March 2015


Language Centre News

Ninety two (92) students arrived in the February Language Centre intake. Fifty of these were from a number of our Japanese institutional partners. Most students are here for a 4 week course but a growing number are staying longer for study abroad.

The Centre also hosted a 3 week study tour consisting of 18 students from our sister institution in Japan, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies. This is the 15th year they have participated in a study tour to the Centre.

Staffing Updates

Appointment of Program Convenor and Deputy Program Convenors

The following staff have been appointed to the roles of Convenor and Deputy Convenor for the next 2 years. With the growth of our English Centre in Sydney, Barbara Mansfield will now be the Convenor of our ELICOS program in Sydney and Keely McCauley will be the Deputy Convenor;

  • Janielle Wilson will be the Deputy Convenor ELICOS Programs Callaghan;
  • Michelle Mansfield will be Deputy Convenor Open Foundation Callaghan;
  • David Thompson will be the Deputy Convenor Newstep Callaghan;
  • Joyleen Christensen will be Deputy Convenor Foundation Studies Ourimbah.

These appointments will provide enhanced support to both our students and staff. We wish the appointees all the best in their new roles.

Casual Academic Contracts and UoN Academy

All casual, sessional or conjoint academic staff members are automatically members of the UON Academy. The UON Academy aims to raise the profile of the important contributions staff make and provide easy access to the information and tools needed to continue great work. Academy members are viewed as a University-wide workforce in the same way as ongoing staff.

Changes to improve IT access issues between and across staff contracts have recently been made. Once casual academic contract cease, the staff member will retain IT access for 90 days, provided a new contract is issued prior to mid-March of each year. This will provide continuous IT access for staff.

A streamlined appointment process is also being rolled out across the institution throughout 2015 which will result in greater efficiency of appointment processing and contract generation. This will also have positive effects on casual staff access to IT systems.

We are led to believe that the University is planning to establish a similar academy for staff employed as teachers.  This will be important for a Centre like ours that has a significant number of staff employed as teachers.  We will keep you informed about these developments.

For more information on the Academy go to

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Staff will have recently received an email via Program Convenors in relation to the Student Feedback on Courses (SFC) and Student Feedback on Teaching (SFT) processes for 2015.

Further information, including past SFC reports, can be accessed via:

Please also note that our 2015 commencing students will be asked to complete the University's Commencing Students Survey from Monday 16 March 2015. The survey is administered by SPP and will remain open for 3 weeks.

This survey is administered to all new undergraduate students, and in 2015 is being extended to include students enrolled in enabling programs. The survey is conducted every two years.

This is an online survey which will take students about 10 minutes to complete.

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2015 Prior Enabling Offers

There were 1353 domestic enabling students who received undergraduate offers via UAC in 2015: 1181 students were offered an undergraduate place at UoN (87.3%) and 172 prior-enabling students received offers to other Universities (12.7%).

Prior Enab Students

Please note: these are for offers only, not acceptance of offers.

For a further breakdown of offers by undergraduate program, contact Sally Curzi, Quality Assurance Teaching and Learning Officer (ext 18801). This information will be available on the Foundation Studies Staff Blackboard site shortly.

In the next newsletter we will include further data on actual acceptance of offers at UoN.

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Research Update

Read about the success of ELFSC research in 2014 and the National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia 2015 Conference in November 2015.

Click here to read the Research Newsletter

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For Your Diary

Staff Forum and Lunch - Wednesday 15 April

The ELFSC Board will meet at 10am to 12 noon. Following the Board meeting, the first ELFSC Staff Forum and lunch for 2015 will be held. The Forum and lunch begin at 12noon in The Treehouse (Shortland Building, Callaghan Campus).

At the Forum and lunch, 3 staff will be presented with their Service Recognition Awards: Helen Fitzgerald (25 years), Maureen Jones (15 years), and Barry Hodges (15 years).

An invitation will be emailed to all staff closer to the date.

Brown Bag Seminar Series – 18 and 24 March

Building academic survival skills online: A collaborative, team based approach to online course design and production – Evonne Irwin and Liz Goode.

Ourimbah – Wednesday 18 March 12-1pm (CS218)
Callaghan – Tuesday 24 March 12-1pm (MCG61)

Please contact Helen Cameron (Ext 18603) if you have any questions regarding this series.

Brown Bag Seminar Schedule

Recognition of Attainment Ceremony (ROAC) – Thursday 16 April

The Recognition of Attainment ceremony for ELFSC and Newcastle International College will be held at 10am on 16 April at the Civic Theatre, 375 Hunter Street, Newcastle as part of the University's 50th year Celebrations.

