Learning and Teaching
'The true test of the university must be based on the achievement of its graduates at the height of their careers, when they have assumed the responsibilities of leadership in the solution of the wider and more far reaching problems of civilization… The true measure of a university's greatness is the total effect it has on human welfare and progress.'
Professor David Myers, 'A new University in a changing world', from La Trobe University: Opening Ceremony and Inaugural Lectures, 1967.
Distinctive curriculum: The La Trobe Framework
We want students to choose La Trobe because our distinctive and high quality degrees will best equip them to understand and engage with the global issues of today and embark on the most interesting and rewarding careers available. Our graduates will be 'work ready', 'world ready' and 'future ready'.
We will re-emphasise the sense that La Trobe is the right choice of university for intelligent committed people who want to make a difference to their world. Our graduates will be renowned for their employability, for their deep understanding of the most pressing challenges facing the global community, and for their ability to address those challenges intelligently and decisively. Our academic activities will increase the capabilities and choices of future generations and prepare them to be ethical global citizens.
We will achieve this through a distinctive curriculum framework, the La Trobe Framework, which will emphasise breadth of learning and systematic exposure to the major challenges students will face over the course of their lifetimes. The core ingredients of the framework are:
La Trobe Hallmark Program
In addition to our current suite of degrees, we will develop a Hallmark Program that will address some of the nation's, region's and world's most pressing issues.
Being the best in these areas will simply mean studying at La Trobe, and being taught by the best teachers and researchers in the field.
The Hallmark Program will:
Our Hallmark Program will be subject to ongoing review.
La Trobe Essentials
|These will be required features of all La Trobe coursework degrees, either embedded in the curriculum or as required subjects, that will ensure the La Trobe graduate is equipped with the skills and knowledge that can be applied in the workplaces of today and tomorrow. Through the La Trobe Essentials, our students will address major current social, economic, technological and political issues and be able to adapt and apply their learning to the challenges of the future. These will build on and support existing graduate capabilities in Design for Learning.|
La Trobe Enrichment programs
|Opportunities will be provided for all students to participate in innovation and application in the workplace, study abroad, and become involved in research and development projects and enriching partnerships.|
Design for Learning as a University-wide curriculum initiative
|The initiative will continue to support the development of core graduate capabilities, including critical thinking and creative problem solving.|
Radical Learning Project and flexible learning
|The student experience will be redefined through a 'Radical Learning Project', which will reimagine teaching and learning at La Trobe by drawing on rich educational technologies and external partners. There will be increased use of technology-enabled online learning, drawing on the rich resource of online educational resources relevant to student learning, blended with more traditional face to face delivery.|
High quality learning and teaching
La Trobe students, with their busy lives inside and outside the University, will study in flexible ways that suit their diverse needs for different styles, times, paces and places of learning. As partners in their learning, La Trobe students will be encouraged to develop strong collegial relationships with academic staff and their fellow students.
La Trobe academic staff will be excellent teachers. High quality teaching will be expected, recognised and rewarded. A Teaching Scholar career pathway will be developed for our outstanding teachers who wish to provide significant leadership in teaching and research, to support our culture of teaching excellence.
Our programs will be informed by appropriate and highly qualified advisory boards drawn from relevant industries and professions, so that our graduates are well prepared for the world of work.
A high quality student experience
La Trobe students will have the benefit of an extensive range of enrichment experiences within, or alongside, assessed curriculum. These activities will complement more formal learning experiences and help students shape their future. La Trobe students will enjoy high quality campus facilities and seamless and efficient student services.
A growing and diverse student body
La Trobe is a mid-size university located in areas of rapid population growth. To meet the needs of our communities, we have an obligation to grow further. This growth will give us the ability to cater for all of the students who are able to benefit from a La Trobe education—high achieving school graduates from across Australia, mature-aged students, career-change students, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, Indigenous students, those seeking professional degrees, and, importantly, those from the regions we serve, including the fast-growing suburbs of northern Melbourne.
