This group consists of the Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies at each of the ATN Universities. The group examines developments in the research education sector such as changes to the Research Training Scheme, the ongoing development of the ATN Learning Employment Aptitudes Program (LEAP), and possibilities for collaboration, the sharing of resources, benchmarking , and quality assurance in research education across the five universities.
Professor Mark Tennant - Dean, University Graduate School (UTS)
The e-Grad School Australia commenced in 2005 and builds on initiatives operated by the DDoGS to benefit research students and their supervisors in the ATN universities. Funded by the Collaboration and Structural Reform fund (DEST) and the ATN universities, the e-Grad School (eGSA)
· Provides a model for collaboration linking e-research and e-learning
eGSA provides these services to ATN universities and, on a user-pay basis, to other universities and institutions in Australia and internationally.
Provision of awards in the area of research commercialisation has been one of the key elements of eGSA since its inception. The Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation and Masters of Research Management have commenced. The online award courses are designed to meet the career needs of researchers in training and early career researchers, including students who are studying under the Australian Commercialisation Training Scheme introduced in 2006. In addition, enrolments from research administrators and managers are being attracted.
eGSA has built on the extensive core of services and activities that the ATN collaboration consistently provides for its research students. As a result, eGSA is able to offer research students e-learning opportunities in relation to the immediate needs associated with their candidature (modules in research methods; information literacy, and participation in access-grid colloquia). Other resources reflect the ATN vision of preparation of graduates for employment, addressing generic skills (ATN LEAP; career planning and positioning; and preparation for university teaching). The central role of supervisors in the research experience receives acknowledgement, through the provision of a process for supervisor development and accreditation.
Employers are telling the government what skills they expect of research graduates taking up jobs with them, and the deficits they have noted among previous employees. The Federal government has responded with policy recommendations that urge universities to find ways to assist students in gaining these skills.
ATN universities have capitalised on their opportunities for collaboration and more efficient use of resources in setting up the ATN Learning Employment Aptitude Program (LEAP). Postgraduate research students in all five universities can participate in LEAP’s online modules, designed to develop their graduate capabilities and further enhance their employment prospects
The LEAP modules address skills that business, industry and government have identified as being of prime importance for postgraduate researchers seeking employment. To make sure that potential employees have the skills that they will need to be successful, and to make them a valuable addition to any workplace, LEAP modules address areas such as:
Interest in this collaborative online initiative, and its emphasis on research student employability, has led to the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) funding an evaluation of LEAP, its processes and outcomes
Building on the success of LEAP an ATN Research website is being developed.
This will not only house LEAP, but will also contain new research modules for research degree students, and a repository for postgraduate research skills training material. This will allow ATN universities to produce graduates with a solid foundation in the skills and abilities that will serve them throughout their professional career. This project is a joint initiative of the DDoGS and LATN, working groups.