Uni is already improving its teaching

Friday, 12 August 2005

The University of Adelaide said today it has instituted a range of measures over the past three years to improve quality of teaching.

The University was reacting to a controversial league table that for the first time compares teaching performances across Australia. Of the country's 38 universities, the University of Adelaide was placed 35th. The methodology of this table has already attracted widespread criticism.

"This comes as no real surprise as the data relates to a period (1999-2002) when, as is well known, the University was experiencing some difficulties. However, we realise where our responsibilities lie and we have been making every attempt to improve matters," said Professor James McWha, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide.

"In terms of the measures to improve our teaching, we are involved in a number of ways such as investing in key learning and teaching facilities and infrastructure; increasing resources and staffing for our learning and teaching support; and developing a better system for getting student evaluations of our teaching and ensuring that these perceptions have an effect," said Professor McWha

Professor McWha said there is already strong evidence the University has moved forward since the survey was conducted.

The University has a high percentage of students employed within four months of graduation; it has the third lowest overall student-staff ratio; and is in huge demand as a first-choice tertiary institution.

"The data used in the report show that employment outcomes of University of Adelaide graduates are among the best in the country," he said.

Professor McWha said the University continues to grow and is in huge demand as a first-choice tertiary institution.

"The University of Adelaide's first preference applications as a percentage of all preference applications are significantly higher than the corresponding measure at the other South Australian Universities, showing a long-standing measure of demand over time and between institutions.

"There is an increasing trend in the proportion of top-scoring school leavers who have applied for admission to the University of Adelaide. The increase in the proportion of both first preferences and all preferences shows that the University of Adelaide is enhancing its traditional place as the institution of first choice for these students," he said. In medicine, for example, a record 2,300 applications were received this year.

The University of Adelaide also has the third lowest overall student-staff ratio nationally and the lowest in South Australia.


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