From the Vice-Chancellor
As we begin 2006, I am pleased report that the University of Adelaide is a thriving community, and a University in the midst of change and opportunity.
Demand for places at the University of Adelaide continues to rise - a trend that is not reflected at other local universities and universities around the country. It is certainly encouraging that we remain the university of choice in this State for prospective students.
It is no accident that this is the case. Our staff work hard to reach out to high school students while they are planning their study and career pathways, and a number of recent events hosted by the University underline our engagement at this critical stage.
In December last year, more than 200 Year 9 and 10 students from 30 South Australian schools attended our Maths-Science Life Impact Student Days. A joint initiative of Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, the Days feature students taking part in hands-on Science and Maths activities and learning about the impact these diverse fields of study have on our society.
Similarly, the Siemens Science Experience held in January this year gave Year 10 students the opportunity to experience Science face-to-face. And last month, hundreds of students from Glenunga International High School visited the North Terrace campus for their Senior School Orientation Day: their introduction to university life and all it entails.
Change, and opportunity, also beckon for our current students. The passing of VSU legislation late last year means student services as we have known them will be changed. I congratulate the Adelaide University Union for working together with the University to ensure services wanted by students will continue.
One recent example of providing services that enhance our students' university experience was the official opening of the second stage of the Village, our student accommodation facility on Grote Street. This is a world-class facility with excellent accommodation, security and learning facilities, and it is gratifying that demand for Village places from both international and domestic students is exceeding our initial estimates.
It was also satisfying to learn that the new Federal Education Minister, Ms Julie Bishop, is an Adelaide graduate, and I congratulate her on her appointment. I particularly look forward to hearing from Ms Bishop regarding a critical portion of our Federal funding which was due to be passed on for the start of the year. This portion represents about 5% of our Federal funding, and I hope that as well as approving this money, the new Minister will also consider a proper annual indexation of our funding.
In April we have the opportunity of showcasing our University to senior university leaders from around the world as the University of Adelaide hosts the 2006 Association of Commonwealth Universities' Conference of Executive Heads. This event features vice-chancellors from some 300 universities in the Commonwealth, and for many of them it will be their first visit to Adelaide. An enormous amount of planning has gone into ensuring these international education leaders have the best opportunity of engaging positively with our city, and the University of Adelaide, and it promises to be one of the major highlights for us in 2006.
We are a thriving University, and I am excited by what is in store for this year. I look forward to working with our extended University community on the many opportunities that we will have.
PROFESSOR JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President