FEDERATION University Australia aims to increase its student load by five per cent each year, as outlined in its interim charter.
Professor David Battersby, vice chancellor of University of Ballarat – to be known as FedUni in January next year – said the goal was based on a five-year business plan based on growth in education.
“Students are our main income, so if we grow our students so to can we grow our staff, courses and facilities,” Professor Battersby said.
“Given that the university operates in a demand-driven environment, a five per cent annual growth in the number of higher education students was judged to be reasonable and achievable.”
FedUni will open on January 1, an amalgamation of the University of Ballarat and Monash University’s Gippsland campus.
The interim charter also stated the university wanted to develop a key performance indicator for the percentage of low socio-economic status (SES) students and indigenous students.
“As a nation, the proportion of low SES students attending university has consistently been identified as a crucial problem.”
He said often regional students and low SES students went hand in hand and it was important to increase their participation in higher education.
“Three out of four UB domestic students are first-generation students that have attended university.”
He said a large number of indigenous students couldn’t go to university.
“We’re putting strategies in place to increase the indigenous students attending so we can provide excellence and access for all.”
Professor Battersby said the document set out the strategic framework for the university over the coming years.
“It gives us orientation and focus, which is why it’s such an important document.”