This Good Friday, more than 1200 medicine, nursing, dentistry, physiotherapy, audiology, biomedical, science, speech pathology and social work student students from the University of Melbourne will run a Teddy Bear Hospital (TBH) to raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday appeal.
A commitment to sustainability and a renewed focus on global engagement with universities, industry and community are at the heart of the University of Melbourne’s latest strategic plan, released today.
School expenditures have increased by 17 per cent from 2001 to 2009, while student performance has declined by 2.5 per cent - equivalent to about one third of a year of schooling – according to a report in September’s Australian Economic Review.
The University of Melbourne’s state-of-the-art Veterinary Hospital in Werribee will open its doors this Sunday to the community and future students. Around 2000 expected visitors will be able to speak to veterinary staff and join in interactive activities and tours as part of the University of Melbourne Veterinary Science Open Day and Pet Expo.
Six outstanding students from the University of Melbourne have been awarded with international scholarships under the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Awards, the most of any Australian institution.
Professor Lyn Yates says funding for school buildings and facilities will help improve student morale and retention rates.
In today’s state budget, the Victorian Government has allocated $402 million toward the rebuilding and renovation of 113 state government schools across the state. These funds will be combined with the Federal government’s allocation of $686 million for Victorian schools’ infrastructure projects.
Professor Yates said receiving such a large amount of funding from the Federal government in such dire financial times was an encouraging sign that the Government was taking investment in education seriously and that the funding will do a lot more than simply make things look “shiny and new.”
“Teachers, students and parents really get a sense of whether or not they are valued in an institution if it is shiny and new, we should never underestimate the morale and valuing aspect of improvements of infrastructure,” she says.
Professor Yates predicted these improvements could increase retention rates, with students actually enjoying their surroundings and deciding to stay on till year 12. Professor Yates also said she hoped this funding will begin to close the disparity between rich and poor schools by “at least making the base level something people will feel happy about.”
Professor Lyn Yates is Professor of Curriculum in the Graduate School of Education.