All staff are encouraged to participate in this significant and celebratory event. As advised in a recent email from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) staff members wishing to participate in graduation must complete academic procession registration form by close of business Friday 6 March.

Staff members in the academic procession are required to either bring their own academic dress, or hire academic dress. Go to to fill out the online form or phone (02) 498 54132.

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First in Family Forum

On Thursday 12 February 2015, the Deputy Director, Jo May, was a member of a research team who organised and presented their findings so far in a free Forum for their OLT-funded project 'Breaking the Barriers: supporting and engaging first-in-family (FiF) mature age university learners and their families'.

Other members of the project team are Dr Sarah O'Shea (team leader), Dr Cathy Stone and project RA, Dr Janine Delahunty. The forum was held at the University of Wollongong, the lead institution for the project.

Among the 119 participants from universities all over Australia it was gratifying to see fifteen people from diverse areas of the University of Newcastle, including many from or associated closely with our own Centre. Other attendees included Professor Sue Trinidad from the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), pictured below with Dr Amani Bell from the University of Sydney (see bottom right photo). Dr Bell created a wonderful Storify timeline of the Forum twitter feed. The forum launched and showcased the First in Family website which harnessed the power of FiF narrative evidence to engage and support not only FiF students but also their families and university staff. The resources are available for anyone to access, just follow the link above. All feedback is gratefully received.


From left The Project Team:  L to R Dr Cathy Stone, Dr Sarah O'Shea and Jo May; Morning Tea; Professor Sue Trinidad and Dr Amani Bell; the Forum at work – Welcome by Professor Eeva Leinonen, DVC (A), UOW.

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In the week beginning 9 February, ELFSC held a number of Orientation and Program Information sessions for the commencing (on campus) 2015 cohort of students.

At Callaghan on 11 February, Orientation sessions were held for Yapug, Open Foundation (2 sessions) and Newstep.  At Ourimbah, Open Foundation Orientation was held on Saturday 14 February, and Newstep on Friday 13 February 2015.  Newstep students at each campus were also treated to a free welcome BBQ.

All session were well attended, and a special thank you is extended to our former students who actively play an important role as mentors and speaker at these events. This year the students were highly visible in their new T-Shirts.

The Open Foundation online students commenced their Week Zero activities on 16 February.

Student feedback on the Orientation events is currently being collated for review by the ELFSC Executive team.


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Program and Course Videos

As advised in the last Newsletter, ELFSC, with the support of HEPP funding, has produced a suite of 34 online videos for students commencing the Open Foundation, Newstep, Yapug and UoNPrep programs. These videos are hosted on YouTube and were uploaded on 11 January. They will assist commencing students, and particularly those who are unable to attend on-campus orientation sessions, with selecting courses that match their interests, abilities and career aspirations.
Analytics (as at 23 February) have revealed the high level of uptake. The Open Foundation program videos have received 266 views, Newstep 253 views, Yapug 70 and UoN Prep, 60 views.

The suite of course videos have also been well subscribed as indicated:

Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video:  Aboriginal Studies 57
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video:  Aboriginal Tertiary Foundations 41
Newstep Course Video:  Academic Literacies 230
Newstep Course Video: Australian Culture & Society 305
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video:  Australian History 265
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video:  Business Organisation and Management 203
Open Foundation, Newstep and Yapug Course Video:  Chemistry and the Life Sciences 295
Open Foundation Course Video: Classical Studies 114
Newstep and Yapug Courses Video:  Design in Society/Graphic Design Fundamentals 50
Newstep and Yapug Course Video:  Directed Study 478
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video:  Earth Science 169
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video:  Environmental Studies 110
Newstep Course Video:  Film Studies 313
Yapug Course Video:  Introduction to Health Professional Studies 16
Newstep and Yapug Course Video:  Information Technology 300
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video: The Study of Language 218
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video:  Studies in Law 287
Newstep Course Video:  Introduction to Legal Studies 193
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video:  Literature and Film 95
Newstep Course Video:  Advanced Mathematics 137
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video:  Mathematics (Introductory, Intermediate, Extension) 286
Newstep Course Video:  Mathematical Studies 237
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video: Philosophy 112
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video: Physics 85
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video: Science for Nursing and Midwifery 180
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video: Social Enquiry 103
Newstep and Yapug Course Video: Studies in Health Science 297
Newstep and Yapug Course Video: Studies in Science 247
Newstep and Yapug Course Video: Design Drawing 273
Open Foundation and Yapug Course Video: Visual Arts 104

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