From the Vice-Chancellor
I was in Beijing when I heard the news.
When you visit other countries and other institutions around the world, working towards building long-lasting links for the University of Adelaide in education and research, it's always invigorating. There's a real sense of purpose to what you're doing when you're on one of those visits.
Regular readers of this column will know that I'm always looking for ways to build our opportunities locally, nationally and internationally. In the case of China, our links are growing rapidly. This is in part due to the establishment of our Confucius Institute, but is also thanks to our relationship with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and with universities such as Shandong, Northwest Agriculture & Forestry, Fudan, and Tsinghua. China is an extremely important part of what we're trying to achieve for the future, and the number of joint ventures we're looking to establish is very exciting.
Even so, the news that came to me from Adelaide, thousands of kilometres away, managed to lift my spirits no end.
It wasn't just one piece of good news, it was really two: first, that the University of Adelaide had been awarded 235 extra Commonwealth-supported places for students - more than any other university in Australia - and second, that the Federal Government was committing $15 million towards the establishment of our new vet school at the Roseworthy Campus.
Of course, as you sometimes do while you're away overseas, I had a cold at the time - and it was instantly forgotten!
The University has had many successes over the past five years, but these two pieces of news stand out for me as shining examples of what our University is trying to achieve. Growing the participation in higher education in South Australia has always been one of my aims, and we can't do that unless the University expands its offerings and makes a genuine case for the need for extra places. This is exactly what we've done.
New engineering places will help to address the skills shortage nation-wide; new places in health will help to train the next generation of healthcare professionals for the welfare and wellbeing of our community; and the new vet school is aimed at retaining some of our State's brightest students, while at the same time filling the skills gaps being felt in animal health and agriculture.
The University, in being responsive to the needs of the community, business and government, and delivering innovative programs that satisfy South Australia's strategic aims, is working with State and Federal governments and helping to provide our community with a better future.
News like this is why I love doing what I do. I'm looking forward to many more of these kinds of announcements over the coming years.
PROFESSOR JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President