27 - 28 June, 2019| Bayview Eden, Melbourne

Conference Day One: Thursday 27th June 2019

8:30 am - 9:00 am Conference Registration and Arrival Coffee

9:00 am - 9:10 am Opening Remarks

9:10 am - 9:50 am OPENING KEYNOTE CASE STUDY: Exploring New Student Success Initiatives Developed at Victoria University That Enables Flexible Learning and Improved Student Retention and Success

In this presentation, our keynote presenter Naomi Dempsey, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) at Victoria University (VU) explores how strategically focusing attention on the student experience across the entire student experience has led to some of their most successful retention initiatives.
  • Exploring VU’s new Block Model of teaching and learning being delivered to undergraduate students, including an examination of first year data
  • Exploring VU’s Success Planning program
  • Future initiatives to further drive student retention and success for 2020 and beyond
Naomi Dempsey, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) at Victoria University

Naomi Dempsey

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students)
Victoria University

9:50 am - 10:20 am Thought Leadership Session

10:20 am - 10:50 am Speed Networking

10:50 am - 11:20 am Morning Tea & Networking Break

11:20 am - 12:00 pm PANEL DISCUSSION: Exploring Innovative Methods of Measuring Retention Success that Reflects the Diversity of Institutions

When the Higher Education Standards Panel released the ‘Improving Retention, Completion and Success in Higher Education’ report in 2017, included was attrition rates for Australian Universities. This panel discusses the variables that should be considered by institutions to better examine their retention achievements:

  • Exploring the vast difference in educational institutions including provided course subjects, student demographics, channels of course delivery, and geography and how this affects student attrition
  • Examining how to appropriately measure the success of student retention strategies and reflect the institutions achievements as a whole
Jane Skalicky, Director, Student Retention and Success at University of Tasmania

Jane Skalicky

Director, Student Retention and Success
University of Tasmania

Chris Veraa, Director Student Experience at Central Queensland University

Chris Veraa

Director Student Experience
Central Queensland University

12:00 pm - 12:40 pm CASE STUDY: Enhancing the Student Experience by using the Learning Pathway to Improve Student Efficacy and Teachers Ease of Delivering Online Content

The University of Queensland reported that in 2018 they implemented the Learning Pathway tool in 226 courses which is being utilised by 124 academic tutors and lecturers. This tool integrates with Blackboard and was developed on-site to improve how academics deliver coursework with the belief that positive teacher experience will reflect positive student experience; ultimately, achieving greater retention rates.

  • Exploring how user friendly educational design influences improved course delivery and both teacher and student experience
  • Integrating Learning Pathways across UQ faculties successfully Ensuring adaptability and keeping up-to-date with efficient online learning and design
Joseph Nagy, Educational Designer at University of Queensland

Joseph Nagy

Educational Designer
University of Queensland

12:40 pm - 1:40 pm Networking Lunchbreak

1:40 pm - 2:20 pm CASE STUDY: Achieving Improved Long-Term Growth and Retention by Taking a Holistic Approach to Improving International Student Experience

Focusing on retention and student experience for international students may not be an immediate concern for education institutions. However Monash University are continuing to deliver strategies to improve outcomes for internationals both in and out of the classroom to achieve long-term success and recognition.

  • The impact student experience for internationals has on educational institutions and the challenges associated
  • Exploring strategies in and out of the classroom that improves the integration of international students with domestic students
  • Enabling work-experience and enhanced career opportunities with team based work integrated learning
Jeremiah Byrnes, Director,  Student Academic Experience at Monash University

Jeremiah Byrnes

Director, Student Academic Experience
Monash University

2:20 pm - 3:00 pm CASE STUDY: How Bond University Executed a Contextualised and Centralised Ecosystem Around Employability Through a Compulsory Career Program

The Beyond Bond employability program at Bond University has contributed to improved student graduate outcomes by 9% since implementation. As part of the core curriculum this design allows students to have ongoing support throughout their whole higher education lifecycle ensuring they stay connected, have a vehicle for extracurricular opportunities, and has the best outcomes for success when transitioning into the workforce.

  • The framework for Beyond Bond and how it supports trimester course delivery
  • How do you make this beneficial for all students across all subjects through design
  • Exploring how to creatively read data as a result of challenges faced with data integrity
Kirsty Mitchell, Director of the Career Development Centre at Bond University

Kirsty Mitchell

Director of the Career Development Centre
Bond University

3:00 pm - 3:40 pm CASE STUDY: Utilising Data Analytics, Propensity Modelling and Student Interaction to Triangulate Targeted Retention Strategies

In this case study, Prof. Sarah Maddison explores how Swinburne University is driving forward predicative modelling to target high risk students and integrate tailored retention strategies. Using the enhanced analytics capabilities of their new LMS, along with existing student data, have enabled more insightful modelling and analytic capabilities.
·    Using data analytics to appropriately dissect students into more granular cohorts   
·    How to create positive retention outcomes based on live data rather than rely on lag data
·    Test intervention efficacy based on predictive modelling
Sarah Maddison, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation & Change) at Swinburne University of Technology

Sarah Maddison

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation & Change)
Swinburne University of Technology


3:30 pm - 4:10 pm CASE STUDY: Embedding A Framework For Student Retention, Success & Participation to Ensure Lasting Impacts on Students’ Futures

For each year of university study completed, a student can enjoy an additional 11% of lifetime earning capacity. For a university like CQUniversity – where students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds make up a significant portion of the overall cohort – this kind of impact can be life-changing. CQU’s Student Participation, Retention and Success Strategy was developed to ensure the ripple effects of a CQUniversity education are felt long after students leave the institution.

  • Developing an evidence-based framework that fits the institution and its students
  • Encouraging a university-wide retention mindset through universal principles
  • Adapting the standard definitions of retention and success to suit the unique characteristics of CQUniversity students
Chris Veraa, Director Student Experience at Central Queensland University

Chris Veraa

Director Student Experience
Central Queensland University


You  will you hear peer-to-peer led case studies and best practice; you will also receive focused thought leadership insights as well a being provided with drinks to encourage conversation…


4:10 pm - 5:10 pm Engagement vs. Support Initiatives to Improve Aboriginal Retention Rates
Although there has been an increase of Indigenous students enrolling into tertiary education, reports are finding that just under one-in-five students are withdrawing from their studies in the first year.

  • How Macquarie University achieved a 20% increase in first year retention rates for aboriginal students
  • Exploring adoptable strategies and initiatives to further improve Aboriginal academic outcomes across institutions
Emily Sutton, Team Leader, Aboriginal Engagement at Macquarie University

Emily Sutton

Team Leader, Aboriginal Engagement
Macquarie University


4:10 pm - 5:10 pm Exploring Targeted Retention Strategies for Mature Aged Students
Grattan Institute has found that part-time students who are commonly mature-age are strong indicators of risk. However 30% of the mature age students who start part time and make it to second year convert to full-time study – meaning the first year experience and support is crucial.

  • The personal factors/attrition risks associated with mature aged part-time students
  • How institutions can provide additional support effectively