2019 has been a significant year for QUT as it will have been for many of our alumni. I hope it has been fruitful and rewarding for you all.
We have made some major announcements, including those that really speak to our continued focus on QUT-industry collaboration and research with tangible outcomes.
Our commitment to preparing our students for work now and in the future will never waiver. We fully understand that the nature of work and the skills required to undertake that work are constantly evolving. We see this within the operations of the university, through our research and in our existing strong relationships with industry and our alumni.
The appointment of Dr Xiaoling Liu as our new Chancellor is reflective of our desire for even stronger connections with industry. We have been very fortunate over the past years with our current Chancellor Tim Fairfax AC sharing with us his wealth of knowledge of regional and rural Queensland, agriculture and the arts, and for his generous support of students through our Learning Potential Fund. I am also personally grateful to Tim for staying in the role slightly longer than originally intended to enable my smooth transition into the role of Vice-Chancellor and President.
While coming from a different business background, that of technology and mineral processing, we look forward to Dr Liu’s guidance including on how innovation, automation and technology will impact our preparations for our students and the university.
Dr Liu’s management and operational experience over recent years saw her rise to become CEO and President of Rio Tinto Minerals in the United States, which, with her most recent governance experience on large listed companies, will be of tremendous value to our council and management team.
Our vision for QUT is for a university that is fully connected to the real world and that includes a desire for stronger connections to our many alumni spread throughout the world. Our annual Outstanding Alumni Awards enable us to celebrate well-deserved key alumni successes but there are many more alumni who inspire our students, staff and community.
We really appreciate our alumni involved in mentoring programs across our faculties, those who pave the way in their workplaces to enable our students to take part in valuable work integrated learning programs and those who undertake research and other commercial partnerships with us. And of course our many alumni who give generously to our Learning Potential Fund and other scholarship programs offer life-changing education opportunities to our students.
Our commitment to providing excellence in industry-relevant skills and engagement is also expressed through QUTeX which includes our very successful MBA and EMBA programs. Our new strategic collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management will enable our QUT Business School staff to work closely with MIT Sloan faculty on teaching, curriculum development and research as well as provide our students with specific opportunities to access immersion programs within the MIT ecosystem.
Our focus on entrepreneurship will be further boosted under this collaboration providing benefits to a wide range of undergraduate students. This is a very exciting collaboration that further deepens our links with this prestigious US institution.
Many of our alumni are updating skills and connecting with us through QUTeX short courses and professional development programs. QUT recognises that an increasing number of busy professionals require more online learning opportunities therefore we now offer a range of fully online postgraduate programs through QUT Online.
While the world of work for our students and graduates of today will differ greatly from that of tomorrow we know there will be one constant – the need for ongoing education and upskilling. This is essential for all, to not only remain relevant but to lead and be in a position to drive change. And it can’t happen without meaningful connection with industry, with you.