Victoria U extends transformative first-year model to all students

In a move it says will, “reconceptualise tertiary education in the twenty-first century,”

Victoria University is to roll-out its block-teaching model to all undergraduate years and postgraduate coursework degrees by 2020.

The model, introduced for commencing students this year, presents units one at a time, taught in-depth over four weeks. Vice Chancellor VC Peter Dawkins describes the plan as “one of the biggest student-centred, staff-led and community integrated transformation programs ever undertaken in higher education in Australia.”

VU says the decision is based on the block-focus approach’s success with 2018’s first-year class. While assessment standards are unchanged, pass rates are up from 72% last year to 90% in block 1 of 2018 and 85% in block 2.

The new approach also relies on “access to academics with an education focus who have the right skills and abilities to support students’ needs best,” (CMM March 13 2017).

The original intent of the new model was to help VU commencing students who were unfamiliar with study and struggled with conventional semester-long subjects. “Block timetable enables students to accelerate their learning, resulting in earlier graduations if desired, slow down their learning because of other life events, or spread their study across the whole year, dipping in and out as necessary, to better combine study, work and lifestyle,” VU claims.