Strategic Plan 2010-2014

Photos courtesy of Tourism NT (page2), Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Research Hub (TRaCK, page 9) and Charles Darwin University (all other photos)

Charles Darwin University is an institution based on firm foundations in the Northern Territory with a long history of delivering value through education in both Vocational Education and Training and Higher Education, research and community engagement to the Territory and the nation.

Enriched by the social, cultural and natural endowments of the Northern Territory, and committed to the advancement and prosperity of our region and the nation, Charles Darwin University enables staff and prepares students to be creative thinkers and effective contributors in a complex changing world.


Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014

By 2015 Charles Darwin University will have grown its student base by 50%. It will be renowned for its leading approach to education, research and community engagement in regional and remote Australia, and the region as a whole. It will draw on the priorities of the region in framing its education programs and exploring the frontiers of knowledge. With a focus on high quality, flexible local and distance education, this University will provide the learning that students, the region and the nation require to produce innovative graduates who effectively meet the challenges of a complex, changing world. As a distinctive multi-sector education provider, this University will be recognised as a leader in student support and the provision of pathways from vocational training through to advanced research degrees. It will achieve increased student participation, particularly amongst disadvantaged educational groups, through traditional and non-traditional approaches to education delivery and, in doing so, will effectively meet the needs of Indigenous students to become their university of choice. This University’s established research strengths in tropical, desert and Indigenous knowledge will become a national and international resource, open to collaboration and equipped to provide solutions to complex problems of local, national and international significance. Charles Darwin University will be a dynamic and robust regional tertiary institution that will have forged strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with other key institutions, government and the community. It will meet the needs of industry and the professions for a skilled workforce and will provide leadership to advance the intellectual, professional, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of the Northern Territory. Staff will be recognised for, and supported in, the achievement of the University’s goals. In all areas of endeavour this University will apply the highest standards of professionalism, efficiency and accountability to maximise its effectiveness and ensure the value of its contribution to the region in which it operates.

Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014


A Unique Learning Environment

CDU will create a rich learning environment that reflects its unique regional location and offerings, enables students to achieve success and produces graduates with the skills they need to be effective contributors in society.


Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014

1.1 Actions
To achieve this goal CDU will: 1.1.1 Provide quality education and training focused on learning outcomes that equip students to be innovative thinkers and effective contributors in society. Maximise access and educational opportunity for regional, remote and international students through innovative, flexible and high quality local and distance education. Be innovative in harmonising the differing requirements of local and distance education. Provide quality student support and a contemporary and attractive learning environment that enhances students’ educational experience. Build on its unique multi-sector position to optimise student pathways across the tertiary education spectrum. Be selective in developing educational programs to strengthen its capacity to deliver education focused on the needs of both the region and the nation. Systematically review and update education and training programs to ensure they meet the needs of students, industry, the professions and national accreditation so that outcomes are progressively improved.


1.1.3 1.1.4

1.1.5 1.1.6


1.2.1 1.2.2 1.2.3 1.2.4

Measures and Targets
Improved access, retention and success of all students including those from target equity groups. Increased flexibility of education and training provision. Increased numbers of domestic and international students. Improved student satisfaction reflected in higher student ratings for teaching quality and overall satisfaction.

Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014


A Leader in Indigenous Education

CDU will be a preferred choice for Australian Indigenous students seeking studies in Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education (HE), and a leader in the teaching and understanding of Indigenous knowledge systems.


Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014


Develop innovative programs and ‘whole of life’ strategies, informed by local and national agendas, to improve Indigenous participation in post-secondary education through greater accessibility and flexibility of delivery and participation, both on and off campus. Create and maintain culturally enriched spaces within which students can achieve success. Learn in partnership with Indigenous students, staff and communities to ensure cultural relevance, cultural affirmation and cultural safety are embedded in programs to maximise student engagement, learning and skills development. Consult Indigenous people and organisations about the development of programs both for Indigenous students and about Indigenous culture and knowledge systems. Increase Indigenous staffing opportunities and participation in governance across the University and improve incorporation of Indigenous perspectives and knowledge into University core business. Work in partnership with other universities and relevant organisations, both domestic and international, and particularly Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and the United Nations University Traditional Knowledge Initiative, to build collaboration in education, training and research.

