Home | Policy & Reform | VU extends ‘block model’ to all degrees

VU extends ‘block model’ to all degrees

Victoria University is so pleased with its ‘block model’ – whereby one subject is taught at a time – that is it extending this university-wide. From this year, it was only applied to first-year subjects. By 2020, both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees will be taught in this manner.

According to the university, nearly three quarters of first-year students support the change, which Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Dawkins (AO) described as “one of the biggest student-centred, staff-led and community integrated transformation programs ever undertaken in higher education in Australia”.

“A block timetable enables students to accelerate their learning, resulting in earlier graduations if desired, slow down their learning because of other life events, or spread their study across the whole year, dipping in and out as necessary, to better combine study, work and lifestyle,” he said.

Other data to support the transition includes:

  • A 6 per cent increase in commencing students
  • A 15.5 per cent improvement in first-year pass rates (from 72 per cent in 2017 to 87.5 per cent in 2018), and
  • A retention rate of 89 per cent.

The latter statistic would undoubtedly be particularly encouraging to VU: its retention rate averaged just 54.7 per cent between 2010 and 2015.

While VU is the first Australian university to implement the block model, it is long-established in other countries like Sweden, Canada and the United States.

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One comment

  1. When you change assessments/tests to online with unlimited time to finish – grades will increase. When you give students multiple chances to take a test and only take the highest score – grades will increase.

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