Continuing the roll-out of statewide degrees, as well as more integration across campuses is a major educational goal for the University of Tasmania as it proceeds with the Northern transformation project.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Calford said it would mean more Bachelor degrees would be able to be studied to completion in Launceston and Burnie.
“What that means is that more students will be able to study degrees at their home base rather than having to move to Hobart or Launceston and we will be rolling them out in a blended learning fashion, so some online, some tutorials, some special whole day sessions which means that we will have more flexibility,” he said.
“In those degrees, wherever it’s possible, we will be introducing that flexibility.”
With an increase of student numbers expected as the campus projects across the North and North-West are completed, staff numbers will rise, Professor Calford said.
“Depending upon what sort of teaching and research the university does, for approximately for every 30 students we add another staff member to the university so there will be an increase in staff numbers but it’s a bit hard to estimate the timing on that, but the [year] 2030 numbers add more than 250 extra staff to the university at that point in time.”
Despite a commitment on Tuesday by the state and federal governments to support UTAS’ proposed $400 million science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) facility in Hobart, Professor Calford said STEM would still be a major part of the Launceston campus.
“We will be setting up a new research institute here in Launceston … that site will be for intensive research, but also STEM teaching,” he said.
“We already do a lot of STEM teaching in the North, we have a wonderful program in laboratory medicine, for example, which is uniquely in the North and not in the South … that will continue, but we’ll work off other areas of our science faculty.
“We have particular interests in food and food preparation and food science so that will develop further, and we also have interest in timber and timber products.”
Professor Calford also said the University College would continue to be expanded, while being run predominately out of the North.