues confronting teaching and
learning.
CUTL manages academic staff development, including the Scholarly Practice of Academic staff
(SPA) course which is compulsory for all tenure-tracked Murdoch academics during their
probation period. The course comprises a series of modules that aim to orient staff to the
Murdoch institutional context and its philosophical approach; identify and promote scholarly
practice in teaching and research; and support Murdoch‘s aim to develop students who are global
scholars.
Teaching and Teaching Development is a core element of academic promotions. This includes
direct contributions to student learning through teaching, unit development, resource
development, assessment and reporting, availability for student consultations and other out-ofclass student matters, and attention to the improvement of the applicants own teaching. It also
incorporates indirect contributions to the enhancement of the teaching of others within the
University that may include undertaking research on University teaching and speaking and
publishing on University teaching.
Bachelor degrees at Murdoch will, inter alia, aim to instil Murdoch’s graduate attributes, through
the overall design, structure and content of the degree and its constituent parts. CUTL supports a
web-based Graduate Attributes Mapping Tool to facilitate the mapping of graduate attributes
across a study pathway and has built a resource database designed to aid in teaching graduate
skills and abilities to students. Core generic attributes that strengthen graduate employability
include communication; critical and creative thinking; social interaction; independent and lifelong
learning; and global perspective.
Murdoch has implemented schemes to facilitate employment of students and graduates.
CareerConnect is an online service where students and Alumni can search for graduate
employment opportunities; as well as degree related jobs (part time and temporary), vacation,
international, work experience and employment scholarships. The University also supports
employer recruitment presentations, careers fairs, industry networking events and employment
preparation workshops.
The Murdoch e-Mentoring Network is an e-mentoring facility and career development
information sharing space exclusive to both current Murdoch students and alumni, accessed via
LinkedIn (linkedin.com).The facility assists students looking to transition to the workplace,
provides a network of Murdoch students and alumni established in industry who are able to share
information and experiences relevant to career development; and acts as a means of engaging in
both open group discussions as well as one-to-one mentoring.
Page 31
Note: All calendar year references below relate to projects and awards in that calendar year.
Principal Performance
Baseline Progressive
Progressive
Progressive Target
Indicators
2012
Target 2013
Target 2014
Target 2015
2016
Number of active learning
and teaching projects
supported by the PELTHE10
12
6
4
5
5
program where the
University is the lead
institution
Number of active learning
and teaching projects
supported by the PELTHE11
5
2
3
3
3
where the University is a
partner institution
Number of citations for
outstanding contributions to 4
5
5
5
5
student learning
Number of awards for
1
1
teaching excellence
Number of awards for
programs that enhance
0
1
1
excellence
Note: All calendar year references below relate to projects and awards in that calendar year.
Optional Performance
Baseline Progressive
Progressive
Progressive Target
Indicators
2012
Target 2013
Target 2014
Target 2015
2016
CEQ Overall Satisfaction
81.92
83.33
83.7
84.1
84.3
score as Percentage Agree All Undergraduate Students
4.3
Equity
4.3.1
Commonwealth objectives
The Commonwealth is committed to a fair and equitable higher education system that provides
equal opportunity for people of all backgrounds to participate to their full potential and the
support to do so.
In particular, the Commonwealth has an ambition that by 2020, 20 per cent of higher education
enrolments at the undergraduate level will be people from low socio-economic status (SES)
backgrounds.
The Commonwealth expects all universities to play a part in meeting the Commonwealth's higher
education participation ambitions, consistent with the objectives and regulatory requirements of
Commonwealth funding.
The Commonwealth funds a range of programs to encourage and support access to and
participation in higher education by people from low SES backgrounds and other underrepresented groups, including the Higher Education Loan Program and Student Income Support.
The Commonwealth will monitor the University’s equity performance through the reporting
requirements and evaluations of programs and initiatives. The University’s performance in
10 Promotion
of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education - the program providers learning and teaching grants, awards and fellowships and is
administered by the Office for Learning and Teaching.
11 See
footnote 10 for definition.
Page 32
meeting equity objectives will also be linked with teaching and learning Performance Funding
targets.
Universities have obligations under the fairness requirements in Division 19 of HESA. This compact
does not change those obligations.
4.3.2
University strategies
Murdoch will continue to provide opportunities for able students, who would not have the
expectations of attending university, to access undergraduate education and support them in
retention and completion.
A key point of differentiation for Murdoch in a competitive higher education sector is its holistic,
student-centred approach to teaching and learning that encompasses:
 opportunities for all school leavers – from talented school leavers through to those facing
educational disadvantage;
 encouraging students from diverse backgrounds;
 strong student support, both academic and pastoral; and
 renewed curriculum for the seven bachelor degrees that includes opportunities for
international exchange, meaningful Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experiences and a
capstone academic experience.
