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Australian Catholic University

By Vic 12 November 2009 31

Having worked for The Australian Catholic University in Watson for 4 years, I regularly encounter individuals who have never heard of it, and are astounded to learn that there is indeed, a third university in Canberra. (Not counting CIT)

Yes, it’s a real university, offering several varied course streams.

I’m wondering.. is it because of the type people I hang out with, or is it that the profile of the place has not been so pervasive?

I’d be keen to learn of the collective awareness of the place.

What’s Your opinion?


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p1 1:42 pm 02 Dec 09

Having had experience at both ANU and UC over the last 10 or so year, I can say that over that sort of time frame such dramatic changes can take place within a particular subject area as to make all these comparisons pretty pointless.

With the changing of a couple of staff members, a course can go from great to useless, or visa versa.

lonestar 10:40 am 02 Dec 09

So how what you all personally rank each of the universities in Canberra? Would you say that University of Canberra is a stronger university in teacher education than Australian Catholic University?

–Just curious.

housebound 9:58 pm 15 Nov 09

Ouch.

A UNSW dean’s comment on some of the non-sandstone universities? “Not a real university …” Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between snobbery and accurate comment.

I-filed 9:59 am 15 Nov 09

nanzan said :

Sorry GregW, but I think you will find that all the higher education providers in the ACT which are also universities – even if they are campuses of universities – provide university-level courses.

You’ve missed GregW’s point I’m afraid. They think they’re providing university level courses – but remember, many of the CCAE lecturers didn’t even have higher degrees at switchover – they were given a couple of years to hastily cover off that requirement, and the paucity of talent still shows. Many of the top schools in NSW are delivering much more complex and challenging content in years 11 and 12 than UC’s supposed degree-level work.

georgesgenitals 7:46 pm 14 Nov 09

I-filed said :

GregW said :

Lets be honest, there are two universities in Canberra and a couple of vocational tertiary education providers. Some of these entities belong to universities but they are not universities themselves and do not offer university level courses.

The universities being ADFA and the ANU. UC is of course, the Canberra College of Advanced Education, trumped up and in disguise. A UC colleague of mine recently sat in on an undergrad lecture at the ANU’s business college – and was confronted by the fact that the ANU’s second-year undergraduate class was more high-level that the UC MBA coursework by far.

There are probably examples where almost all educational institutions are better than others in isolated situations.

nyssa76 5:46 pm 14 Nov 09

I went to Signadou for two reasons 1) it was close to home and childcare (Watson) and 2) I was put off by the concrete jungle of UC – to be fair, I’ve since done my Masters at UC. I’m also not a Catholic but was never discriminated against because of it.

I also never saw it as the ‘soft’ option. I saw it as a nice campus with friendly staff who knew their stuff – minus one lecturer who I totally abhorred due to his ego being bigger than the entire campus.

Having worked with many teachers who were trained at UC, it really doesn’t matter where you trained. If you can’t do the job it is damn obvious.

In saying this, it’s been over 10 years since I started there and things have certainly changed, some not for the better. Then again, I think the UC degrees are also lacking and first years have little to no clue as to pedagogy or best practice. Spending a semester on “What is SOSE?” is not a unit suitable for teaching students, let alone high school students.

*rant over*

nanzan 4:18 pm 14 Nov 09

GregW said :

Lets be honest, there are two universities in Canberra and a couple of vocational tertiary education providers. Some of these entities belong to universities but they are not universities themselves and do not offer university level courses.

Sorry GregW, but I think you will find that all the higher education providers in the ACT which are also universities – even if they are campuses of universities – provide university-level courses.

It is not unusual these days for a university to have more than one campuses within a state, or even across states. And so many now offer their courses online or by distance education, where borders make no difference any more.

For my Master of Arts degree at ACU, I finished the second half of it by online education, sharing lecturers and virtual classrooms with people around Australia and around the world, but I was able to go to the very good library facilities at the ACU campus in Canberra when required.

Sometimes, smaller is actually better, when it comes to learning – and don’t forget that swimming pool at ACU!! (The chapel there is really good too!)

nanzan 4:11 pm 14 Nov 09

random said :

nanzan said :

An interesting thing about ACU is that it is the largest university in Australia by student numbers (across all its campuses of course – Brisbane, North Sydney, Strathfield, Canberra, Melbourne and Ballarat). So ACU is small here in Canberra, but big in total.

Going by the DEEWR statistics, it has about the same number of students as the ANU across all campuses, which makes it less than a third of the size of Monash etc.

Thanks for that correction Random. I think the story I must have heard was that ACU and ANU had similar student numbers, as you pointed out.

As an ACU graduate, I guess I was engaging in a little hyperbole! (Pride for one’s alma mater will do that!)

I-filed 1:31 pm 14 Nov 09

GregW said :

Lets be honest, there are two universities in Canberra and a couple of vocational tertiary education providers. Some of these entities belong to universities but they are not universities themselves and do not offer university level courses.

The universities being ADFA and the ANU. UC is of course, the Canberra College of Advanced Education, trumped up and in disguise. A UC colleague of mine recently sat in on an undergrad lecture at the ANU’s business college – and was confronted by the fact that the ANU’s second-year undergraduate class was more high-level that the UC MBA coursework by far.

bd84 9:07 pm 13 Nov 09

I’ve heard of it and was aware it had a few teaching/nursing courses. I’d have no idea where it is and never met anyone who has attended it, nor known anyone who was even considering attending.

I don’t think it would be high on anybody’s “quality education, I’d consider attending” list. When it’s below UC in those considerations, then you know how well it is considered.

GregW 8:45 pm 13 Nov 09

Lets be honest, there are two universities in Canberra and a couple of vocational tertiary education providers. Some of these entities belong to universities but they are not universities themselves and do not offer university level courses.

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