From the Vice-Chancellor: University life is much more than study
One of the great pleasures of being Vice-Chancellor is the opportunity to spend time on the campus grounds with students as they immerse themselves in all that university life has to offer.
After all, university is so much more than lectures and libraries.
Think of your own experience of study. I am sure it is not just the recollection of Monday morning lectures or long exams that come to mind but the colourful memories of friendships made and experiences enjoyed that have helped to define both personal and professional growth.
We are fortunate at the University of Adelaide to offer our students a great learning experience complemented by an array of support services, special events, clubs and associations. Sporting and cultural participation at University helps to create an environment where students succeed academically and find their time at University personally rewarding.
Providing appropriate services to meet the needs of today's students is expensive. In addition to cultural and sporting activities, support services including counselling, mentoring, healthcare, accommodation support and specialist tutoring all contribute to delivering a positive and productive student experience. This underpins sound learning outcomes - well-supported students are far more likely to succeed in their studies.
Under the present arrangements, the University has had to divert funds from other core business activities to ensure services are available to support students throughout their studies. We know that students benefit enormously from a balanced experience at University and therefore we have continued to invest in this area since the abolition of compulsory up-front student union fees in 2005.
The Student Services and Amenities Fee Bill, which is currently working its way through the Senate in Canberra, would see students provide a modest annual contribution to their university experience. The proposed legislation is an attempt to reinvigorate much-needed funding to enable universities across Australia to offer important support services and infrastructure for students. This would essentially 'de-politicise' the provision of student services, making them more equitable and accessible for all students, domestic and international, undergraduate and postgraduate.
The new legislation will make a significant difference in assisting the University to offer broad and inclusive student services. We firmly believe this is integral to a vibrant and well-balanced University experience - and clearly in the best interests of all students.
My message to students is always to take advantage of every opportunity during their time at University. Embrace the broader aspects of life on campus and engage with services to ensure their experience is as fulfilling as possible.
A rich university experience is priceless and one that will stay with you throughout your life.
PROFESSOR JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President