This is a time of fundamental global change in teaching and learning, and the possibilities for university educators are both challenging and exciting. There is significant scope for bold tertiary institutions to harness new technologies and to support a deeper encounter between student and lecturer. We positioned ourselves at the forefront of that engagement in 2013 with the appointment of a new Pro Vice-Chancellor with a pioneering reputation in Technology Enhanced Learning.
We offer a 'next generation' university experience which challenges and inspires. Staff are supported to develop the skills required to become outstanding educators. Over the past year we remained at the spearhead of current pedagogy through the development of new programs which build on existing strengths and pre-empt market demand, and through new initiatives in our Work Integrated Learning programs.
Our reputation for teaching excellence is established and our programs are held in high esteem globally. This was reflected in increases across all levels of international study in 2013, with 7,683 students overall enrolled from 117 countries. International engagement also grew, with a 70 per cent rise in exchanges and 53 new partnerships signed with 18 different countries.
Indeed, engagement is an essential element of the University's vision and is an integral part of our commitment to equity and excellence. The relationship between student and University extends beyond graduation through our strong alumni association and its linkages with industry and community. In 2013 the University of Newcastle Foundation welcomed 27 new donors who made 14 new scholarships possible – their contributions provide opportunities for others to succeed in higher education.