Many of today’s students see a ‘job for life’ as a relic from another century, and expect to move through a range of careers.
When they come to UQ, we partner with them to develop their capacities to be satisfied and to succeed – which for some will mean building careers for themselves and for others, in their home countries and globally.
With the aims of not only answering society’s changing demands, but of also anticipating future changes, UQ is expanding study choices for highly motivated students who seek timeless proficiencies such as critical thinking and logical argument, as well as contemporary knowledge and contacts needed for career opportunities.
An example of our new programs is the Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics, which enrolled its first students in 2016. A four-year honours program, it is an Australian first, suiting students who are accomplished in mathematics and can master fast-tracked learning.
It includes a final-year choice of either a research pathway or a profession-oriented pathway, which will connect students with employers. It is already so popular with high achievers that it has one of the loftiest academic entry levels of any UQ undergraduate degree.
Other innovative programs for graduates and undergraduates have begun in 2017, and are attracting very bright students. Examples include the Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics; the Bachelor of Advanced Humanities; the Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology; the Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice; the Master of International Relations/Master of International Law; and the Master of Data Science.
The last mentioned pools expertise not only in computing, statistics and mathematics, but also in ethics, law and communication, among others.
Like all UQ programs with an industry orientation, it will generate graduates who are technically adept, attuned to the wider societal implications of their work, and ready to tackle difficult global problems.
Graduates from these and all programs will stand on the shoulders of alumni who have earned UQ a handsome reputation for creating well-rounded graduates.
It is a reputation built also by past UQ staff and leaders, none more so than a former Vice-Chancellor and President, Emeritus Professor John Hay AC. John’s death in November prompted sadness and tributes from alumni and friends across the world, and significant numbers attended commemorations in Melbourne and at UQ’s St Lucia campus.
John was among Australia’s most eloquent champions of excellence in higher education, and reflection upon his legacy reinforced for me the imperative to defend excellence, and empower students and graduates to be enlightening agents in an era that some fear is ‘post-truth’.
Professor Peter Høj
Vice-Chancellor and President