Victoria University (VU), which caters to tertiary students in Melbourne’s western suburbs, has announced the launch of its First Year Model, a new approach to learning for students beginning their first year of university in 2018.
“The First Year Model is designed to enhance the experience of first-year students on a scale not seen before in Australia,” Prof Peter Dawkins, Vice Chancellor and President said.

“It has the potential to shape the national tertiary agenda; it will navigate students around the expectations of university life and equip them with the knowledge and personal skills they need to become motivated and independent to succeed in the first year and beyond.”

Instead of insisting students engage with four units of study concurrently, the new VU model offers students the ability and flexibility to study their chosen degree course in sequential ‘blocks’; completing one unit and its assessment at a time, before moving to the next.

This is expected to provide benefits to students and staff including: a single focus, rather than juggling multiple units with competing demands and deadlines; the chance to immerse themselves in each unit, learning through discussion and group interaction; strong and lasting peer connections formed through close contact with one group at a time; getting to know and be known by their educators; support from a multidimensional team; and regular feedback.

Ian Solomonides, Pro Vice Chancellor said: “There has been much debate in Australia and abroad about a need to transform how tertiary education is delivered, to make sure students receive the right support that will see them graduate with the necessary breadth of skills and knowledge to become successful in future jobs.”

Similar modes have been introduced educational institutions in Canada, Sweden and North America.