Education must lean in together and be truly open, at this critical time.
At Torrens University, our vision is to champion the power of people to connect the world for good.
We are open for business
We are open to deliver quality education.
We are open for collaboration.
We are open for good.
On Monday, we suspended our face-to-face campus-based delivery for now and turned our focus to being fully online for the foreseeable future. We haven’t closed down. We’ve just evolved our learning and teaching delivery modality.
We know there will be challenges in the weeks and months ahead, but we’re prepared and ready. Our values will guide us. Now is the time to be open.
Begin and end with people
Our focus has been to keep our staff working and our students learning. We’ve used our heads and hearts together to keep our campus communities united and supported to ensure unison and cohesiveness. This way, we will continue to empower community and positively impact society.
We’ve rapidly re-imagined classes that are usually delivered face-to-face and are now delivering online. Why were we able to do this so fast and at quality? Because we already have 42% online students and 8+ years of experience in designing and developing best-in-show online experiences with market-leading retention rates.
Our Here for Good ethos is at the core of everything we do. It’s our determination to weave social responsibility and purpose into our curriculum, our staff policies and our global contribution. Along the way, we’re supporting mental and physical health, and imagining and creating a new normal for our students and staff. Industry has reached out to Torrens University and asked whether we can open our short courses, MOOCS and micro-credentials, so they can maximise these resources to keep their staff working, upskilling themselves and connected.
On Monday last week, we moved quickly and decisively. It was a big step to take but moving with agility while ensuring the highest quality is part of our DNA. Why was this bold? We have planned to continue to teach the whole year. We have planned for the new normal and ensured that teched-up learning will support students. When the campuses re-open, it will be an additionality to our teched-up approach.
In making this decision, at the forefront of our thinking has been our responsibility as Australia’s global university, as part of Laureate International Universities. Our responsibility is to 850,000 students globally, and our 9,000+ international students from 114+ countries studying at Torrens University in Australia. We are reaching out and supporting our students. We remain unwavering in our commitment to global citizenship, diversity and tolerance.
Let’s remain clear that education is the future. Education is a beacon of hope.
Being open is the role that research institutions play in finding a global solution to this pandemic. It’s about each institution sharing its muscle and strengths. It’s about celebrating and supporting international students, not just through teaching and learning but also to ensure we advocate for and support them economically and socially. Being open is about removing the silos and guaranteeing the most immediate and agile work can freely take place.
We must all play to our strengths across the sector. Some universities are excellent at working with rural and remote. Others will be focused on working hard to find a research solution for this crisis. Others will be more vocational and about retraining and upskilling the workforce. This is the moment to share and to recognise each other’s strengths.
Now is the time for collaboration.
Now is the time to communicate.
Now is the time for community.
Now is the time for curiosity.
Now is the time for connection, and new connections.
Now is the time to care.
The future of Australia is at stake, and we, in higher education, have an essential role to play.
Let’s work together and ensure the Australian Higher Education sector thrives. Let’s work across countries and systems to ensure the new normal is fairer, stronger and more sustainable. Let’s ensure education is truly for all.
Together, let’s use this time not just to maintain the status quo, but instead, to imagine a bolder, brighter future for students, and for the nation.
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