Murdoch has a student cohort that is strongly influenced by the location of its campuses. The
main campus is within the Murdoch Activity Centre, an education, health and activity precinct
being created by the State Government centred on Murdoch University and the new Fiona
Stanley Hospital. The Peel and Rockingham campuses are located in the rapidly growing corridor
to the south of Perth. The sphere of influence of these campuses includes regional areas,
commuter communities, significant Low SES populations and a sizeable fly-in-fly-out population.
This gives rise to a student population that includes proportionally higher cohorts than sector
averages of Low SES students, students with a disability, Indigenous students, students from a
Non English speaking background, first in family students, students who have delayed enrolment
and students aged over 25. Together these indicate a significant proportion of Murdoch’s student
population with both historical and ongoing educational disadvantage.
Murdoch engages with its community in a meaningful way to promote tertiary aspirations,
facilitate university entry and provide support to help students successfully complete tertiary
qualifications. The “Building Aspirations and Learning Links for Young People to go to University”
project has received $5.028 million of Commonwealth funding for a series of linked projects that
operate across the regional and Low SES cohorts. The Projects are:
 Aspiration Building at individual student, cohort years 7-12, school, family and community
levels;
 Curriculum and Pedagogy Innovations with emphasis on Science (incl. technology), Creative
Arts and Health and Physical Education/Sport;
 School within a School incorporating Big Picture Education (i.e. Big Picture Academies Years
10-12);
 University Enabling Programs to support alternative pathways to get to university.
As indicated in the Sub-bachelor Planning section in Student Enrolments above, Murdoch aims to
expand the OnTrack and K-Track pathways to university. ‘OnTrack’ enabling program is an oncampus, pre-university course designed to assist people from disadvantaged or disrupted
educational backgrounds to enable their entry to university. The course consists of three modules
that develop the generic skills, knowledge and values required for successful university learning.
Students who require support in English as a Second Language receive additional tutoring.
Of critical importance in the successful transition to university study is the development of the
appropriate ‘cultural capital’. This requires academic support, pastoral care and financial
assistance working together to enhance the ‘educational resilience’ of students.
Page 33
Initiatives such as the establishment of First Year Advisors (see the Quality section above) and
expansion of remedial literacy and numeracy programs aim to improve success and retention
rates of educationally disadvantaged students but are available to all students.
The allocation and funding of scholarships for domestic undergraduate students enables the
targeting of financial support Murdoch is able to provide to students in need, with a view to
promoting increased participation and retention from these student cohorts. In addition to
scholarships based on individual circumstances, Murdoch offers support based on course or study
area and on location to encourage participation of students who might not otherwise attend
university.
The new curriculum structure requires Part I (First Year) of every bachelor degree to have a
compulsory transition unit that introduces students to the degree-specific skills that are necessary
for success at university. Normally this will be completed in their first semester of study.
All units will be standardised at 3 credit points (0.125 EFTSL). This will provide students who
receive Centrelink benefits with the opportunity to drop one unit if they are struggling with their
study or juggling other responsibilities and still retain benefits. This was not possible with the
previous four point credit unit structure in Part II. It is anticipated that this will positively impact
on success and retention at first year level.
Murdoch aims to establish a set of not-for-credit modules addressing areas such as Academic
Integrity, academic English language proficiency, advanced writing skills, or numeracy. These
modules will be offered in the Winter and Summer terms to supplement degree studies, providing
an opportunity to improve generic skills beyond the learning that already occurs within their
degree. The Aboriginal-focused Waardong program provides a model for this interleaved
academic support.
Retention of seven bachelor degrees also reflects Murdoch’s commitment to its specific student
cohort. The University will continue to offer undergraduate students the opportunity to train as a
nurse, teacher, engineer or lawyer, rather than shifting these to postgraduate-only qualifications.
The Scholarly Practice of Academic staff program, referred to under the Quality section above, is a
compulsory course for all tenure-tracked Murdoch academics completing their probationary
requirements. Scholarly Teaching and Research (ST&R) is a modular program incorporating the
themes of the 'Preparing Academics for Teaching in Higher Education' (PATHE) Project (2009). The
initial modules of the ST&R include strategies that will support academics meeting Murdoch’s
goals for engagement with a more diverse student cohort and equity groups, such as students
from low socio-economic status backgrounds.
With respect to the proportion of Low SES students Murdoch is able to attract, there is an
expectation that the 2011 Census will demonstrate a reduction in the proportion of Low SES areas
in Western Australia, reflecting the ‘two-speed’ nature of economic activity in Australia. This will
be similar to the sharp decline in Low SES enrolments in regions affected by the resources boom
(WA and northern Queensland) following publication of the 2006 Census data. This demographic
shift in WA must run counter to the remainder of the sector, by definition, will impact on
Murdoch’s ability to meet Low SES targets set under the previous Compact.
