Vice-Chancellor reflects on the achievements of 2006 

Vice Chanellor Professor Helen Garnett with Territory FM hosts Daryl Manzie and Peter Perrin.

Charles Darwin University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Helen Garnett, reflected on the university’s achievements this year in an interview on Territory FM’s live broadcast from the Casuarina shopping centre last Friday (December 15).

She said that as well as winning the NT’s Training Provider of the Year award, CDU students and staff took out many of the individual awards. CDU’s efforts in Indigenous training were also recognised by the Northern Land Council’s Employer Training Excellence Award.

Professor Garnett said the use of technology in education had also been recognised in a recent award, reflecting the university’s determination to improve and expand its delivery of education online for the best online educational website.

She said it was now possible to study for a law degree online, and that significant improvements in online delivery were being made all the time as other courses were brought within the reach of people not able to attend the campus.

“The business degree is now online and others are coming online,” Professor Garnett said. “This will not replace traditional avenues of education or the advantages of face-to-face discussions, lectures and tutorials, but we do recognise that many students do not have the opportunity for direct contact with their lecturers.

"Now our courses are becoming available any place, any time, and you’d be surprised how many students around the country are enrolled at CDU.

“We’re trying to enhance their interaction with staff through the use of mobile phones and other online services.”

Professor Garnett said the university was keen for its students to share in globally-oriented education and that students would be encouraged to study overseas if this was possible for them.

However, for those who could not travel overseas, CDU planned to join with other universities to offer students problem-solving exercises on a global scale. “We want our students to share in globally-oriented education as much as possible,” she said.

Professor Garnett said that the emphasis for the future of VTE courses would be in providing a variety of pathways to study, so that students could come into the training system regardless of their background or experience.

She said CDU was always looking to foster its association with Indigenous organisations and people and this was evident through increased Indigenous staff and student numbers.

In terms of research, CDU was recognised for its ability to solve complex problems, and ranked fifth in the country in research grants.

The latest analysis showed CDU as number one in Australia in the value of competitive research grants per higher education staff member.