To achieve this goal CDU will:

2.1.2 2.1.3




2.2.1 2.2.2 2.2.3 2.2.4 2.2.5 2.2.6

Measures and Targets
Increased Indigenous participation across all levels (VET and HE), including expanded and diversified course selection. Increased participation of Indigenous students from outside the NT. Increased Indigenous student retention and success. Increased Indigenous staffing throughout the University. Increased Indigenous participation in University governance. Increased engagement with relevant Indigenous groups and organisations.

Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014


Research with Global Reach

CDU will enhance its local, national and international standing for excellence in research, particularly in the areas of tropical, desert and Indigenous knowledge.


Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014


Attract funding to advance its research strengths in tropical, desert and Indigenous knowledge and focus on the unique and complex needs of regional Australia, and our near neighbours, in a wider global context. Respond to the needs of the community for knowledge and information to maximise beneficial social, cultural, economic, environmental and health outcomes. Attract and retain high quality and motivated researchers and postgraduate students by establishing a research environment that is stimulating and provides professional support as well as quality infrastructure and equipment. Build capacity in research through key partnerships with other agencies, industry and Indigenous organisations as well as major universities, particularly the Australian National University and the Innovative Research Universities Group. Expand its international research linkages, particularly with near neighbours such as Timor Leste and Indonesia. Seek greater engagement with industry to provide the knowledge it requires. Ensure that its teaching practice is informed by research, through valuing the teaching-research nexus.

To achieve this goal CDU will:




3.1.5 3.1.6 3.1.7

3.2.1 3.2.2 3.2.3

Measures and Targets
Increased numbers and capacity of leading researchers working in focused areas of strength. Improved research performance as measured by competitive research grants and other external research support. Improved research outcomes and impact reflected in publication success, increased numbers and timely completions of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students and user uptake of research results. A high level of achievement under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative. Success in attracting funding through the Collaborative Research Networks scheme. Increased research capacity reflected in greater numbers of collaborative projects with external partners.


3.2.5 3.2.6

Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014


Powerful Partnerships

CDU will actively pursue and establish partnerships which strengthen capacity while delivering mutually beneficial outcomes.


Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014

4.1.1 4.1.2

Strengthen its mutually beneficial and unique partnership with the Northern Territory Government. Establish strategic partnerships to leverage resources and enhance the University’s scope, reach and effectiveness across all programs and outreach activities. Engage with educational institutions, industry and community groups, and the professions to ensure education and training outcomes meet the needs of stakeholders and the community. Create learning partnerships with other regional, national and international tertiary education providers and organisations for the mutual benefit of students and staff. Establish partnerships to enhance access to nationally significant research infrastructure, facilities and expertise. Strengthen community engagement as a means of enhancing delivery of education programs and improving education outcomes. Actively maintain its role in contributing to the intellectual, professional, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of the Northern Territory.

To achieve this goal CDU will:



4.1.5 4.1.6 4.1.7

4.2.1 4.2.2 4.2.3 4.2.4 4.2.5

Measures and Targets
Improved employment outcomes for graduates. Increased numbers of students enrolled in joint programs with other tertiary providers. Increased investment in CDU/NTG partnership projects. Improved level of industry satisfaction with graduate outcomes. Increased philanthropic and other financial support for University activities.

Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014


Quality and Sustainability

CDU will be a robust, regional multi-sector institution, acknowledged for the quality and excellence of its programs, and its support for students and staff.


Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014

5.1.1 5.1.2

Make excellence and professionalism embedded standards across all areas of endeavour. Equip staff with the resources, infrastructure, frameworks and professional development necessary to advance quality and excellence. Ensure effectiveness through transparent and appropriate governance systems and practices. Enhance institutional sustainability through robust management of financial, physical and intellectual resources aligned with established goals. Build excellence in performance and advance organisational renewal through clear measurement, assessment, recognition and review processes. Provide quality support to staff and students to enable them to achieve their academic and professional goals. Adopt leading edge environmentally sustainable practices across the campus network.

