find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Real Estate & Projects Lawyer (6+ years PAE)
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Top tier firm with offices nationally · High profile clients
View details
Melbourne uni plans US model

Melbourne uni plans US model

A UNIVERSITY of Melbourne strategic 10-year plan could see law studied at graduate level only. In a shift to a study model long followed in the US and gaining popularity in Europe, the plan is…

A UNIVERSITY of Melbourne strategic 10-year plan could see law studied at graduate level only.

In a shift to a study model long followed in the US and gaining popularity in Europe, the plan is awaiting government approval.

However, according to a report in The Australian last week, federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson is also backing the move to generalist undergraduate degrees, with subjects like law studied in postgraduate years.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis outlined a draft of the proposal to the University of Melbourne’s Council last week. The plan would structure study around generalist undergraduate degrees followed by intensive professional graduate schools.

One proposal is that from next year, more graduate programs will be introduced with a goal of one-third of all enrolments at postgraduate level and some faculties standing alone as graduate schools.

A spokesperson for the university said, for example, law students now do a four-year undergraduate law degree at Melbourne University, but if the changes were brought in, “nobody would be doing the law course as an undergraduate”.

“You would be doing a Bachelor of Arts, or a Bachelor of Commerce, or Science, and at the end of that basic degree, you could then apply to go into the graduate program.”

It is hoped the strategy, dubbed Growing Esteem, will strengthen the university’s research credentials in order to compete better against universities outside Australia.

“In undergraduate education Australia outperforms most other nations, with overseas students a larger part of its mix,” the draft states. “At postgraduate levels, in which research prestige looms larger, Australia is behind the US, parts of Europe and emerging university leaders across Australia.”

Competition with overseas institutions is leading to a standardised structure, the report says, based around the American model of a four year arts or science degree followed by graduate school.

This approach is echoed in the Bologna Declaration, which the university says will become the European model for higher education from 2010. This includes a three-year undergraduate degree, with “advanced units” taught in a two-year masters or a three-year doctoral program.

The spokesperson said the new program should make it easier for students to have their qualifications recognised in other countries.

In 2006, a taskforce will help all faculties to plan the “graduate school approach”. Initially, a pilot program will introduce “prestigious new professional programs” with places guaranteed for “high-achieving” school leavers who meet “progressions standards” in an undergraduate degree.

The strategy said this could, for example, include a politics, philosophy and economics program leading to graduate law school.

The federal Government will have to allow the transfer of some HECS funded places from undergraduate to graduate, for the plan to go ahead. “The University will need to persuade government to lift the constraints that prevent the university from assuming more responsibility for its own income and expenditure,” Professor Davis said.

He said the university must also be freed from current restrictions so it can decide the right distribution of students between disciplines, between fee-paying and subsidised, and between postgraduate and undergraduate level.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Melbourne uni plans US model
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...