Strategy Two (August 2012 update)

Manage more effectively the size and shape of the University

We will build a student population profile that is compatible with our statement of purpose and that will ensure our financial viability. We will, in particular, pursue our commitment to the education of the most promising students, drawn from a diversity of social and cultural backgrounds.

In order to achieve the goal outlined in strategy 2, we first needed to implement improvements in the governance, transparency and timeliness of planning information.

2(a) Charge the divisional boards and the Curriculum Committee of SEG with the responsibility for reviewing annually the student load and mix to ensure educational and financial sustainability.

Through the University’s revised planning and budget process, divisional boards have focused on optimising load outcomes for faculties and divisions, particularly by adjusting the internal cohort mix and reducing overlap and duplication of courses and units of study.

The Curriculum and Course Planning Committee (CCPC) of SEG, established in January 2011, now monitors the strategic fit, market positioning and financial viability of all proposed courses, ensuring inter-faculty collaboration. This process has improved the quality of course proposals and brought a greater level of institutional coherence to the suite of courses on offer.

Since its establishment, CCPC has reviewed 22 applications for new courses, 18 of which were referred back to the faculty for further development. Reasons for these referrals varied, but included one or more of the following: further inter-faculty consultation was required on the proposed name, shared teaching arrangements or duplication of course offerings; independent market research on student demand was needed; industry-specific demand needed to be more clearly identified; and more detailed financial viability needed to be demonstrated. Of the 22 applications, 21 have been approved for consideration by the Academic Board, which has now approved 14, with some sent back for further academic development or still to be presented for approval.

CCPC has now commenced a review of existing courses.

We are also developing new tools that support more integrated, end-to-end planning and provide timely and transparent information so

The Student Projection and Reporting Capability (SPARC) tool, introduced in 2010, is now in use for its second full planning cycle. SPARC provides faculties with easy access to current and historical data on load, enrolments and revenue across all student cohorts, as well as projections for future planning. Because it provides information about revenue drivers, revenue at course level and load flow between faculties, SPARC has provided a level of insight and planning sophistication not previously possible across the University, and that is complemented by the insights about costs that are provided through the University Economic Model (UEM) framework. Both these developments will support improved management of the size and shape of the overall student body.

A second tool, the Student Fees Management Database, is a web-based application introduced to support a more coherent pricing framework. It allows transparency of fee-setting across all faculties, a historical record of fees, and flexibility for fee-setting for individual courses.

Most importantly, a major project, the Strategic Information and Business Intelligence (SIBI) system, will transform the rich data available within the University into meaningful, usable information, and provide faculties with a central strategic reporting framework. It will measure and monitor performance, and provide improved trend and scenario analyses. Now in the first of three years of development, the SIBI project has entered the testing phase for its early deliverables, and the first components will soon be shifted into a production environment.