Academic Year Review
Western Sydney University is currently at an important stage in its growth and development and is investigating the feasibility and desirability of implementing an extended academic calendar.
The Academic Year Review Process
Many thanks to all participants of the Academic Year Review process. The Academic Year Review has been a broad and inclusive process involving the collection of data from a range of stakeholders using random, purposive and snowball sampling techniques. In addition to conducting meetings and focus groups with key stakeholders (management, professional staff, academic staff, student groups and unions), advisory groups were established to identify and form issue groups across all the business operation groups and Schools. The findings of the issue groups were to be submitted at the end of October but the deadline has since been extended to the end of November to collate outstanding reports from some areas of the University. In addition to the online staff and student surveys in September, data was collected through online forums, social media, emails, letters and reports submitted to the Executive and the Academic Year Review Team.
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Academic Year Review Survey Results
The Academic Year Review Staff and Student Surveys formed part of the consultation process with our community in which the feasibility and desirability of implementing some form of a trimester system at Western Sydney University was discussed. Results of the survey form part of the data which will help the Executive and Board decide on future directions for the University.
The Staff and Student surveys were available online for three weeks during September 2012 and were answered by a total of 4269 respondents (3235 students and 1034 staff). Results of the survey suggest that the majority of students and professional staff support Western Sydney University implementing some form of trimester system while the majority of academic staff who responded generally opposed such a move. The flexibility and options of a trimester system, specifically fast-tracking or finishing a degree over a shorter duration, overwhelmingly appealed to students. Many students also liked the idea of utilising the long summer break for study. The main reasons academic staff did not support or were opposed to the introduction of trimesters were potential issues relating to research, the quality of teaching and learning, workload and demands, cultural change and implementation.
A summary of the results of the Staff and Student Surveys are available at Academic Year Review - Summary of Results of Staff and Student Surveys (opens in a new window) (PDF, 502Kb)