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A Generation Y university


ECU was recently ranked one of the world’s top Gen Y universities. But just how does it share the attributes of this age group, which value being tech-savvy, globally connected and able to make a difference?

Strictly speaking, Generation Y refers to the cohort of people born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s. But this generation, sometimes referred to as millenials, is defined by so much more than the time of their birth.

Research has shown that millenials love to travel, effortlessly use technology to keep in touch with friends and family and are generous with their money and time.

Studies have also shown they want careers that are both fulfilling and challenging and are willing to put the work in to get there.

Founded in 1991, Edith Cowan University also fits squarely into the millennial age group. The University was recently named at 30 in the world’s 50 best Generation Y Universities in the Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings.

So what attributes does a Gen Y university share with the students in the same age group?

ECU's iDome gives education students a unique view inside a classroom.
ECU's iDome gives education students a unique view inside a classroom.

Connected

Generation Y is the most connected in history. They have grown up with technology and now expect to be online 24/7, whether it’s keeping in touch with friends, seeking entertainment and, yes, even studying.

As a Gen Y uni, ECU has embraced the many ways technology can help us connect and collaborate.

ECU was the first in WA to link its campuses with a fibre optic cable and in 1993 a lecture was simulcast to students in Singapore, quite a feat for the time!

Things have moved quickly in the tech space since then and campus-wide wifi, online lectures, 24 hour computer labs and virtual study groups are now commonplace.

The next step, many believe, is fully immersive teaching experiences. ECU’s education students already have access to VR learning, where 360 footage is projected onto an iDome, allowing them to experience being in a classroom and seeing how students react to a teachers’ instructions.

ECU student Evan Webb volunteering at the Endangered Primate Rescue Center in Northern Vietnam.
ECU student Evan Webb volunteering at the Endangered Primate Rescue Center in Northern Vietnam.

A global outlook

Gen Y have embraced the opportunities offered by our increasingly globalised world. They recognise that the big challenges facing humanity cannot be solved by one country alone and they want to be part of the solution.

ECU students have plenty of opportunities to get out of the classroom and into the wider world.

Whether it’s capturing the sights of Chinese streetscapes on a photography tour or working to protect primates in Vietnam, ECU students can make a difference around the world before they even graduate.

And with plenty of options to access government funding to support overseas study, there’s no reason not to take your studies global.

Giving back

Today’s millennial wants to do more than just earn money - they want to make a difference.

They choose brands, careers and even unis that align with their values. And historically, universities have long had a role in social justice, whether that’s helping to cure diseases or offering scholarships to widen access to education. Increasingly, universities like ECU are also incorporating volunteering into their courses.

For example, through Enactus, ECU students have the chance to volunteer their time and skills in marketing, events and business to help community groups – while also earning valuable credit towards their degree and work experience for their CV.

Gen Ys know that a job for life is largely a thing of the past.
Gen Ys know that a job for life is largely a thing of the past.

Learning for life

The typical job for life is no longer available for Gen Ys. And nor would they want one.

While previous generations could expect to work in one area for their entire career, Gen Ys know they need to be constantly updating their skills to stay relevant in a rapidly changing and evolving jobs market.

ECU has helped thousands of people reskill to take their careers in an entirely different direction or take on postgraduate studies to advance in their current field.  With a range of flexible study options that can fit around existing work family and other commitments, at ECU students can study what they want, when they want.

Of course, you don’t have to be born between 1980 and to 1995 to benefit from the many positive attributes of a Gen Y university. ECU courses are eligible to everyone from 17 year old school leavers to retirees and mature age students in between.

So start your journey with ECU by visiting our Future Students webpage.

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