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Curriculum Design 2018

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. Alvin Toffler

Like many industries, higher education is facing a future of likely disruption. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and digitisation are fundamentally changing the world of work and the possible future careers of graduates. It is estimated that 40% of currents jobs will not exist in 20 years’ time and that robots will assume the roles and undertake many tasks that are currently performed by humans, including even for highly specialised fields such as surgery and law.

If the future of work will be radically different, then it is time to ask whether the education that we provide to our students will equip them to meet this uncertain future.

The design of our curriculum – what we teach and how we teach it – shapes the Adelaide education.

New Curriculum Futures; A Green Paper

Designing a Contemporary Curriculum for the University of Adelaide

Through conversations across the University led by Education Specialists including over 400 staff, student perspectives gathered in forums and via Hub displays and prospective student engagement at Open Day, a Green Paper has been developed which identifies points of consensus as well as those areas where differences of opinion are evident.

This discussion paper examines key principles that should underpin what we teach and potential models of program architecture. Following stakeholder feedback, analysis of 4000 student survey responses and an industry survey, a final paper will be developed. Along with the Internationalisation Strategy, Research Strategy and a paper on Future Directions in Learning, Teaching and Assessment, the paper will inform the institutional Strategic Plan.

A PDF of the paper which was presented to Academic Board on 5 September 2018 is available below.

New Curriculum Futures Green Paper

Engagement and Consultation

The Curriculum Design consultation process will start with a conversation with each Faculty and the Divisions, as well as with students. In the spirit of co-creation external stakeholders, such as schools and industry leaders will be consulted, as will employers. A Steering Group will provide advice, guidance and oversight of the process, while a Reference Group will drive discussions and actions from within faculties. The Engagement and Consultation Plan guides the activities that are planned to take place throughout July - November 2018.

Reinventing Curriculum Oration Series

To launch the Curriculum Design project, Professor Philippa Levy established ‘Reinventing Curriculum’, an oration series which invites reflection and opens up debate from a range of perspectives on key questions relating to higher education curriculum in the contemporary world.

  • Inaugural Oration - Friday 6 July 2018; Professor Ron Barnett

    ‘Re-thinking the Curriculum in the Twenty-first Century: Pitfalls and Possibilities’
    Professor Ronald Barnett, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at University College London Institute of Education

    Professor Barnett is a leading international scholar and thought-leader of higher education, and author of many influential books on the subject. For over thirty years, he has been advancing a social philosophy of the university. He has characterised his position as at once realist, critical, imaginative and practical, attempting to identify creative concepts and practical principles that might enhance universities and higher education. His 31 books include the just published The Ecological University: A Feasible Utopia (2018). He has been described as ‘one of the most eloquent defenders of the university of reason’ (Michael Peters, 2014).

Division of Academic and Student Engagement

The University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005

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Level 7, Wills Building
North Terrace Campus


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