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Campus News : March 2012
MARCH 2012 CONNECT :UOW 5 CONNECT: NEWS The University of Wollongong (UOW) has been rated the maximum five stars in its first ever international benchmarking by the same organisation which determines the annual World University Rankings. The QS Intelligence Unit's audit said UOW's impressive performance across its six criteria of employability, teaching, infrastructure, internationalisation, innovation and engagement helped it achieve the top Five Star status. "This is an outstanding achievement and firmly establishes UOW as one of the leading universities on the global university scene," Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings said. Professor Wellings said this first international benchmarking confirmed the consistent five star findings of UOW's standing on the domestic front by the annual Good Universities Guide which comes out in August each year. He said the latest rating by QS demonstrated yet again UOW's strengths in such areas as employability for its graduates, its teaching and research, its strong community engagement and overall commitment to innovation. "One of the standout results was that of 'engagement' which achieved a perfect score of 50 out of 50 points," Professor Wellings said. The QS star rating system is a new way of looking at the strengths of universities, which are rated one to five stars depending on their performance within the evaluation. QS says a typical five star university is "generally world class in a broad range of areas, enjoys a high reputation and has cutting edge facilities and internationally renowned research and teaching faculty".BG BIRD GAINS HIGHER ED ROLE UOW graduate Sharon Bird has been appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education in the new Gillard Government Ministry announced on March 2. As Member for Cunningham, Ms Bird's electorate is home to the University of Wollongong's main campus as well as the North Wollongong campus of the TAFE Illawarra Institute. UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings congratulated Ms Bird on her appointment, saying: 'Sharon has been a strong supporter and advocate of advancing Australia's education and skills over a number of years ... (this) is a just reward for Sharon's efforts." Ms Bird said her promotion was "a good compliment to the region". "The Illawarra itself is a fantastic story about top-quality education institutions working hand in glove with their communities, so I think this (promotion) is also an indication of how strong our region is on education and skills", she said. Ms Bird completed a Diploma of Education at UOW in 1985, having earlier graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney. NH Ateam of students from UOW and TAFE Illawarra will go head to head with leading universities from around the world when they compete in the finals of the Solar Decathlon: China in 2013. The group, known as Team UOW, will be one of 24 teams from 13 countries fighting it out to build and operate an advanced and appealing solar-powered house. The team, comprised of students from at least six UOW faculties and the University's Sydney Business School will be joined by TAFE Illawarra staff and students in the design and construction of 'The Illawarra Flame' house. Team UOW is the first group from an Australian university to win a place in the Solar Decathlon finals. The team won entry to both the US and the China finals, and elected to compete in China. UOW's Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) Director and team coordinator Professor Paul Cooper said the Team UOW entry will be built in Wollongong and shipped to Datong, China to compete alongside other houses during a two week display period in August 2013. "The competition is a Decathlon as students will compete in and be judged on 10 events covering all aspects of housing design," Professor Cooper explained. "Our house will be judged not only on its architecture and engineering but also its market appeal and affordability, comfort, energy usage and liveability," he said. Professor Cooper said a well- engineered entry was important but not enough to win the competition. He said the house would have to be technically excellent, cost effective and usable. To maintain a distinctly Australian flavour, the team has chosen to renovate, remodel and retrofit an existing fibro home rather than building a new one. JB SOLAR STARS UOW STARS IN QS AUDIT The University of Wollongong Members of Team UOW who will compete in the Solar Decathlon in China next year. Sharon Bird
CONNECT:UOW July 2012