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Still Learning

7. CONCLUSION

When the Frankston Teachers’ College opened its doors on 12 February 1959, it was an institution which reflected the Australian population at the time. Surnames of both students and staff were still predominantly Anglo-Australian. College documents show an initial enrolment of 109 students (VPRS 10536/P/0000 Unit 19).

Monash University Peninsula Campus now offers a range of courses to local as well national and international students. The most recently published official statistics, Pocket Statistics 2007, indicate that the total enrolment at Peninsula Campus in 2006 was 3314. In 2008 it has risen to nearly 3500 with over 200 staff. Nearly 30 per cent of the domestic students at the campus come from the Frankston-Mornington Peninsula region. Though this number is thirty times greater than the initial enrolment of only 109 students in 1959, the female:male ratios remain similar:

• 68.8% females; 31.2% males

• 63.8% full-time; 21.3% part-time and 14.8% external students

• 11.6% international (overseas fee paying)

• average age of students is 27.2 years.

Other statistics provide a broader picture of the Peninsula student:

• 288 school leavers

• 678 new to higher education

• 10 of Aboriginal descent

• 841 born overseas

• 2,930 Australian citizens

• of the Australian residents, 88.9% spoke English at home while of the 384 international students, 11.5% speak English at home.

It is a diverse group and is indicative of the current make-up of our Australian population.

Much like the first Principal of Frankston Teachers’ College, the current Campus Manager, Sue Webb, and Academic Director, Professor Phillip Steele, both believe that a university experience is more than simply attending lectures. Despite the cessation of Voluntary Student Unionism in 2006, the campus continues to offer extra-curricular activities for both students and staff. The Student Representative Council continues to encourage student participation and debate. Sporting, social and cultural activities still form part of campus life.

When the Monash University Act 1958 established and incorporated the University, section 5(d) of the Act specified the provision of facilities for University education throughout Victoria by the affiliation of existing educational institutions (Monash University Act 1958). A link was established between Frankston Teachers’ College and the University and subsequent institutions. Fifty years after the establishment of the Frankston Teachers’ College, and eighteen years after it became a Monash University campus, Peninsula is well established as an important and unique component of Monash’s multi-campus university.

Throughout its four phases – as Frankston Teachers’ College, State College of Victoria at Frankston, Chisholm Institute of Technology Frankston Campus and now as Monash University Peninsula Campus – the overriding theme to emerge has been that a strong sense of belonging quickly develops and creates a solid bond between students, academics and staff, emphasising the value of a small campus to both teaching and learning. What is perhaps equally striking is that, from the outset, the campus has engaged with its local community, and continues to do so. It now offers a suite of programs from all faculties that are aligned with local industry needs. It provides local tertiary access to local students in a region with levels of university participation and university qualified residents below the Victorian average. Through its affiliation with its various local communities – social, sporting, cultural, academic and educational – Monash University Peninsula Campus can claim that it is very much ‘in the world’ (Monash Directions 2025: 20).

Monash Peninsula Campus has made a distinct name for itself in the region as a multi-disciplinary institute of higher education, and will, it is hoped, continue to do so for a further 50 years.

Still Learning

   by Fay Woodhouse