We plan to grow to around 33,000 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (EFTSL) by 2017. This represents an increase in student load of approximately 1800 EFTSL at our regional campuses, and of approximately 6,000 EFTSL at Bundoora and the Melbourne CBD locations. We will do this by increasing:
- Participation rates in higher education amongst the communities we serve
- Our market share of students coming to university
- Our retention rates
- Increasing the number of fee-paying students we attract so that they represent a larger proportion of our total load.
We will increase the number and proportion of domestic fee-paying graduate coursework students to about 6 per cent of projected total load by 2017 (from 3.7 per cent in 2011). Total postgraduate coursework load will reach 17 per cent of projected total load by 2017 (from 15 per cent in 2011). This will require strengthening our graduate courses through new and refreshed offerings that anticipate and address clear market need, a new inner city campus presence, improved marketing and recruitment, and greater use of flexible or online learning.
We will continue to recruit significant numbers of onshore international students and aim to increase this to 6,000 EFTSL by 2017. We will broaden the range of countries from which our international students come, to make our campuses culturally richer and more diverse. We will set a maximum of 35 per cent of students coming from any single country, with at least an additional four countries each representing 10 per cent or more of the international cohort. This is an achievable level of diversity given current patterns of recruitment.
Diversity of our student body
To achieve this growth while maintaining entry standards commensurate with a world-class university, we will become more appealing to high-potential students (measured by ATAR scores or by other means); will increase the proportion of these students in our commencing cohorts; and will attract a larger share of these students state-wide.
We have a proud tradition of enrolling and retaining students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds. While La Trobe's low SES participation rate is higher than the State and National averages, improvement is still required to reach the level of excellence set by the Australian Government for the state of Victoria.
La Trobe is closely linked with the Koori populations in Melbourne and regional Victoria. The University will be a Victorian and national leader in the support of Koori education pathways and the Koori Academy of Excellence in Melbourne's north. An Indigenous Participation Strategy will lead to new education facilities, academic leadership and educational support programs.
Learning and teaching targets
Growth and Diversity
Increase student numbers
|25,989 EFTSL overall||33,000 EFTSL overall|
|Increase the number of students studying at a regional site||5,470 EFTSL at regional sites||7,300 EFTSL at regional sites|
|Increase proportion of domestic, fee-paying, graduate coursework students||3.7% of total load||6% of projected total load|
|Increase proportion of postgraduate coursework students||15% of total load||17% of projected total load|
|Increase the total number of onshore international students||4,720 EFTSL||6,000 EFTSL|
|Increase the range of source countries of our total international students||1 country accounted for more than 35% of the total international cohort|
(China – 38.8%)
|No more than 35% of international students from any single country|
At least an additional four countries each representing 10% or more of the international cohort
|Increase the proportion of domestic undergraduate students from low-socioeconomic background||18.6%|
|Increase the proportion of Indigenous domestic undergraduate students||0.6%||0.9%|
|Increase La Trobe's share of Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre first preference applicants||12.6%||14%|
|Increase La Trobe's share of students with an ATAR of 80+||7.1%||12%|
|Reduce the proportion of undergraduate courses and subjects below the 'low enrolment' threshold||4% of UG courses|
10.7% of UG subjects
|No more than 2% of UG courses|
No more than 5% of UG subjects
Quality of the Student Experience
|Expand the number of La Trobe students who undertake an overseas student mobility program as part of their degree||20%|
|Increase the number of subjects offered by the University in blended delivery mode||At least 60%|
|Increase student retention and student success in all Fields of Education||Top 12 nationally in student retention and success in each Field of Education in which we offer degrees|
|Improve student satisfaction as measured by the Course Experience Questionnaire||Top 12 nationally in 'overall student satisfaction' in each Field of Education in which we offer degrees|
|Improve student employment outcomes as measured by the Graduate Destination Survey||Achieve student employment rates equivalent to levels at least twelfth nationally for each for each Field of Education in which we offer degrees|
Future related plans
Further detail of the strategies and actions to be pursued in Learning and Teaching will be found in:
- Learning and Teaching Plan 2013 – 2017 [PDF 348KB]
- Student Load Plan 2013 – 2015
- Radical Learning Project
- Indigenous Participation Strategy