Subject rankings success, strategy planning progress and flu fighters – 16 April 2024

16 Apr 2024
View of UNSW logo on library tower through autumn leaves

Dear colleagues

It is with a heavy heart I open this edition of Inside UNSW, following the tragic events in Bondi Junction on Saturday. So many people have been touched by this terrible incident, including many in our University community: students, staff, alumni, families and friends.

With great sadness I write that some of the people who lost their lives had direct connections with the UNSW community and we feel their loss very deeply. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this dreadful tragedy, and to all our community as we grapple with feelings of grief, sadness and disbelief.

Please remember that UNSW has a range of support services available for students and staff, including the Student Support Team, and a confidential counselling service for staff and their families through the Employee Assistance Program. Please do not hesitate to make use of these services in coming days as the impact and details of these tragic events are felt.

Please take care of yourselves and others at this difficult time.

This week’s Inside UNSW includes a range of stories that are, as is always the case, indicative of the breadth of activity that drives our University's students and staff every day. I encourage you to read this edition in appreciation of our colleagues’ continuing hard work and positive impact on the world around us.

UNSW among world’s top universities for 47 subjects

I’m excited to share that UNSW has again performed well in the QS Subject Rankings. UNSW improved its strong position in the rankings across all faculties, with 19 subjects in the top 50 worldwide and 10 at number one in Australia. These impressive results reflect UNSW’s breadth of quality in research and teaching, and razor-sharp focus on excellence. Importantly, the results will help UNSW to amplify our positive societal impact and to continue to attract world-leading researchers and educators.

UNSW strategy planning well underway

In March, I had the opportunity to travel with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Attila Brungs, to meet with key colleagues at other global top 20 universities that hold a similar societal impact ethos to UNSW. We gained valuable insights from our in-depth discussions with leaders of these institutions which will feed into the work that is already underway to help inform UNSW’s next strategy.

How we can build on UNSW’s unique strengths through our next 10-year strategy and beyond was the focus of discussions at the recent plenary sessions with UNSW leaders. We look forward to extensive consultation with the UNSW community as the strategy planning process continues to build over the coming months.

The plenaries also focused on the Operational Plan, including the achievements and learnings from the inaugural 2023 Operational Plan, and ensuring the 2024 Operational Plan is optimised for success and impact.

Free flu vaccinations available for staff – book now!

Earlier this month you received an email from me about flu vaccinations available for free from the UNSW Health Service for all UNSW students and staff. 

Flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness. As winter approaches, we encourage students and staff to have a flu vaccination if they can. Demand for flu vaccinations is high, so please book an appointment at the UNSW Health Service or call 9385 5425. See the story in Inside UNSW for more information.

Ethical and Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence

UNSW aims to provide a safe and digitally secure environment relating to the use of generative AI, for both students and staff. To support its responsible use, the UNSW AI Leadership Group has developed a set of guiding principles which balance the regulation of AI with innovation. Read more in Inside UNSW.

There’s more to read Inside UNSW…

Please take care of yourselves and others during this difficult time.

Best regards

Scientia Professor Vlado Perkovic  
Acting Vice-Chancellor and President, Provost

(The Vice-Chancellor is on annual leave this week.)