The changing demography of WA’s regional areas is demonstrated in the strength of Murdoch’s
increase in enrolment of regional students without a parallel increase in Low SES enrolments. The
assumed nexus between regionality and Low SES status is not borne out by Murdoch’s enrolment
pattern and will be taken into account in the design of equity programs.
Murdoch has managed its student cohort effectively over many years with positive outcomes for
students and strong quality assurance. Indeed, these student cohorts are attracted by Murdoch’s
strong track record in successful completion by students ‘like them’.
Page 34
4.3.3
Participation and Social Inclusion Targets
Proportion of domestic undergraduates who are from a low SES background
Baseline for improvement target: To be determined
Principal
Performance
Indicators
Excellence Target
2014
Reward Payment
(target for 2013
students)
To be determined
2015
Reward Payment
(target for 2014
students)
To be determined
2016
Progress target
(target for 2015
students)
To be determined
Improvement Target
Outcome
To be determined
-
To be determined
-
To be determined
-
Proportion of domestic undergraduates who are from another underrepresented group
Baseline for improvement target: x% (Either 2009 or average of 2008 and 2009 data)
Principal
Performance
Indicators
Improvement Target
Outcome
2014
Reward Payment
(target for 2013
students)
To be determined
-
4.4
Teaching and Learning Infrastructure
4.4.1
Commonwealth objectives
2015
Reward Payment
(target for 2014
students)
To be determined
-
2016
Progress target
(target for 2015
students)
To be determined
-
The Commonwealth is committed to the development of world class higher education
infrastructure. A contemporary, technology rich, well designed and equipped campus
environment has a positive influence on staff and student performance and satisfaction.
While the responsibility for capital infrastructure development and maintenance rests with the
University, the Commonwealth’s commitment is demonstrated through programs such as the
Education Investment Fund. Universities also utilise Commonwealth Grant Scheme funding for
capital works and maintenance.
The Commonwealth will monitor the University's infrastructure performance, through the
Institutional Performance Portfolio/CAMS.
4.4.2
University strategies
Murdoch will continue a program of infrastructure refurbishment and development to renew and
upgrade both its physical and operational infrastructure.
New capital projects will emerge as the Eastern Precinct project, arising from the development of
the Murdoch Activity Centre, unfolds over the next decade. In particular joint ventures on
research related infrastructure will provide opportunities to support cutting edge research,
especially in the sciences.
Whitby Falls Farm is a 230 hectare, heritage-listed estate that Murdoch will develop, in
partnership with the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale and the National Trust, as an operating farm
and to commence teaching, research and community activities in the disciplines of veterinary,
agricultural and environmental sciences as well as history and tourism. Initial investment will reestablish the facility as a working beef cattle and sheep farm to allow expansion of the teaching
and research activities in farm animal health, welfare and production; equine studies; agricultural
and environmental sciences; and environmental rehabilitation of wetlands. Capital projects are
Page 35
planned to ensure Whitby Falls is integrated into the University’s operations as part of its
multicampus profile.
Murdoch is monitoring trends in the effect of technology on higher education, especially in regard
to the growth in the online delivery of subjects and courses (including MOOCs and the growth of
OUA), and research capacity (for example the iVEC supercomputing initiative).
A new Learning Management System and an Enterprise Content Management system are being
implemented. Together with revitalisation of ICT infrastructure and capacities, this will enable
Murdoch to build on its current strength in online education and blended learning to potentially
expand engagement in this arena.
An ongoing program of refurbishment and refitting of research, teaching and learning facilities to
cater for current needs is planned. Over the summer period each year, the University has
refreshed lecture theatres which has included investment in new, ergonomic chairs, which,
coupled with new tables, will increase the usability and visual appeal of teaching spaces. The
creation of newer amenities, incorporating online facility, will be considered in the context of
changing modes of teaching and learning.
The nature and scope of refreshing of facilities that will flow from changes to the curriculum and
the subsequent change in types of contact with the students is being planned in consultation with
the group responsible for implementing the recommendations of the Murdoch University
Curriculum Commission. This will encompass strategies such as refitting facilities from lecture
theatre style to large collaborative teaching spaces. Additional School owned space is expected to
be returned to the central pool. As this space has typically had the least amount of refreshment
carried out recently, it is likely that these spaces will be looked at for refreshment or repurposing.
To achieve better space utilisation rates, Murdoch is implementing more effective timetabling
software and has renewed its emphasis on auditing lecture theatres and other teaching spaces.
Audits provide feedback on attendance rates and therefore whether certain styles of teaching are
impacted by the maturation of online forms of delivery.
