Southern Cross University scores well in audit
A QUALITY audit of Southern Cross University has commended the institution for its high levels of student satisfaction.
The Australian Universities Quality Agency Audit also highlighted the 14-year-old university's action to reduce attrition rates and the innovative work done by its Gnibi indigenous college.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark is pleased the university's strong focus on providing a quality-learning environment has been recognised.
“Our students consistently rank us highly for the overall educational experience we provide, and this has been reflected in this report,” he said.
“We're a university of opportunity and we have some students whose early capacity on how best to study and make progress really wasn't there. So we focused on the first year, and if you can get the students through the first year and they're successful and know how to study, second and third year follow through.”
Prof Clark said the university put a lot of effort into lifting feedback to students in their first year and allowing them to submit draft work before a final submission.
“Those sorts of things have really brought our attrition rate down because we want to see students get through,” he said.
The audit gave particular mention to the university's Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples for multi- faceted work within the indigenous community.
Prof Clark said while the college was an extra call on the university's resources, the reward was in seeing more indigenous students graduate.
“We do it because we have a desire to bring indigenous students into our institution and so we have to go out into the community and help fix a few things to enable that to happen,” he said.
The audit also stated more attention should be given to ensuring effective leadership and accountability for international activities, particularly for educational collaborations, recommending a senior executive be appointed to this role.
Prof Clark said that over a year ago, a vice-chancellor was appointed whose portfolio included this role and he was confident, given time, the leadership and accountability would improve.
“Some of the recommendations are too black and white for me,” he said.
“But in regard to international collaborations, we have put considerable effort into improving our processes and will continue to do so.”
Student Dave Jacobs said he appreciated the personal attention he received.
“You're not just a number, staff are very approachable and the atmosphere is laid-back and supportive,” he said.