To achieve this goal CDU will:

5.1.3 5.1.4


5.1.6 5.1.7

5.2.1 5.2.2 5.2.3 5.2.4 5.2.5 5.2.6

Measures and Targets
Improved staff satisfaction and retention. Improved institutional financial viability. Maintenance of competitive salary levels. Expanded professional development opportunities. Reduction in the overall University carbon footprint. Maintenance and development of physical infrastructure.

Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014


Strategic Planning Framework

University Strategic Plan

Teaching & Learning





Vocational Education & Training

Higher Education


Industry Divisions





Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014



Graduate Attributes
Core Attribute Skill Every CDU graduate
Can identify, retrieve, evaluate and use relevant information and current technologies to advance learning and execute work tasks. Is an efficient and innovative project planner and problem solver, capable of applying logical and critical thinking to problems across a range of disciplinary settings and has self-management skills that contribute to personal satisfaction and growth.

Every CDU VET graduate has
Technology skills that contribute to effective execution of tasks.

Personal Acquisition Practical Knowledge Application

Problem-solving skills that contribute to effective outcomes. Planning and organising skills that contribute to productive outcomes. Self-management skills that contribute to employee satisfaction and growth.


Can conceive of imaginative and innovative Initiative and enterprise skills responses to future orientated challenges that contribute to innovative and research. outcomes. Has an understanding of the broad theoretical and technical concepts related to their discipline area, with relevant connections to industry, professional, and regional and Indigenous knowledge. Learning skills that contribute to ongoing improvement and expansion in employee and company operations and outcomes. Communication skills that contribute to productive and harmonious relations between employees and customers.

Knowledge base

Citizenship Communication Demonstrates effective oral, written and listening skills as well as numerical, technical and graphic communication skills in a cross generational environment. Teamwork

Has a capacity for and understanding of Team work skills that contribute to collaboration and co-operation within productive working relationships agreed frameworks, including the demands and outcomes. of inter-generational tolerance, mutual respect for others, conflict resolution and the negotiation of productive outcomes. Is able to apply equity values, and has a sense of social responsibility, sustainability, and sensitivity to other peoples, cultures and the environment. Can function effectively and constructively in an inter-cultural or global environment and in a variety of complex situations. (There is no specific VET employability criteria for this attribute). (There is no specific VET employability criteria for this attribute).

Social responsibility

World View Flexibility


Can exercise initiative and responsibility, (There is no specific VET taking action and engaging others to make employability criteria for this a positive difference for the common good. attribute).

Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014


Term Culturally enriched spaces Definition Spaces designed and maintained to be sensitive to the social, intellectual and artistic elements that reflect Indigenous culture and provide an environment in which Indigenous people feel respected, comfortable and welcome. Expertise, awareness and skills acquired through formal or informal experience and/or education about all aspects of living and working in the Australian desert. Expertise, awareness and skills unique to the Indigenous people of Australia, acquired through cultural learning and forming the basis of Indigenous culture, including communication, decision-making, land management, health care and food preparation. Combining secondary, VET and Higher Education sectors. Ways of delivering education that differ from traditionally recognised modes such as within classrooms, within semester constraints, using traditional resource materials and assessment tools. The broader geographic area of the Northern Territory including other north Australian states and international near neighbours in south east Asia. Areas outside the major population centres of southern Australia. Small to very small population centres which are significantly isolated by distance from many of the services and infrastructure of medium to large population centres. Support for the transition of students from one educational sector to another (eg VET to HE) or within sectors (eg undergraduate to postgraduate HE). Expertise, awareness and skills acquired through formal or informal experience and/or education about all aspects of living and working in the Australian tropics.

Desert knowledge

Indigenous knowledge

Multi-sector Non-traditional approaches to education delivery Region

Regional Remote

Student pathways Tropical knowledge


Charles Darwin University Strategic Plan 2010-2014

Telephone: 08 8946 6666 Web:

31872 uniprintNT 3.10 S

Charles Darwin University Darwin NT 0909 Australia

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