The University is implementing change to its Bachelor degree curriculum. It is expected that this
change will lead to lecture theatre utilisation rates going up due to large breadth and research
units that will be taught across the University. Utilisation of large flat teaching spaces is also
expected to increase due to the increase in collaborative teaching foreshadowed by the changes
to the curriculum. Additional School owned space is anticipated to be returned to the central pool
and, following refurbishment if necessary, it is likely that non-specialised space will be well
utilised.
Establishment of the true value of Murdoch’s backlog maintenance liability is expected to be
completed in 2013. The value of the backlog liability for replacement of end of life plant and
equipment has already been established and a building condition assessment audit is currently
being carried out for all buildings.
Archibus, a facilities management software program, will be implemented in 2013. Once this
software has been installed, the backlog maintenance items will be uploaded into the software,
which will allow Murdoch to more efficiently and effectively manage and monitor backlog
maintenance. Archibus will also assist in establishing a long-term strategic maintenance plan
based on priority/urgency of the work over a 5 to 10 year period. The Strategic Backlog
Maintenance Rollout Plan developed through this process will clearly outline a process to reduce
backlog maintenance, based on priority, over a scheduled period of time. The Plan will be carried
through the governance processes for approval, funding commitment and incorporation into the
University’s 10-year Financial Forecast.
Page 36
PART FIVE: RESEARCH AND RESEARCH TRAINING
5
RESEARCH AND RESEARCH TRAINING
A range of research and research training performance indicators and targets are proposed in this
section. Principal Performance Indicators are compulsory and institutions may voluntarily
nominate optional performance indicators and targets considered reflective of individual
institutional goals.
The Commonwealth recognises universities have diverse missions and, consequently, targets and
performance will vary between institutions. Each university should develop performance
indicators and targets to reflect its individual performance and strategic direction.
5.1
Research performance and research capability
5.1.1
Commonwealth objectives
The Commonwealth encourages excellence in research performance and the strengthening of
research capability. Particular objectives are to:
 progressively increase the number of research groups performing at world class levels, as
measured by international performance benchmarks; and
 promote collaboration, amongst universities, across sectors, between researchers and
industry Australia and internationally.
The Commonwealth, through the Australian Research Council (ARC), conducts the Excellence in
Research for Australia (ERA) which evaluates the quality of research undertaken at Australian
universities by discipline against international benchmarks. ERA is used to assist in determining
funding in the Sustainable Research Excellence in Universities program administered by the
Commonwealth.
5.1.2
University strategies
Murdoch University is a research-led institution with a reputation for world class research in
select areas of knowledge, with over 85% of research being assessed at world standard or better
in the 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment.
Over the period to 2016, the University aims to refocus, realign and grow research and research
training. In bolstering the University’s research profile, there is a focus on increasing the depth of
research quality building on an established narrative for Murdoch’s research being translational in
nature and significant in its impact. Increased research depth will be facilitated by embedding a
research culture supportive of collaboration.
A key enabling strategy is building institutional analytic capability and establishing a campus-wide
culture of external benchmarking. Surveys of key international institutions in Asia and Africa have
been used to develop benchmarking metrics and formal benchmarking agreements with up to six
universities of similar age, mission and discipline spread will be used to monitor progress.
International rankings are being used to provide a core comparison of external performance.
Murdoch is also increasing the extent to which it promotes its research excellence and foci and
stimulates public debate and engagement in areas of relevance at the local and national level and
in the East Asian region. This is important for attracting collaborators, students and staff to visit,
study and work on our campuses.
A core strategic focus is a review of Murdoch’s research portfolio to define its position within the
broader national and international research environments, building on effective analysis that
provides a deeper understanding of research performance. In future ERA assessments, the
University seeks to maintain 85% of assessed areas of research at the four digit code level at
world standard or above. Increased depth of research will be demonstrated by a target of 70% at
the broadly defined two digit code level at that standard.
Page 37
Murdoch will concentrate on a select number of research domains with the aim to excel
internationally in these areas. Domains will be compartmentalised into defined areas, such as
Food and Water Security (animal production; grains research; fish and fisheries research;
desalination) or Securing Australia’s Future (intellectual property security, utilising political
science, governance and policy in the translation of research into practice). Murdoch will invest
strategically to develop, support and nurture existing areas of excellence and emerging strengths
in those domains, as well as determining those areas to vacate.
To 2016, Murdoch aims to strengthen existing research domains rather than expanding into new
research areas. Research depth will be enriched through recruitment, workload, development
and promotion strategies. Active recruitment strategies will be implemented that target scholars
with a PhD from institutions with an international reputation for research excellence whose
research enhances or complements the defined research domains.
Redefinition of the pattern of academic work to a 40:40:20 (teaching:research:service) workload
model will give additional time to assist researchers to retain or grow research performance.
