Academic advising conference hosted by the University

July 15 / 161


Last week the University hosted the NACADA International Advising Conference 2015 – Partnering for Student Success, the first of its kind in Australia. 


The conference, which focused on academic advising in higher education contexts, drew out research and practice threads in hot topic areas such as employability, academic progress (‘at risk’), international student experience, retention and engagement.


With more than 305 delegates and 80 presentations, the conference attracted academic and professional staff involved in higher education from 17 countries. 


Drawn by a strong program, attendees represented a range of disciplines including: student engagement research, educational outcomes and assessment, careers and high impact activity integration, student learning and language, the first year experience, technology in advising and the student experience. Showcasing Parkville campus venues The Spot and the Alan Gilbert Building, delegates were also treated to an excursion in the city, with the conference moving to supporting partner RMIT University for an afternoon on the first day.


The stars of the show were undoubtedly students, with a generous sharing of research material and resources adding buzz to discussed techniques and tools for improving student experience and outcomes. Daily plenary sessions were a highlight, featuring: NACADA Executive Director Charlie Nutt, pioneer of student advising in the US George D Kuh, and UK specialist Liz Thomas. Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis delivered the keynote speech at the Conference Dinner, making the important case for the future of education within the ‘bricks and mortar’ university, alongside and in tandem with the growth of online learning. 


A critical outcome of the conference has been the commitment to a collaborative extension into Oceania of the NACADA ‘family’. Expressions of interest will be sought of Australian and New Zealand institutions to get the conversation started.


Story by Megan Dench

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