2014 Year in Review – University of South Australia
2014 has been a year of big strides at the University of South Australia. Earlier this year, the University officially opened a high-tech student learning centre in the heart of Adelaide. Named in honour of the late Jeffrey Smart, one of Australia’s most famous modern painters, and a graduate of UniSA, the state of the art facility has already won an award for building excellence and most importantly, high praise from students. And excitement is mounting with the announcement of the appointment of the design team for UniSA’s new Great Hall which will be located adjacent to the Jeffrey Smart Building. Lead by South Australian Firm, JPE Design Studio, the team includes internationally renowned Norwegian architecture firm, Snøhetta, working on its first Australian project and Adelaide’s own Jam Factory. A great supporter of its community, UniSA sponsored the international pro cycling event, the Tour Down Under in January. The Australian equivalent of the Tour de France attracted more then 700,000 spectators. And UniSA support for the arts and sciences included sponsorship of the Planet Talks, focussing on climate change and sustainability at the world music festival, WOMAdelaide in March. The University also sponsored the Adelaide Festival of Arts and the OzAsia Festival in September. In an exciting move for the world of arts, leading Australian jazz musician, James Morrison, is partnering the University to establish the UniSA James Morrison Academy in Mount Gambier. The Academy will offer music education opportunities for students from all corners of Australia. The University has forged some invaluable partnerships with key industries this year. Global IT giant, Hewlett Packard, will estabish an innovation centre at UniSA and support new programs in information technology. Local manufacturer and innovator, Hills Industries, will be working with UniSA design and information technology students to develop new products for the aged care and health industries. An MOU signed with Seeley International will support more experiential learning opportunities for students. And in June, UniSA and the Port Adelaide Football Club sealed the deal on a high performance partnership focussed on research and education in elite sport. Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd, will also be providing an important advisory role in the state as one of the newest appointments to the South Australian Economic Development Board. And with education and economic development as a focus, UniSA Business School launched its new Centre for Business Growth in September. The Centre will provide educational support for small to medium enterprises to lift business growth and efficiency Australia-wide. The University’s research footprint also grew a little larger in January when it opened the doors of the new UniSA Institute for Choice in Sydney. The Institute conducts leading edge research that blends marketing, economics, mathematics, engineering, sociology and psychology. Globally focussed, the Institute has industry partners around the world including the World Bank and major international companies. Both initiatives build on the growing reputation for excellence of the UniSA Business School, which was again awarded EQUIS accreditation in 2014 and another 5-Star rating for its MBA. The University also launched its European Union Centre for Mobilities, Migrations and Cultural Transformations. The research hub will focus on migration, asylum and protection issues, the protection of citizens the safeguarding of rights, the preservation of borders and related matters of security and justice. Big wins in the first quarter of 2014 included a 6.67 million dollar grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to lead vital new research into leukemia for UniSA’s Centre for Cancer Biology. February research funding announcements saw UniSA become the national HQ for an 88 million dollar cooperative research centre in Big Data. The Data to Decision CRC focussing on national security has been funded for five years. And in October, UniSA won a further 6.8 million dollars from the NHMRC to support key projects and research fellowships in South Australia, tackling a range of issues from physical inactivity to the impact of type 2 diabetes on indigenous health and mortality. In the United States, UniSA’s Institute for Telecommunications Research took the world by storm when its Global Sensor Network was voted Technology of the Year 2013 by the Wireless Innovation Forum, beating the likes of NASA to win the prestigious prize. In August, the university was delighted to announce the appointment of one of Australia’s most decorated scientists and former South Australian of the Year, physicist Professor Tanya Monro. Professor Monro will take up the position of Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research. And in September, the University appointed the head of Cancer Council Australia, and leading oncologist and bioethicist, Professor Ian Olver, to lead the Sansom Institute for Health Research. In November, the Samstag Museum was pleased to announce the appointment of former minister in the Howard government and former ambassador to Italy, Amanda Vanstone to its board. Graduations onshore and off were star studded events this year. The University welcomed international and national leaders into its alumni community, awarding honorary doctorates to NASA Chief Administrator, Major General Charles Bolden, former Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Høj feminist author, Anne Summers, best selling science fantasy author, Sir Terry Pratchett, primatologist and UN messenger of peace, Dame Jane Goodall, former Governor General of Australia, Dame Quentin Bryce, human rights advocate, Brian Burdekin, former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, one of the fathers of the internet and Google Chief Evangelist, Vint Cerf, and to internationally renowned winemaker and industry innovator, Wolf Blass. And in November, Wolf Blass announced a generous commitment to wine industry research and future innovation with a $350,000 research scholarship program. In Hong Kong, the University celebrated a 20 year partnership with Hong Kong Baptist University, announcing 20 new joint scholarships to mark the occasion. And in Singapore, UniSA celebrated a new partnership with the launch of the M2 Academy on Orchard Road where it will be offering full degree programs from next year. UniSA students Mitchell Francis, Michelle Howie and Anthony Randell have been successful in securing opportunities for educational and internship experiences through the new Colombo Plan. In 2015 they will be heading off to Fiji, Korea and Malaysia for their experience of a lifetime. The University now has five thriving international alumni chapters following the foundation of the new China alumni chapter in October. And at home, UniSA launched its first indigenous alumni chapter, The Deadly Alumni. Our global community has a reason to be proud of the association with the University of South Australia, which was named in the top 300 world universities in the Times Higher Education Rankings. The university is now the youngest Australian university in that group and for world institutions under 50 years old, it is ranked in the top 50 globally. With an enterprising attitude, the University of South Australia continues to successfully pursue the ambitions outlined in its strategic plan, Crossing the Horizon.