Formulation and implementation of a performance development and enhancement scheme
linked to a coherent academic mentoring program will build research performance internally. This
will be linked to academic promotion policies and practices that recognise and reward research
performance as well as mentoring activities. Strategic investment in staff will be focused in the
defined domains.
Contemporary research questions and scientific puzzles are often complex and increasingly
require large teams of scholars with varying specialisations. Murdoch has a strong tradition of
multi and trans disciplinary academic practice. Building on this strength, Murdoch will develop
effective research partnerships and collaborations with industry partners, government agencies
and other universities and scholars of strategic importance locally and internationally.
Murdoch will continue to develop a strong research presence with nations in our immediate time
zone (China, Indonesia and Malaysia) as well as India and the emerging African economies. Region
specific international research engagement plans will be developed to increase the number and
value of research projects funded with and by overseas partners to 30% of all research conducted.
Active collaboration with international partners will be supported by expansion of the Sir Walter
Murdoch Adjunct and Distinguished Collaborator programs to 75 collaborators to increase jointly
authored publications and jointly held research grants.
The range of translational research projects will be developed by looking at the local environment
and how research might have an impact on the community, including business, industry, and the
broader population. These collaborative projects will add depth to the defined research domains,
particularly through the unique research opportunities provided by the establishment of a
collocated Health Precinct in areas such as health, biomedicine and related areas including
bioinformatics. Strategies will seek to increase the funding of research positions, projects and
HDR students by local entities, as well as providing opportunities for secondments and industry
and community based HDR students.
Expanding local and international collaborations will also expand mechanisms for supporting
research that make the University resilient to external funding policy changes and adaptable to
national and global needs. This will ensure that Murdoch is able to develop research areas while
maintaining support for identified areas of excellence and emerging strength. Based on the need
to support recognised strategic areas of research, Murdoch will identify structures, infrastructure
and facilities and develop a management plan to source and maintain those resources.
Opportunities for joint development of facilities or to ‘piggyback’ strategic infrastructure on
commercial developments in the Murdoch Activity Centre will be used where appropriate.
An important element of the development of a stronger research culture at Murdoch is to ensure
inclusivity, especially for Aboriginal staff and students. To this end Murdoch will create an
academic environment that encourages the hiring and development of Aboriginal academic staff
and the enrolment of Aboriginal Higher Degree by Research students.
Page 38
Within the context of its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), Murdoch will develop an adequately
funded Aboriginal Research Strategy to build Aboriginal research capacity. A Solution Focussed
Research Group (SFRG), coordinated through the Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre, will be formed. This
group will provide opportunities for the development of a critical concentration of Aboriginal
researchers collaborating with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal colleagues on the production of high
quality research which meets the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal communities.
Aboriginal issues will be identified as key research themes within the university. A determination
will then be made of which of the proposed themes might be pursued independently or as part of
a larger program, such as Health, Environment, Public Policy or Education.
Cross-School collaboration will ensure the maximisation of multi-disciplinary expertise and
provide scope for the provision of career advice and mentoring of beginning Aboriginal
researchers, including Aboriginal Higher Degree students. At the individual level, an Aboriginal
Early Career Researchers Scheme (including Visiting lectureship) will be established.
5.1.3
Performance indicators and targets
The purpose of the research performance and the research capability performance indicators and
targets is to assist the University and the Commonwealth in monitoring the University's progress
against the Commonwealth's objectives and the University's strategies for research performance
and research capability.
The University will aim to meet the research performance and research capability performance
indicators and targets set out in the following table.
Principal Performance Indicators
Number of disciplines, as defined by two-digit Fields
of Research (FoR), performing at world standard or
above (3, 4 or 5)
Number of disciplines, as defined by four-digit FoR,
performing at world standards or above (3, 4 or 5)
Disciplines the University commits to
demonstrating substantial
improvement in as defined by twodigit FoR and/or four-digit FoR
ERA 2010
ERA 2012
9
11
13
22
28
28
Disciplines nominated in
2011–13 Compact
01 Mathematical sciences;
0605 Microbiology;
1605 Policy and
Administration;
1608 Sociology;
1701 Psychology; and
2204 Religion and Religious
Studies.
Page 39
ERA 2015 Target
Disciplines nominated in
2014–16 Compact
01 Mathematical
sciences;
05 Environmental
Sciences
Note: All calendar year references below refer to the previous year’s data collection.
Principal
Baseline
Progressive
Progressive Progressive
Performance
2012
Target 2013
Target 2014 Target 2015
Indicators
Category 1 income
$7,150,045 $9,647,436
$10,040,515 $11,546,592
Category 2 Income
$8,140,104 $6,732,726
$7,500,000
$8,000,000
Number of joint
55
60
66
77
research grants in
Australia
Number of joint
35
38
42
45
research grants
overseas
Number of jointly
131
105
130
140
supervised PhD
students in
Australia12
Number of jointly
20
35
38
42
supervised PhD
students overseas13
Note: All calendar year references below refer to the previous year’s data collection.
