New Business degree study area for 2009

New Business degree study area for 2009

21 Nov 2008

Unique major to focus on sustainable resource management.

A new major study area within the Bachelor of Business degree will be offered at La Trobe’s Albury-Wodonga campus, commencing in 2009.

The unique Bachelor of Business (Sustainable Resource Management), offered only at the Albury-Wodonga campus, has been developed after consultation with industry experts.

The concept of sustainability embodies business solutions that reflect a composite of economic, environmental and social or community concerns.  It is increasingly used as a yardstick for all types of projects.

The Bachelor of Business (Sustainable Resource Management) will provide a solid grounding in the traditional areas of business such as economics, management, accounting and finance, whilst emphasising the importance of multi-disciplinary approaches to some of the problems confronting contemporary organisations.

As Heather Ridout, chief executive of the Australian Industry Group recently noted in The Australian (October 8), “[r]esponding to climate change will require a fundamental shift in Australia's approach to management and workforce skills… How effectively business responds depends heavily on having the right skills”. In addition, The Australian (May 3-4 2008) reports strong demand from prospective students for courses in climate change and the like, and CSIRO notes that there has been a ‘strategic shift towards sustainability’ that is likely to intensify in the future (The Australian May 3-4 2008).  A further testament to the pressing nature of the demand for skilled expertise in this field can be found in the Murray-Darling Basin Commission Independent Audit Group (IAG) which noted the following in May 2007:

The IAG believes the issue of availability of skilled human resources to be the critical constraint in the delivery of the Living Murray. This situation is not unique to The Living Murray and applies more widely in natural resource management and other (water-related) fields (IAG 2007, p. 2).

“It was an important step to consult with industry in the development of this major, “stated Dr Tim Clune, Manager Sustainability and Environment, North East Water.

“Graduates of this new program will not only have developed high level skills and knowledge in business, but will be able to analyse sustainability issues from a number of perspectives.  They will understand and respect the potential contributions of different approaches to problem solving, and will have an appreciation for the various research and decision-making methods employed by professionals across industries.”

In keeping with a multi-disciplinary approach, this major draws on subjects from other faculties, in addition to a foundation first year subject that is taught co-operatively across faculties.  It also includes a third year subject, Managing for Climate Change, which draws upon students’ skills and knowledge from all previous studies in solving a actual work-based problem.

“The Albury-Wodonga Campus is well positioned to deliver this major, and has significant research strengths in the areas of environmental management, particularly water.  This major will provide further opportunities to build on established research synergies with the Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre, the Department of Environmental Management and Ecology and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, said Dr Sue O’Keefe, Associate Head of the School of Business.

For further information about the new major, contact Dr Sue O’Keefe on (02) 6024 9850.

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