As I write this, Melbourne is again under lockdown due to a COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve been spared the worst of the pandemic, of course, but the ongoing uncertainty continues to prove challenging. And while we’ve become accustomed to so much change and upheaval in our lives, it’s good to pause at a few familiar milestones, such as the successful conclusion of another semester.
We’ve learned a great deal and broken new ground in our teaching over the past eighteen months – and the innovation continued this past semester with a mixture of delivery modes offered across the Faculty. Undertaken to provide as much flexibility as possible, the combination of dual-delivery, online and on-campus subjects has enabled our students to enroll based on their location. I’m delighted that this model has continued to see a high level of engagement among all our students, and that our teaching staff have fostered, as always, much interesting and insightful discussion.
It has been really encouraging to see those students able to return to campus, reconnect with one another and start enjoying again the kind of campus experience they’ve been longing for. We continue to hope this experience will be shared by even greater numbers of students in semester 2. Indeed, our plan is that next semester the vast majority of our subjects will be back on campus.
The flexible delivery model we’ve been using in our teaching has also extended to the exciting range of community engagement programs for which the Faculty is so well known. Among these has been the Faculty’s popular 10 Great Books program, which I’m really enjoying hosting this year, and a broad range of seminars and forums we offer to our community free of charge. If you want to find out more about what we’re offering, take a look at the Faculty’s events pages.
We’ve also been working hard on maintaining and strengthening our international partnerships, deliberately counteracting the restrictions we’re facing on overseas travel. Since I last wrote, we’ve appointed two new Deputy Associate Deans to the Faculty’s International Committee: Dr Dolly Kikon has been appointed Deputy Associate Dean (India) and Associate Professor Kate McGregor has been appointed Deputy Associate Dean (Indonesia), joining Professor Gao Jia, who is Deputy Associate Dean (China), with all three working under the strategic leadership of the Associate Dean (International), Professor Timothy Lynch. These and all the other members of my Faculty leadership team bring considerable expertise to their respective portfolios and are working with me in implementing our Faculty’s strategy.
Finally, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to those students who have recently been recognised for their academic achievements and also to those alumni acknowledged for their local and global contributions. You can read profiles of some of our award winners in this edition of Articulation