Engaging the World
Issue 18 | November 2006
Report: Renee Barnes
Photography: Melissa Di Ciero and Greg Ford
Monash University has made a commitment to delivering new solutions in research and education for the 21st century under its new vision -- 'Engaging the World'.
No research-intensive university in the world has established a more significant international presence than Monash. But why is that vital?
In the midst of an era of great change and opportunity in higher education both in Australia and internationally, Monash has recognised a need to better enunciate its vision to the world. The university's vision, 'Engaging the World', recognises the need for universities, particularly those in an economically and geographically isolated country such as Australia, to actively participate in the global research networks that are developing solutions to some of the problems that threaten humanity's survival. It is also about giving students the opportunity to have a truly international education so they can lead the world in addressing important global theoretical and practical challenges.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Larkins says 'Engaging the World' is a clear statement of the university's priorities for research, education and international development.
"Our university has Australian origins but an international future," Professor Larkins says. "We already have the strongest international presence of any research-intensive university in the world, with campuses in Malaysia and South Africa, centres in Italy and London, and plans for a collaborative research institute in India and collaborative research laboratories in China and North America.
"This statement acknowledges that we cannot sit back and wait for the world to notice how good our research is, or hope that our children will embrace the cultural change that will inevitably come with globalisation. It has never been more important to equip our graduates to be able to live, work, learn and contribute globally."
The university is using its research expertise, its multi-campus structure and its international reach to address six key areas of research priority for the 21st century. The areas of sustainability, peace and security, economic development, innovation, health and disease, and community cohesion will all benefit from this global approach.
Professor Larkins says Monash has held fast to the belief that undergraduates should be provided with the knowledge and expertise to make a contribution to the global workforce and the wider international community after graduating.
"We want a significant proportion of our students to spend at least one semester abroad at a Monash campus, graduating with not just a rigorous understanding of their discipline, but also an international perspective and knowledge of other cultures," he says. "The Student Mobility and Student Experience initiatives have been developed to help us achieve this goal."