Message from the Vice-Chancellor – 23 September

I’m writing to check in with you as we approach the end of semester 2. We’ve all had many challenges to navigate and overcome this year, and I hope you have been able to remain focussed on your studies during the semester.

I want to remind you about our student wellbeing services and provide an important update on the University’s strategy for the future, 2020 graduations, and our plans 2021 learning and teaching.

Student support 

As always, I encourage all students to make use of our Wellbeing Services should you need extra support. All Student Wellbeing Services, including Counselling, remain open to support you. You can make an appointment for Counselling, Disability Advisors or wellbeing support.

As we near the end of Semester 2 and you start completing your final assignments and assessments, I also want to remind you that our academic support services are available online.

Strategic Plan 2020 – 2030 

I’m pleased to let you know that University Council has approved our new La Trobe Strategic Plan 2020-2030 and a summary Plan on a Page

We’ve developed the new plan to help guide the University’s response to COVID-19. It sets our future directions and aims to help the University to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis as a more resilient, focused and efficient institution. The plan defines how we can more sharply focus on the needs of our communities, play to our strengths in teaching and research, and stay true to our core values. 

Our students are at the heart of everything we do at La Trobe, and the new Strategic Plan continues to put student needs at the centre of our work. We are committed to providing you with an exceptional experience in a stimulating learning and teaching environment that gives the flexibility to study in a way that suits your needs and lifestyle. 

The plan will guide our efforts to help you graduate with the skills, aptitudes and confidence to go out into the world and pursue successful careers. 

I hope you will find some time to read the Plan – or at least, our summary Plan on a Page – and that you will be pleased to see our commitment to focus on our students and to continue making a difference in the community.

Graduations

The COVID-19 restrictions mean we can’t schedule and invite eligible students to attend graduation ceremonies as we would normally be doing at this time of year. However, we are still exploring opportunities to celebrate your achievements towards the end of the year. 

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 restrictions and making sure that our plans meet the requirements set by the Victorian Government. We will contact you via email as soon as we have updated information on graduations for this year, and appreciate your understanding and support as we work through the options. 

2021 learning and teaching 

I know many of you have asked how teaching will be delivered in Semester 1 next year. We will continue to follow the public health advice and restrictions, and at this stage anticipate being able to offer a mix of face-to-face and online teaching in Semester 1, 2021 across all of our campuses. The most likely current scenario is that there will continue to be some requirements for physical distancing and reductions in room capacities early next year.  

We very much look forward to welcoming all of our students back onto our campuses once it is safe and practical to do so. Your health, safety and wellbeing remain our top priority, and we will continue to ensure that University operations comply with the Government’s public health directions.  I wish you the best of luck with the rest of the semester and your final assessments for the year.

Professor John Dewar AO, Vice-Chancellor and President

La Trobe University