Monday, 27 February 2012
A very warm welcome to our students commencing their studies at ECU for the first time and to those also who are continuing their studies in 2012.
This year is an exciting time for those in tertiary education. Following the decision by the Federal Government to remove limits on the number of places a university can offer, ECU has welcomed many more new faces in 2012.
A significant proportion of students will be the first in their family to begin higher education, including those from rural or remote areas who have overcome significant challenges to gain a university place.
There have been criticisms from some quarters that allowing more people to enter tertiary education somehow diminishes the value of a university qualification. I disagree.
We need to mobilise our ‘head power’ – in Western Australia in particular – to address the chronic skills shortage and ensure we can compete globally through knowledge and innovation.
Here at ECU we are more interested in the skills and knowledge that students posses at the end of their studies. As long as new students have an adequate educational background to undertake the program they have chosen, and the motivation to do well, we will provide the high-quality teaching and supportive environment to ensure they succeed.
Some students will this year have the excitement of being pioneers in studying new courses offered for the first time in 2012. The Bachelor of Technology (Aeronautical), Bachelor of Science (Sports Science and Football) and three Bachelor of Engineering degrees (Marine and Offshore Systems; Naval Architecture; and Ocean Engineering) have all been designed to equip our students with the skills needed to succeed in growing industries.
Of course, the university experience is not just about learning. There are many extra-curricular activities in which to get involved, including the ECU Student Guild, ECU Sports and Fitness, and the various societies and clubs.
I urge you also to seek out volunteering opportunities. This is an invaluable way to build not only your CV, but to build communities that are inclusive, prosperous and sustainable.
Good luck with your studies and activities in 2012. After the summer break it’s great to see our campuses bouncing with vibrancy as the new academic year commences. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible and to learn from you about your passions and ambitions.
Professor Kerry O. Cox