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Arts Graduate School

The Faculty of Arts is one of the largest and most diverse within Australia. Its very size and diversity make it difficult for the dean to maintain close and detailed interest and control in graduate matters. It was these along with other factors which led the faculty to create a graduate school in late 1994.

The development of the graduate school will provide leadership and a reference point for standards for all graduate programs. It will facilitate exchanges of best practise and support for those requiring further improvement. It will be a public statement that we see graduate work and the promotion of scholarship and research as being more than a narrowly focused thesis exercise - that we believe our graduate students should be exposed to a broader and more enriching intellectual environment that can be provided from the combined strength and talent of our own current and future membership. In short, it will be concerned with providing a focus for collegiality and the creation of a postgraduate culture.

In an ideal world every department and centre would wish to have their graduate students accommodated in close proximity to the teaching staff. Unfortunately, it is very obvious that the current facilities in the Menzies Building make such an arrangement impossible. As a short term solution the deputy vice-chancellor (research) offered us space in the Graduate Centre to develop a physical presence. Following a survey of current occupants, we have been able to make a better arrangement of the internal configuration of one floor to meet the needs of graduate students - especially those in the final stages of writing up. In addition, we can now provide space for a few members of staff who can be seconded to the school while concentrating on completing some of their own research work. Such staff, it is to be hoped, will include those from other campuses and visiting scholars to the faculty. They will be encouraged to interact with the graduate students during their time in the school. Implicit in such plans is the notion that no one individual or discipline is the repository of all good ideas. Exposure to the ideas and interests in other disciplines should create the basis for a richer and more stimulating intellectual environment. But it is also important to think of the activities of the Graduate School as complementing and not competing with those of the departments and centres.

The faculty sees the location of the Graduate School in a separate building as a temporary measure. The dean has a small but active group working on refurbishing the Menzies Building and in creating additional space for the faculty. The needs of graduate students figure prominently in the faculty's plans for the future.

The faculty board in October 1994 approved in principle the following objectives for the Graduate School:

1 to provide leadership and direction for all graduate programs;

2 to enhance the opportunity for interdisciplinary contact and exposure for the intellectual enrichment of graduate students;

3 to oversee supervision and encourage greater use of panels of supervision where appropriate. Such arrangements might well be conducive to the greater exploration of exciting topics which often fall between disciplinary boundaries;

4 to monitor progress and completion rates;

5 to provide counselling;

6 to organise a regular series of seminars of broad interest to all graduate students;

7 to increase resources allocated to the school;

8 to initiate and develop international networking with other universities, commerce, industry and governments;

9 to provide the possibility of experimenting with new styles and forms of teaching and learning in graduate classes;

10 to provide an appropriate induction program for new students;

11 to facilitate service courses, eg languages, computing, statistics;

12 to administer travel, conference and field grants.

Further inquiries should be directed to the coordinator, graduate studies, first floor, Menzies Building.

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Published by Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3168
Copyright © Monash University 1996 - All Rights Reserved - Caution
Authorised by the Academic Registrar December 1996