UTS has been top ranked among Australian universities for excellence in teaching and learning by the Federal Government.
UTS and the University of Wollongong were the only universities in the country to be included in Band A1 in all four discipline groups of the Government's 2008 Learning and Teaching Performance Fund, announced on 3 October by the Minister for Education, Science and Training Julie Bishop.
The fund was set up three years ago to reward universities based on the analysis of data on student satisfaction, student outcomes and student success. The assessment is across four groupings:
- science, computing, engineering, architecture and agriculture
- business, law and economics
- humanities, arts and education
UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Ross Milbourne said the statistical and data collection methods used by the fund's expert panel had been refined from year to year and he believed the assessment was now "a true measure of the performance of universities" in teaching and learning.
"It is a great tribute to the commitment of our academic staff and all associated with teaching and learning development at UTS," he said. "It has been supported with investment in student support and services, curriculum design and in the recruitment of high-quality staff."
As a result of the ranking UTS will receive $8.4 million from the fund for next year.
"This compares with our result of $5.5 million in 2007, when we were ranked in the top six universities in Australia for the quality of our teaching and learning," Professor Milbourne said.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching, Learning and Equity) Professor Shirley Alexander said the independently measured and benchmarked assessment reinforced UTS's reputation as a leading practice-based university.
"First and foremost it is a reflection of the quality of the UTS academic staff, but also of the amount of work the university has done to improve teaching and learning over the years," Professor Alexander said.
"This includes student support services such as the ELSSA (English Language Study Skills Assistance) Centre, the UTS Library and Careers Service and support to academics provided by the Institute for Interactive Media and Learning, the UTS Teaching and Learning Committee and the associate deans of teaching and learning at faculty level.
"There is always more to do, and we continue to work on areas including online student access, the effective use of group work and peer review and assessment.
"For staff the university has sought to provide an environment that encourages innovation in curriculum development and recognises and rewards outstanding teaching performance."
The 2007 UTS Teaching and Learning Forum will be held on Wednesday and Thursday 14 and 15 November. The forum will focus on teaching and learning for future professional careers in changing workplace environments.