Associate Professor Ross Barnard and Dr Damian Hine, 2006 ALTC Discipline-based Initiatives - Discipline-based Investigations

Our AUTC Biotechnology study (Phases 1 and 2) identified a range of areas that could benefit from a common approach by universities nationally. A national network of biotechnology educators needs to be solidified through more regular communication, biennial meetings, and development of methods for sharing effective teaching practices and industry placement strategies, for example. Our aims in this proposed study are to: a. Revisit the state of undergraduate biotechnology degree programs nationally to determine their rate of change in content, growth or shrinkage in student numbers (as the biotech industry has had its ups and downs in recent years), and sustainability within their institutions in light of career movements of key personnel, tightening budgets, and governmental funding priorities. b. Explore the feasibility of a range of initiatives to benefit university biotechnology education to determine factors such as how practical each one is, how much buy-in could be gained from potentially participating universities and industry counterparts, and how sustainable such efforts are. One of many such initiatives arising in our AUTC Biotech study was a national register of industry placements for final-year students. c. During scoping and feasibility study, to involve our colleagues who are teaching in biotechnology – and contributing disciplines. Their involvement is meant to yield not only meaningful insight into how to strengthen biotechnology teaching and learning but also to generate ‘buy-in’ on any initiatives that result from this effort.


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