Optional Performance Baseline Progressive
Progressive
Progressive
Indicators
2012
Target 2013
Target 2014
Target
2015
Increase our percentage 46.84%
46.87%
47%
47.5%
of HERDC reported
publications, undertaken
jointly with international
collaborators
Active collaboration with
20
34
44
international partners in
the Sir Walter Murdoch
Adjunct and
Distinguished
Collaborator programs
Implementation of a
Consult with
Draft Policy
Identify and
Mentoring Scheme for
academic
and Procedures train
Early Career Researchers
staff on
for a
mentors.
and Middle Career
process and
Mentoring
Implement
Researchers
policy issues
Scheme
Mentoring
Review best
Determine
Scheme
practice
required data
models from
and definitions
Australia and and collect
internationally baseline data.
Pilot Mentoring
Scheme
12
Target
2016
$13,278,581
$8,000,000
85
48
150
45
Target
2016
48%
50
Percentage
of Early
Career
Researchers
with an
approved
Mentor
Percentage
of Middle
Career
Researchers
with an
approved
Mentor
Please provide the number by headcount of jointly supervised HDR students enrolled in your institution who have a supervisor from an external
organisation in Australia (examples include someone from a government organisation, hospital or another university).
13 Please provide the number by headcount of jointly supervised HDR students enrolled in your institution who have a supervisor from an
external overseas organisation (examples include someone from a government organisation, hospital or another university).
Page 40
5.2
Research training
5.2.1
Commonwealth objectives
5.2.2
The Commonwealth encourages excellence in the provision of research training. Particular
objectives are to:
 support research excellence and develop an internationally competitive research workforce in
Australia through high quality research training;
 develop an internationally competitive research workforce in Australia through high quality
research training; and
 significantly increase the number of students completing higher degrees by research over the
next decade.
University strategies
Research training continues to be fundamental to the research effort at Murdoch. This reflects
the deeper embedding of research into the culture of all parts of the University.
Compulsory research skills units will be integrated into all bachelor degree programs. Together
with a requirement that all undergraduate majors demonstrate a clear progression of study
opportunities beyond the bachelor degree, specifically including HDR pathways, this will buttress
HDR growth.
Through the creation of a high quality PhD and postdoctoral development environment, Murdoch
will increase the number of PhD student load by 20% over the period to 2017. In line with the
University’s focus on internationalisation, at least one third of these will be international
students.
Strategies will be implemented to reduce the average time to completion for graduate research
degree students to 4 years or full time equivalent. This will be facilitated by enhancing the quality
of supervision, improved candidature management and strengthening student support.
Central to improving the quality of HDR supervision is the Enhancing Postgraduate Supervision
program, a web-based set of four modules for training early career supervisors of HDR students:
1.
Ethics, Research Integrity, and University Policies;
2.
Effective Supervision;
3.
The Journey and the Examining Process; and
4.
The Diverse Postgraduate Cohort.
The program places particular emphasis on ethics, experienced research practice and mentoring,
with each staff member required to work with three mentors. It promotes collaboration and
interaction between participants and mentors and is a two-way learning process. Completion of
this course is part of the probationary criteria for new academic appointments.
In addition to formal training, changes are being made, through to 2017, to ensure better quality
of supervision. A requirement for supervision panels of at least two supervisors has been
implemented. This ensures continuity of supervision in circumstances such as staff leaving the
university, or when they are on study leave.
Clear guidelines for the appointment of supervisors are being established, with full
implementation by 2015. Guidelines take into account potential supervisor qualifications (PhD,
research active, previous successful supervisions) and their completion of specified supervisor
training programs.
To facilitate these measures, a ‘supervisors register’ that provides up to date information on
supervision panels for all candidates, the qualifications of supervisors, and their supervision
histories, is being developed.
Murdoch is seeking to improve HDR thesis quality and completion times through more effective
whole of candidature management. This incorporates the establishment of consistent policies
across the university that better prepare HDR students for their thesis research and more closely
Page 41
track and evaluate their progress through the whole of candidature. Program of Study, or
probationary, requirements are being strengthened. In the first 6 months of HDR candidature,
students must submit a written thesis proposal and literature review and present and oral
proposal seminar that are formally assessed/approved by a panel comprising the supervisors and
co-opted (internal and external) experts. This is to be supported by the proposed introduction of
a whole of candidature ‘Advisory Committee’ (AC) for each HDR student, comprising the
supervisors, an independent Chair (from the same School and with appropriate discipline
knowledge), and an expert external to the school or university as appropriate. The AC will act as
the Program of Study assessment panel, and will meet with the candidate every 6 months
throughout candidature to provide feedback on progress. Supervisors will be provided with
additional support by the AC in establishing and enforcing fair and reasonable workload, quality
and progression milestones for candidates. Candidates will have a second layer of contact and
support to ensure a healthy and productive working environment. Murdoch anticipates that the
establishment of Advisory Committees will improve completion rates, thesis quality, and reduce
the frequency of relationship problems between supervisors and students. It is anticipated that
Advisory Committees will be in place for all new HDR enrolments from 2015.
