Themes

Across two days, the conference will explore three main themes, underpinned by the theory of Learning to Doing. This will range from a focus on learning from keynote speakers, peers and experts from within and outside the sector, and also opportunities for participants to immerse themselves into practical skills workshops and roundtables to dig deeper into each of the themes.

Institutional Learning Across Boundaries

It is human nature to engage in some naval gazing from time to time and tertiary education institutions are no exception. This theme explores how we can shift our gaze outward. How can we work outside our conventional boundaries to stimulate our institutions to innovate, improve and inspire positive change in the sector? In particular our focus is on the provision of services required to underpin and support the delivery of teaching and research. How can we bridge internal boundaries (risk appetite, cultural norms, silo-ed operations), sector boundaries (public-private, academic-vocational), regional-metro, or national-international, so that can we engage and learn best from others outside our historical ‘boundaries’ to provide outstanding services for students, staff, alumni, institutional partners and friends of institutions.

Modelling Collaboration for Impact

It has been a distinguishing feature of our sector for quite some time that competition has been the name of the game.  Exceptions might have been collaborations with hospitals for medical and allied health training. Recently, however, we have seen more initiatives emerge focusing on collaboration and partnerships. It seems quite a few of our institutions are exploring and developing partnerships with industry, government and community organisations, and with each other.  This theme explores what partnerships are formed and what models are gaining traction in the sector. This includes, but is not limited to, regional delivery models, learning and innovation hubs, precincts, and industry partnerships. And what are the key organisational capabilities needed to maximise these partnerships?

Keeping on Track (and not losing the plot)

We all know that change is the new normal in our rapidly transforming political, social, economic and technological world. And we accept that this involves restructuring and strategic repositioning. But in this theme we want to get at the elephant in the room: are we getting too caught up in efficiency drives, costs containment efforts and business process reengineering to the detriment of the student experience and wellbeing, learning outcomes and research dissemination and discovery?  Can we demonstrate that much of the energy invested in our restructures indeed contributes to our core missions of teaching and learning, research and engagement?