Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


11/06/2015

With exams in progress, I would like to take this opportunity to wish students all the best and to encourage them to employ their best efforts to fulfill their potential.

Understandably everyone wants to get the highest grades and this is a commendation to your hard work and dedication, but I would also advise that what ultimately matters is not so much the grades but that you fulfilled your potential for learning in your chosen area.  While grades are helpful to some extent in opening opportunities inside and outside the university, the real value of your learning is manifested after graduation in your respective endeavors whether it is in the workplace, personal life, or service to your community.  Your achievement will be demonstrated in the kind of person you have become, and how you have grown.

Student achievement at university and after graduation is a measure of academic quality as well as institutional efficiency and development. It is very important to provide academic and student services units with the tools to continuously improve the process of providing a quality university experience and by extension assessing student learning and achievement.

Not only is assessment beneficial to the students but it also impacts faculty development and the wider institutional level.  It is therefore important to foster opportunities for faculty to engage in self-reflection on learning outcomes, the degree to which they correspond to student and societal needs, and the level at which student performance and achievement are compatible with the university’s expectations.

A key shift in education approaches in today’s world is that students are increasingly considered partners in the learning/teaching process.  This was highlighted in a lecture on June 3 organized by College of Medicine in which Dr Jonas Nordquist of Karolinska Instituet discussed, among other things, how students and their expectations of connected learning environments inform how learning spaces are designed and how curricula are developed.

Students have become partners within the academic structure and are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility in the learning process not simply to gain grades but also to successfully access tools, facilities and services to build knowledge, skills and personal attributes that will serve them long after they leave QU.

Accountability is not only upheld for students’ performance throughout their tenure at university but also for faculty delivery, and of course, the institution as a whole.  This provides evidence of our rigorous self-evaluation to accreditation groups, sponsors, government authorities and other stakeholders in education.   Given the positive feedback we have been receiving, we can feel proud, yet not rest on our laurels, as academic progress and institutional development are an ongoing process.

As I close, I congratulate the students who have completed graduate studies at QU and those who have returned from universities abroad with successful results and accomplishments.  I applaud you commitment and hard work and look forward to welcoming many of you back into faculty and administrative positions where I know you will add significant value.