This year’s rankings indicate the relative strength of the Australia’s university system and reflect the sector’s significant investment in continuous improvement; in 2012, Australia was just one of two countries to increase the number of universities represented in the top 100.
Welcoming the news, Chief Executive of Universities Australia, Belinda Robinson, said the country’s improved standings in the 2012 ARWU is apt recognition of the high-quality of Australian research and teaching programs.
“This is an outstanding result for Australia and demonstrates the nation’s commitment to having a world class university system providing teaching and research at the highest levels,” said Ms Robinson
“Universities’ central role in creating opportunities for all Australians to study in a world class higher education system should be acknowledged and celebrated,” Ms Robinson said.
The University of Queensland Foundation Year (UQFY) program prepares international students for entry into the first year of all undergraduate courses at UQ. Students from more than 40 countries are enrolled on this course. Graduates enter all faculties of UQ including Arts, Sciences, Business Economics and Law, Engineering, Architecture and IT, Health Sciences, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences. Graduates of the program also enjoy a high measure of academic success at UQ. Studies undertaken indicate that UQFY alumni have an average GPA higher than that of other international students.
Since the program commenced, UQFY has become one of the most respected foundation programs in Australia with more than 85% of students continuing on to study undergraduate programs at UQ. To date, more than 3,000 undergraduate students who have entered UQ through UQFY.
The University of Queensland (Ranked third in Australia) was ranked as one of the top 50 universities in the world by the QS World University Rankings. The quality of the delivery can be judged by the teaching staff and their experience. Here are some of the teachers on the Foundation programmes:
Dr Peter Munro BSc (UQ, Hons Chem) PhD (UQ, Biochem) – CHEMISTRY CO-ORDINATOR
Peter taught for ten years in primary and lower-secondary Catholic schools in country Queensland. He enjoyed teaching but also wanted to gain a Bachelor of Science. He entered The University of Queensland as a mature age student in 1985 and studied chemistry, mathematics and physics. He enjoyed university so much that he stayed on to complete his PhD in 1994.
He moved to the USA for three years to undertake research work in the computer simulation of living systems. He returned to teaching in 2000 and taught maths and science in various high schools around Brisbane. He started teaching on the Foundation programme in 2008. His varied background gives him a good insight into the different paths open to university students. He enjoyed playing rugby and cricket when he was younger. Now, he is a keen bridge player.
Mr Max King – B.Arts (Mathematics), Teaching Diploma – DIRECTOR OF STUDIES
Teaches Mathematics on the UQ Foundation Year program since its inception in 1998. Mathematics has always been one of his passions and he really enjoys the interaction with students in the classroom. Some people tell him he is crazy because he also enjoys the timetabling part of his job.
It is treated like a mathematical puzzle and he tries to come up with the best possible solution to the problem to ensure that students are able to select a variety of subjects and not miss out because of conflicts.
Mr David Hooper – BAppSc (Biol)-QUT, Grad Dip Teaching (Science)-QUT – BIOLOGY CO-ORDINATOR
David has been a science teacher since 1985, with much of this time spent as the Head of Science in various public schools throughout Queensland. He has been the Biology Co-ordinator since 2000 and enjoys interacting with his students and how they politely laugh at all of his jokes!
The field excursion to North Stradbroke Island is a highlight of the course as it allows students to work with teachers outside of class and interact with nature. Most of his spare time is spent with his family, but he also has a long-standing interest in aviation, nature conservation and food! His latest passion is travel, and he has recently visited Hong Kong, Japan and Malaysia.
Mr Theo Skordilis – MEd (Leadership), BEd(Phys/Chem), Dip Teach (Sc/Ma) – PHYSICS CO-ORDINATOR
Theo coordinates and teaches the Physics program and has also taught Chemistry for many years. Being a migrant and of Greek origin, Theo is well aware of the language, social and emotional needs of international students. Theo is a very experienced and innovative teacher having worked in many private colleges since 1985.
Source: Sunday Times, 21 Augusrt 2011
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