ALTC Award Winners Panel

Wednesday 30 June | 9am - 10:30am
Intercontinental Adelaide, Banksia Room

The Panel will be facilitated by Dr Claire Macken, Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning), School of Law, Deakin University.

Speaker 1

Associate Professor Syed Mahfuzul Aziz

University of South Australia


Prime Minister’s Award Recipient – University Teacher of the Year 2009

Syed Mahfuzul Aziz has been teaching in the electronics and computer engineering disciplines for more than two decades. He has developed and taught courses on integrated circuit design and computer hardware design at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. His teaching methods focus on the development of student independent learning, problem-solving and critical thinking abilities. Mahfuz assists students in developing these qualities in a self-directed manner using an innovative project-based learning approach. He has used this method effectively to address students’ academic and cultural diversity. Engaging students in lectures, tutorials and assessments has been a particular focus of his teaching. To assist students in appreciating the importance of disciplinary research and develop design skills using the latest technologies, Mahfuz has systematically integrated the outcomes of his collaborative research with leading European institutions into educational circuit design tools. His teaching resources are used in many institutions across the world. His research interests include high performance integrated circuit (IC) and computer hardware design, and testability and modelling of next generation IC technologies.

Speaker 2

Mrs Debbie Lees

Monash University


Award for Programs that enhance learning – The First-Year Experience


Program: Monash South Africa Foundation Program


The Monash South Africa Foundation Programme (MSAFP) has been in operation since 2002 and is designed as a pathway to a Monash undergraduate degree. The programme enables students whose scores do not meet the requirements for direct entry into an undergraduate degree programme to bridge the gap between their highest education qualification and the academic qualifications accepted by Monash South Africa.

The demands of the Foundation Programme prepare students for the pace and depth of undergraduate study as well as the social transition into Higher Education.

The programme has enjoyed high success rates for mostly African International Students from diverse countries and cultures. The programme has validating evidence to show that students who pass through the MSAFP are being prepared for undergraduate studies to the same degree as those entering directly into mainstream study: first year average marks and average progress rates do not differ between the two groups. Evidence also suggests that the undergraduate admission requirements for MSAFP students are aligned with that required for other mainstream applicants.

This highly successful Programme has provided epistemological access for students – ensuring access that leads to academic success by focusing on engagement with content and giving students time to come to grips with the construction of ‘appropriate’ academic knowledge by integrating necessary academic skills. The programme contributes directly to one of the critical policy goals of South African Higher Education, that of access; by improving the efficiency of the South African Higher Education system in terms of graduate output.

Speaker 3

Associate Professor Alf Lizzio

Griffith University


Award for Programs that enhance learning – The First-Year Experience

Program: Succeeding @ Griffith


Since its establishment in 1971, Griffith's objective has been to attract, retain, and graduate successful students from diverse backgrounds. Across most Australian universities there are activities directed towards the first year experience, however, Succeeding@Griffith is different in that it is an institution-wide model, supported through central university funds.

Succeeding@Griffith has developed out of internationally recognised research undertaken by Griffith staff about strategies that are effective in increasing undergraduate student retention. It is based on a conceptual framework for the commencing student experience – the ‘five senses of success’ (students’ capability, connectedness, purpose, resourcefulness, and understanding of academic culture) and provides a shared language for staff and students to discuss their needs and experiences. A range of resources, processes, and self-help tools are provided to first year students to orient them to university life.

A number of individual initiatives have been brought together and reoriented within the program to supplement the web-based and print resources for first year students. Succeeding@Griffith is also underpinned by a shared commitment to student service enabling staff to take action at the course, program, school, and institutional levels to enhance the student experience.

The provision of a learning and teaching performance allocation in the university budget creates a significant incentive for faculties and groups to embed the Succeeding@Griffith model and within its context to develop, pilot and test other retention-related strategies.


Speaker 4

Ms Liz Smith

Charles Sturt University


Award for Programs that enhance learning – The First-Year Experience Program:


Study Link - Preparation for University Study


Study Link is a nationally recognised, award winning enabling program which has demonstrated a sustained capacity to positively influence the first year experience of students at Charles Sturt University. The program consists of 18 self-paced, non-credit bearing subjects aimed to build confidence, skills and knowledge in a supportive environment prior to commencing university study. Designed to enhance the first year experience by facilitating students’ academic transition to university study, the program is free of charge to Commonwealth supported students. Study Link is delivered by distance education and offered throughout the year, with students encouraged to complete subjects between university enrolment and commencement of their first academic session. A core of generic transition subjects is complemented by discipline specific subjects that have been written to closely align with credit subjects with high attrition rates. A guiding factor in the development of Study Link was to ensure equivalent opportunities for university preparation were available for distance education students as those studying on campus. Increasing numbers of students are mature-aged and already in the workforce, so the ability to develop skills for successful study whilst maintaining existing responsibilities is critical. The program in this respect is a social justice initiative. Rigorously evaluated, Study Link provides a benchmark for the sustainable and scalable delivery of high quality university preparation programs. Student and staff feedback, ongoing participation and success rates point to the success of the program in increasing skills, knowledge and confidence, and positively influencing the first year experience.





workshops keynote

Top page | NCSEHE Panel | Publishing details | ALTC Panel