Enhancement of the HDR experience is a key component of strengthening the broad research
environment at Murdoch. The GREAT (Graduate Research Education and Training) program
provides a range of courses and workshops designed to provide generic skills training and support
for postgraduate research students. This provides a formal support structure that caters for
students at different stages of candidature – from thesis topic formulation through conference
presentations to analysing data and condensing the final thesis.
In collaboration with other WA universities, Murdoch introduced the 5 day intensive INSPIRE
program in 2013. HDR students spent one day at each of the five universities, attending specialist
presentations and workshops on HDR candidature related content (such as ethics and
communication skills) and meeting students from other local universities, which provides a
unique student cohort experience. This program will be further developed over the next 3 years
to deliver measurable objectives in relation to the HDR student experience.
The Murdoch University Postgraduate Student Association (MUPSA) is a valuable resource for
postgraduate students. They offer additional seminars, conferences and social activities as well as
advocacy on behalf of postgraduate students. SSAF support for MUPSA has facilitated enhanced
support and student experience initiatives, working more closely with the University.
Murdoch is developing a proposal for a compulsory coursework program in the PhD, equivalent to
3 months study, aimed at enhancing the HDR experience and students’ transition to work. The
program will better enable commencing students to successfully complete their HDR studies in a
timely manner through elements such as advanced level project design and analysis skills, and
advanced written and oral communication skills. It will facilitate development of depth and
breadth of knowledge in their discipline areas and provide value-adding articulation studies (for
example commercialisation, innovation) to scaffold the increasing number of HDR graduates who
are likely to pursue careers outside of their areas of research specialisation. Currently at the
‘working group’ stage, a program proposal will be developed for partial trialling in 2014 with full
start-up for the 2015 entering cohort of HDR students.
Over 2014-2016 Murdoch expects to develop at least one formal partnership arrangement with
an Asian university for joint PhD delivery, most likely as a cotutelle arrangement.
Murdoch proactively works to attract industry, philanthropic and corporate support for HDR
scholarships which provides funding and in some cases secondary support for candidates. The
focus is on the University’s strategic research domains and will therefore assist in building the
HDR profile in areas of established or emerging strength.
As indicated in Section 5.1.2, Murdoch aims to create an academic environment that encourages
the enrolment of Aboriginal Higher Degree by Research students.
Page 42
The Solutions Focussed Research Group will coordinate the development of a critical
concentration of Aboriginal researchers, in particular in areas that meet the needs and aspirations
of Aboriginal communities. Developing the depth of research personnel needed to build effective
multi-disciplinary research teams requires mechanisms to enrol and support Aboriginal HDR
students. Murdoch will increase applications for funding reserved for Aboriginal PhD Scholarships
and reserve scholarships for Aboriginal students who meet APA criteria.
The Aboriginal Early Career Researchers Scheme (including Visiting lectureship), together with
career advice and Aboriginal staff mentoring scheme will provide support for HDR students as
well as a clear pathway forward from HDR programs.
Murdoch is seeking to develop a collaborative program with IRU partners to provide a better
educational experience and greater level of peer-group support to indigenous HDR students. It is
proposed to use RTS funds to support travel to meetings which will provide the opportunity for
indigenous HDR students from campuses Australia-wide to come together to meet, discuss their
research, attend specialist seminar presentations, and establish collaborative links that will
continue after graduation.
5.3
Performance indicators and targets
The purpose of the research training performance indicators and targets is to assist the University
and the Commonwealth in monitoring the University's progress against the Commonwealth's
objectives and the University's strategies for research training.
The University will aim to meet the research training performance indicators and targets set out
in the following table.
Note: All calendar year references below refer to the previous year’s data collection.
Principal Performance
Baseline
Progressive
Progressive
Progressive
Indicators
2012
Target 2013
Target 2014
Target 2015
HDR student load
608
519
561
605
HDR student completions
17
15
15
15
by masters
HDR student completions
86
98
103
107
by doctorates
Page 43
Target
2016
654
15
113
Note: All calendar year references below refer to the previous year’s data collection.
