A curriculum defined by quality and relevance
Our educational values
Education is a transformative force in the lives of individuals, in creating a more just, fair, and inclusive community, and in advancing human knowledge.
These values underpin the education we offer students who may seek their place at the University of Melbourne to explore their passions, seek new qualifications and discover the ways in which they will contribute to society. As a leading research-intensive University, our dual purposes of education and research are reflected in the curriculum we offer students, and the evidence-based, open-minded scholarly inquiry and debate we engage in.
The distinctive Melbourne Curriculum is at the centre of the education we provide. Our curriculum offers students a broad-based undergraduate education, ensuring rigorous disciplinary depth and opportunities for breadth of study in which they can explore their passions and talents, and pathways to professional postgraduate education, employment or research.
The Melbourne Curriculum allows our students to develop deep disciplinary knowledge and understanding while at the same time encouraging curiosity, creativity, and inquiry. This gives our graduates the ability to adapt to and shape the variety of complex contexts and settings in which they find themselves, preparing them to embrace many different possible pathways and opportunities.
As well as balancing breadth and depth, an education at Melbourne balances challenge and support. To seek new knowledge and test new ways of thinking, we aim to create supportive environments in which students can explore, take risks and grow. We celebrate the tapestry of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives that our students and staff bring, and we harness this diversity to create rich educational experiences.
We value and reward the work of our academic teachers and professional staff in bringing the best in educational research and practice to offer students an exceptional experience at the University of Melbourne.
In 2030, University of Melbourne students’ experience will be powerful, engaging and tailored to the individual, enlivened by strong connections within and beyond the University and a sense of belonging to a vibrant and diverse scholarly community.
Students will be supported by world-class staff who are known for their approachability and availability and warmly embrace education as core to their role.
Our distinctive Melbourne Curriculum will not only deliver academic rigor and quality but ensure each student has an appreciation of key contemporary issues and knowledges.
Leading-edge online education and digital tools and technologies will enhance our teaching and learning, and provide more effective and personalised student experiences.
To achieve this vision will require major, whole-of-institution change in core areas of teaching and learning, student participation, student experience, and in the roles of academic and professional staff.
The advancements set out in the following pages aim to do just that, by:
- significantly revitalising our undergraduate programs
- transforming the profile of our student cohort
- more strongly championing teaching and the educational values we share
- offering new and compelling forms of education, designed for the needs of different student cohorts
- improving our support for individual students in their learning contexts and communities.
Shaped by our vision and educational values, this strategy charts our course in student experience and education from now to 2030 while engaging with our place in the world; our obligations to our community: students, staff, partners, our city, and our region; and the dynamic and disruptive impacts of the recent past. In doing so we recognise that the world of education is changing, with long-term trends accelerated by recent crises. We also acknowledge the feedback our students have provided, including through national surveys, and recognise that we need to change to improve their educational experience.
The world of education is changing, and students are approaching their studies in new ways. Both reflecting and seeking to shape this evolution, we will develop new pedagogical models, new approaches to teaching, learning and assessment, and support staff to broker new learning partnerships with students in physical and virtual classrooms. Seamless integration of learning technologies will be increasingly important on campus and to extend students’ learning beyond it.
We will build stronger communities around our students and provide them with more opportunities to connect with the University and our academic and non-academic programs. This means building cohort experiences, inside and outside the classroom, in our precincts on campus as well as online. We recognise the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as owners and custodians of the lands on which we learn and work and acknowledge the importance of Indigenous knowledges in our teaching, learning and scholarship. This Advancing Students and Education Strategy intersects with our Indigenous Strategy in our support for Indigenous students and staff, our work with partners and our engagement with Indigenous knowledges right across curriculum.
The roles of our academic and professional staff will continue to evolve in response to increasing complexity and demand our attention. The People Strategy will set our course in continuing to attract excellent colleagues and ensuring that our staff thrive, to support the core mission of the University. In the context of students and education, we will recognise and support great teaching, value the time and effort spent engaging with students, remove barriers to innovation and forge new partnership models between professional and academic roles. By enhancing the experiences of our staff, we will enhance students’ learning and engagement with the University.
Our commitment to an excellent, place-based education continues, and we will build on the foundation of our campus-based education to offer students increased flexibility in how they choose to study. Our campuses will remain sites of vibrant dialogue and engagement in learning, based on the dynamic interaction and exchange between academics and students. Recognising the importance of community and in-person interaction for our newer learners, we are committed to a campus-based education for our undergraduate students and will work to ensure we establish this expectation with our students.
At the same time, we will enable students to learn in more places across the world – online, offshore, in industry, and in the community. Our provision of online education will increase, and this will be extended and amplified by innovative hybrid models of learning that harness the value of intensive delivery, offshore partnerships, industry- and community-based experiences, and others. Studying at Melbourne will no longer routinely equate to two or three years studying on campus, and we will particularly embrace and encourage this flexibility for our experienced learners in graduate programs.
As we seek to build a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive community, we want to be a destination of choice for talented students from around the world. Seeking excellent students from all backgrounds means expanding our reach to attract and support more Indigenous students to study and succeed at Melbourne. It means growing our global student population to more closely match the demographics of our region and the world, and ensuring we widen participation for all talented Australian students regardless of their background. This work will transform our student profile, and by 2030 our diverse graduates will be known for their exceptional leadership and impact.
Over the course of our wide-ranging consultation, five clear themes have emerged, around which we have organised the strategy. In many of these themes there are existing programs of work aligned with our ambitions, in some there are immediate next steps we must take; in others there are proposed solutions we need to further explore, testing the best ways to implement these as we look towards the university we want to be in 2030.
In developing this strategy, we have engaged with students and staff over many months to seek their advice and ideas. Student perspectives deeply influenced and informed this strategy through many different discussions, as well as events designed and led by a team of student ambassadors. A supplementary report, co-written with our student ambassadors, describes the innovative ambassador program that centred our students as full partners in the strategy development process.
We will track our success against our ambitions within each theme by looking for sustained high performance, or continuous improvement in the following measures outlined below. These measures are already established and are sourced from the Advancing Melbourne Performance Framework and the Student Experience Data Strategy.
- Teaching and learning quality
- Research and industry incorporation into the curriculum
- Learner engagement.
- Connection and belonging
- Student services and support
- Wellbeing of both staff and students.
- Equity group participation and completion
- Student services and support
- Student experience
- Wellbeing of both staff and students
- Diversification of our international student body.
- Student experience
- Teaching-focused academic staff in leadership roles
- Staff sense of support and satisfaction
- Wellbeing of both staff and students.
- Student and learning resources
- Digital capability and delivery
- Use of analytics to support the student experience
- Development and uptake of internationalised curriculum.
Explore the Advancing Students and Education themes