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Place and Community Framework

6. Connectivity.

Principle 6 focuses on Connectivity. RMIT places will connect with each other through purposeful exchange of staff, learners, experiences, communities, and digital networks.

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RMIT is an international university of technology, design and enterprise. Our physical presence spans a unique network encompassing Melbourne, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Barcelona, Singapore and beyond.

By connecting activity, people and experiences across these locations we become more than the sum of our parts and maximise our capacity to coordinate resources and activity, pursue opportunities and collaborate to achieve impact at scale.

Working through real-time collaboration, cleverly deploying digital technology and platforms at large scale, drawing on our collective resources and expertise to meet the immediate and specific needs and circumstances of RMIT’s students, staff and partners across all of our locations, is how RMIT creates authentic connections that amplify our positive impact and provide genuine value that touches people’s everyday lives.

Confidence in the quality and value of our online education and collaboration platforms continues to grow, and as it further evolves and matures, it is hard to imagine a future in which technology adoption and digital platforms are not critical components of large-scale collaborations and relationships across locations, geographies and time zones.

With the pandemic unlikely to be the last disruption to higher education, how RMIT deploys technology to connect our locations and the people, communities and activities therein – both in Australia and abroad – and generates integrated and compelling networked environments for learning, knowledge exchange, collaboration and shared experiences, will likely be a defining characteristic of our success and resilience as an organisation in the years to come.

How this could work in practice

  • Enablement and incentivisation of purposeful staff and learner mobility practices and rotation across locations.
  • Digital platforms used intentionally to facilitate synchronous and a-synchronous community and social experiences and collaborations across sites.
  • Technology and events used across sites to create ‘physical windows’ or ‘portals’ that integrate the physical and virtual and allow students and staff to see, experience and engage with other locations remotely and in real-time.
  • Operational capabilities and support services distributed across local and international locations to enable 24 hour, on demand capability and support.
  • Events, such as hackathons, that use technology and place to draw on the collective expertise of the University and communities from other locations to lean into location specific challenges and problem solving.
  • Curriculum architecture requirements that promote and facilitate inter/pan-locational collaboration on industry and other projects.
  • Consistency and connectivity across locations in the fundamentals of common student, staff, partner and community experiences through technology, support and process (eg., student/staff onboarding and transition, WIL, industry collaboration, systems and locations navigation).

Example: Global Mentoring

RMIT Europe secures industry leaders in Europe to provide mentoring experiences to our Melbourne-based students preparing them for life and work. RMIT alumni leaders continue to give back – over 60% of global experiences shared are from the alumni community.

Over the past two years, more than 300 small group mentoring experiences have been secured for students, with a focus on global careers, skills needs as well as sector insights. Over 500 students have also joined global career webinars to hear from industry leaders in Europe in the aviation, built environment and manufacturing sectors.

One of many mentoring sessions between RMIT students and industry leaders.

Example: Global industry partnership

RMIT Europe partnered with global fashion group Inditex – brands include Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Oysho, Pull and Bear, Stradivarius and Uterqüe – for a student challenge on the management and recycle of post-production and consumption shoe waste.

The partnership was open across our locations network, involving students from the Master of Fashion (Entrepreneurship) at RMIT Australia and students from the Bachelor of Fashion (Merchandise Management) at RMIT Vietnam. Students in Vietnam could visit the shoe factory and get their winning design manufactured by the company.

An RMIT student presents an innovative bag prototype made using reused leftover footwear materials from Inditex (i.e Zara) sneaker factories.

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