The University hosted a major delegation of 23 representatives from twelve top United States institutions on Monday 2 November. Delegation members included University of Melbourne partners such as Duke University and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; as well as key revenue feeders for study abroad places. The delegation was bought together by the Arcadia College of Global Studies and the visit was principally focussed on how STEM education at undergraduate level is conducted in Australian universities, and how an international educational experience enhances education.
The visit began at the Melbourne School of Design with a networking luncheon hosted by Professor Richard James PVC (Academic), who welcomed the delegation and spoke briefly about the challenges and advantages of Australian higher education including a broad overview of the Melbourne Model. In recognition of the special opportunity to meet with study abroad and research contacts in the United States, the event was very well attended with some special guests including Professor Peter McPhee, former Provost for the University of Melbourne and architect of the Melbourne Model; as well as Dr Jane Elith, Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the School of Biosciences, and winner of the 2015 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year.
Following the networking luncheon, the delegation attended a series of other activities planned to promote and define the Melbourne Model including course curriculum; internationalisation and the student experience such as: Mobility workshop; Science and Engineering Roundtable; a tour of Engineering labs and an Art and Science workshop at the Ian Potter Museum. The rich and diverse visit program was made possible by the generous contributions of approximately 40 University of Melbourne staff that attended, hosted and supported the events. Their contributions are sincerely appreciated, particularly as they were made during a week when staff numbers are low due to the lure of Melbourne Cup festivities and the non-teaching week.