The university experience for each student is vastly different. At the same time this period is often generalised, particularly in the media or in policy debates, and sometimes underestimates the impact of such a unique journey of self-discovery. I am sure that you will all have quite distinct recollections of your years at University and of the influences and experiences that have shaped you from both a professional and personal perspective.
Consider then, what next year's changes to the higher education sector might mean for individual students, as the Government moves to fund universities based on student demand, rather than applying strict quotas for degree courses. Perhaps your own children are approaching the end of their secondary schooling or you know other young people hoping to commence university studies. What will their university days look like?
Removing the enrolment caps will mean an even greater emphasis on the delivery of a rewarding university experience for all students, from their very first day.
The recent opening of our new $42m student learning space, Hub Central, is an integral part of ensuring our students enjoy an on-campus experience that not only supports their educational needs but also encourages them to engage socially with their peers.
Judging by the early response to Hub Central, where thousands of students use the facility every day, our plan to bring formal and informal learning together under one roof has proved to be a successful formula.
Spending time at Hub Central, and hearing the stories of our current students and their hopes for the future, it is easy to imagine the next generation of graduates continuing the fine example of social impact set by our current alumni community. Many of these students have of course been inspired to study as a direct result of the influence of those who previously studied or worked at the University.
Building on the strength of real-life examples, the University's inaugural Research Week in October gave us the perfect opportunity to share the great work of our dedicated researchers, many of them former students, with the South Australian community. It was wonderful to turn a spotlight on our research outcomes and to share our passion for knowledge and innovation with such a broad audience.
Research Week, and the University's recent Life Impact campaign, have reminded us of just how important it is to tell our stories and celebrate the significant contribution of the University community. As alumni, your achievements are especially important as you represent the realisation of student potential and the unbounded possibilities that a university education can generate.
In addition to the latest happenings from the University, this edition of Lumen features a new chapter of remarkable stories from our graduates; stories that will inspire and enlighten.
PROFESSOR JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President