RUSU continues to be committed to improving assessment standards across the University. RUSU recognises the importance of assessment to measure students’ achievements and capabilities, identify learning needs and provide meaningful learning experiences. In 2018 it will continue to campaign and work with RMIT to ensure that students are offered assessments that are relevant, fair and effective with transparent design, moderation and feedback mechanisms. This priority is also focused on ensuring students are provided with purposeful assessment experiences, particularly when assessment is designed to align with and support transition into professional practice.
RUSU would like to focus on developing an academic progress system that aligns more clearly with the ESOS Code by creating more opportunities for early intervention focused on capacity building to support student retention and encourage academic development. RUSU strongly believes that students need a system for managing academic performance that is focused on inclusion; recognising the diversity of the student body and the challenges they face and including their thoughts and opinions in developing a plan for their continued academic achievement. There is also a need for an academic progress model that has the capacity to generate meaningful statistics which can highlight key areas in which students require early support and to support the development of a continuous improvement process to support the management of academic progress at RMIT.
Like all education providers in Australia, RMIT is required to adhere to the Disability Standards for Education (2005). Under the Standards, RMIT has three main types of obligations, including; consultation; reasonable adjustments; eliminating harassment and victimisation.
RUSU will be seeking to support clarification of responsibilities in implementing the recommendations of the Equitable Learning Service and for determining final decision making in relation to students registered with the ELS in a way which fully affects the Disability Standards. Part of this work will also be to clarify and revise the accessibility of appeal and review mechanisms where adjustments cannot or have not been provided.
The impact of a disability on a student can reach far beyond learning, teaching and assessment and RUSU will be encouraging all areas of the University to consider disability access and recognition of the impact of disability on a student.
Reviewing the University’s current policies in this area is a central part of RMIT’s commitment to implement the recommendations made in the Human Rights Commission in Change The Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities (2017) and University Australia’s Respect.Now.Always.
RUSU is actively involved in the University’s responses to these reports and will continue to press RMIT to meet their obligations and wherever possible push the University to deliver projects and introduce programs that will create a safer, more inclusive and respectful learning community for all. This includes advocating for online consent modules for students and specialist training for RMIT staff members who sit on exclusion appeal panels, misconduct hearings and program assessment boards.
RUSU will be continuing with our project to ensure that a Compulsory lecture/tutor presentation in included in each program at Orientation and Mid-Orientation regarding RMIT Mental Health services such Compass, ELS and Counselling. Other focuses for RUSU will be working with RMIT in the creation of video de-stigmatizing mental health and ensuring continued support for students on placement, particularly in instances were placement might prevent students from accessing their usual support services or where placement puts additional pressure on students who are already vulnerable.
Finally this year should see an improvement in student facilities across all campuses. RUSU is committed to delivering the following: