Universities gearing up to meet new challenges
Jo Fisher Executive Scholarship: 'Win-Win' for Higher Education HR
Universities in Australia are tackling a range of critical challenges these days, including a rapidly ageing workforce and the federal government's Bradley Review objective to ensure 40% of Australians aged 25-34 have degrees by 2020 (up from the current 29%).
"We all need to gear up," says Kim Mackey, Manager of HR Partnership Services at the University of Technology Sydney, "and as an HR team, we need to ensure our service delivery is designed to meet those challenges."
Kim is the inaugural winner of the Jo Fisher Executive Higher Ed HR Scholarship - a new program we launched in 2010/11 to support the future of Australia's universities by funding development opportunities for HR professionals.
"We've seen firsthand the difference that talented HR practitioners can make to their institutions, and we are strong believers in the power of professional development," says JFE Senior Consultant Jandy Godfrey. "That's why we introduced this Scholarship, and we were delighted to receive so many outstanding applications from every corner of the country."
Kim's application proposed a research tour to leading universities of technology and selected companies to see how their HR teams help to manage issues like:
- Aligning HR services with key business drivers
- Identifying, attracting and retaining more academic talent in the context of a worldwide shortage.
"The burning question is, how do we align our HR services to the very specific, immediate issues our universities are facing?" says Kim.
"Importantly, this is not about finding out what's 'best practice' but what's 'best fit' given the environment we're operating in."
The Scholarship requires the successful applicant to share learnings from the experience with other universities, and JFE Senior Consultant Elaine Connor says that was one of the main reasons Kim's application stood out.
"The topic is pertinent to the sector as a whole, so we saw a huge potential benefit," says Elaine.
Keep an eye out for a full report from Kim later in the year. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who applied.
The callout for this year's JFE Scholarship applications is scheduled for October 2011.