Optional
Baseline
Progressive
Progressive
Progressive
Target
Performance
2012
Target 2013
Target 2014
Target 2015
2016
Indicators
Establishment
Consult with
Develop a
Implementation Ongoing
of Advisory
Research
Policy and
of Advisory
implementation
Committees
Degrees and
Procedures
Committees for of Advisory
for HDR
Scholarships
for
2015
Committees.
students
Committee,
establishing
commencing
School Deans
Advisory
HDR students.
and Associate
Committees.
Deans for
Consult with
Research on
group
responsibilities indicated
and structure of above for
Advisory
feedback on
Committees.
draft Policy.
Determine
required
data and
definitions
and collect
baseline
data.
Average HDR
Completion
Times (years)
Percentage of
domestic HDR
students who
have selfidentified as
Aboriginal and
Torres Strait
Islander
Page 44
4.5
years
4.5
4.4
4.35
4.3
0.886
0.952
1.077
1.143
1.316
PART SIX: GENERAL PROVISIONS
6
GENERAL PROVISIONS
6.1
Compact Review
6.1.1
The Commonwealth and the University will review the compact annually. This review will be a
mechanism for considering progress made towards agreed goals outlined in this compact.
Compact review will aim to ensure that the Commonwealth and the University will continue to
focus on key objectives and strategies and will be an opportunity to consider developments that
may impact on the compact or trigger a need to change the compact.
6.1.2
To facilitate this review the Commonwealth will produce an annual Institutional Performance
Portfolio and the University agrees to contribute to the annual Institutional Performance Portfolio
Information Collection (IPPIC). The Commonwealth will consult with the higher education sector
on the information collection requirements and any issues arising from the IPPIC process.
6.2
Privacy and information sharing
6.2.1
Subject to clause 6.2.2 below, the University acknowledges and agrees that any information it
provides to the Department for the purposes of this compact, may be accessible under the
Freedom of Information Act 1982 and may also be:
 published by the Commonwealth in any manner in accordance with any legislative
6.2.2
requirement;
 used by the Department for any purpose of the Commonwealth, including dealings with other
Commonwealth or State or territory agencies;
 used in reporting to or answering questions from a Minister of State of the Commonwealth or
a House or Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth; or
 disclosed where the Commonwealth is required or permitted by law to do so.
The Commonwealth and the University agree to carry out their roles under this compact in
accordance with any obligations they have under the Privacy Act 1988 or any state or territory
law relating to the protection of personal information.
6.3
Changing the Compact
6.3.1
Either party may propose changes to this compact at any time. Any variation to this compact is to
be in writing and signed by the University's, and the Commonwealth’s Representatives.
6.4
Notices
6.4.1
A party wishing to give notice under a provision of this compact:
 must do so by sending it to the other Representative set out in clause 6.4.2; and
 must, if a response is required to the notice, set out the time in which the response is to be
6.4.2
given;
The Representatives are:
a. University Representative
Professor Richard Higgott
Vice Chancellor
Murdoch University
90 South Street
Murdoch WA 6150
Telephone: (08) 9360 6300
Page 45
b. DIICCSRTE Representative
Division Head
Higher Education Group
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary
Education
GPO Box 9839
Canberra ACT 2601
OR
[email protected]
6.5
Dictionary
In this compact, unless the contrary intention appears:
‘Department’ means the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change,
Science, Research and Tertiary Education or any successor.
‘HESA’ means the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and includes any subordinate legislation or
Ministerial determination made under that Act.
‘Institutional Performance Portfolio’ (IPP) is a report which provides an historical record of a
university's performance based on information provided by the University and an analysis of the
Higher Education Data Collections. An IPP will be prepared by the Commonwealth for the
University annually using the latest available data.
‘Institutional Performance Portfolio Information Collection’ (IPPIC) is a set of Commonwealth
instructions requesting that universities provide a submission to the Commonwealth, endorsed by
the University's chief executive, that includes student, staff, financial and research
information needed for the preparation of an Institutional Performance Portfolio for that
university.
‘Minister’ means the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.
‘Mission’ means the University’s Mission set out at Part One of this compact as amended in
accordance with the variation provisions in this compact from time to time.
‘TEQSA’ means the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.
‘Term of this compact’ means the period set out in Part B of the Context of this compact.
‘University’ means Murdoch University and ABN 61 616 369 313
Page 46
Signed for and on behalf of the Murdoch University
by
……………………………………………………..
Signature
…………………………
Date
Professor Richard Higgott
the Vice Chancellor
In the Presence of:
.....................................................................................
WITNESS
.....................................................................................
Full name and occupation or profession of witness (Please print)
SIGNED for and on behalf of
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
by
……………………………………………………..
Signature
…………………………
Date
Mr David de Carvalho
the Head of Division
of Higher Education Division
of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
a Delegate of the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research
In the Presence of:
.....................................................................................
WITNESS
.....................................................................................
Full name and occupation or profession of witness (Please print)
Page 47
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