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University of Canberra Student Priorities

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Strategy #1 - Create a student led Innovation Committee

Following the research involved in the landscape canvas of UC's current Entrepreneurship and Innovation ecosystem, it becomes clear that UC offers a range of I&E resources that is catered towards the wider entrepreneurship community, that already contain ties to industry. Whilst this is important and beneficial towards the UC community, there is an obvious disconnect of these resources towards students who want an introductory "taste" of I&E, and don't necessarily have any established venture ideas in mind.

This is where the formation of a strong, student-led Innovation committee of students would be incredibly beneficial in promoting the various entrepreneurship resources that we have right on campus. By forming a study body committee from all faculties, marketing and promoting can significantly drive an increase of students coming from a diverse breadth of disciplines and majors. This promotion will come in the form of events, activities, guerilla marketing, which will occur over a cross-platform social media and in conjunction with relevant UC marketing officers  


Recruit and elect suitable student leaders who will form an Innovation Committee

​​Upon initially starting UIF training, I spoke to many students who were interested in design thinking, yet didn’t know which avenues to pursue these interests. By having a nominated  current student in their faculty whom can be easily approached and contacted via e-mail, students can have a casual person to contact to ease any hesitations that may have occurred prior when having to contact a faculty member. 

Allocate roles to recruited student leaders (President, Vice-President, treasurer, 1st Year Leader, Event Organiser etc.)

​Once student change agents have been nominated, contacted and have accepted their position and responsibilities we can start allocating certain roles they would fulfill. This will occur in conjunction with meetings and brainstorming sessions discussing what problems they have encountered in their own faculty and what possible solutions the group can brainstorm and collaborate on. 

Plan a series of related events that highlight and advertise UC's Entrepreneurship resources

​A 3 day event that could tie in with Innovation Week that includes pop-up stalls on the concourse that highlights design thinking and inclusion. These stalls/classes/events would be promoted as low-cost and in general a fun introduction to what design thinking can entail. 

Involve local industry to promote UC's E&I ecosystem

Once the committee has established itself as a strong student innovation committee driving a student movement through events,  the committee can then start approaching local industry to start bridging the gap between student and industry before graduation.

Perform effective changeover of roles to incoming students as current student leaders graduate.

Annually, a changeover should occur in which current student change agents should handover the roles. This process would involve mentoring, in order to continue developing projects so that there is long-term sustainability and longevity of student innovation and entrepreneurship at UC.  

Strategy #2 - Women in STEM and design summit

Examining the current innovation and entrepreneurial clubs and societies during Market Day on O'Week, I was disappointed to see no female representation. From ICT, coding, and entrepreneurship  based societies, no females were present in promoting the clubs awareness. Having stayed and observed a society that promoted entrepreneurship/design thinking, the two most common things spoken by women when expressing their hesitations to join was “My idea in mind isn’t to be an entrepreneur” or “ I wouldn’t fit in well”. Another common quote spoken was  "I'm not an entrepreneurial type person, but I am interested in design thinking”. Having interviewed the president of this club in regards to female representation, he said that there are actually more female members than male, yet when it got to the stage of pursuing a start up, women tended to drop off towards the later stages.

By having a UC Women in STEM and Design Summit we are providing a platform for female ambassadors who are trailblazer's in their respective fields to share their stories and experiences towards the UC community, specifically young women who previously may have been disadvantaged and had to overcome obstacles and challenges as a woman in a male dominated industry. 


Organise an initial meeting with faculty members

Undergoing UIF training encouraged me to seek and pursue all resources on campus leading to innovation and entrepreneurship, uncovering networks of faculties whom are highly interested In the student experience and are willing to help student initiatives. By having an early meeting, faculty will be able to give us links to networks whom can help facilitate and aid our event.

Allocate an appropriate date location and time for event

Once the event has been discussed with relevant administration and faculty, we can then start allocating a date that fits in appropriately with the academic calendar for  the incoming (or next) year. From there an appropriate location will be booked with times to be later confirmed

Reach out to female community leaders for interest

This will either occur via e-mail or ideally in person through community events, such as the SheLeads conferences whereby we can pitch our idea to female trailblazers in hope that they too share the passion for advocacy at a higher education level.

Write up attendee list and agenda

After having previously contacted and communicated interest from relevant leader, start organizing attendee list and agenda which should be immersive and experiential in the design thinking process.

Formally invite guest speakers to attend summit

Prepare resources and materials for summit 

Strategy #3 - Establishing an Entrepreneurship & Innovation Help Centre for students on campus

With the release of UC's latest strategic plan 'Distinctive by Design' which outlines UC's own milestone endeavors for the years 2018-2022, Entrepreneurship and Innovation  was at the forefront for strategic importance to the Institution. Therefore, an invested interest should occur in the establishment of an E&I Help Centre on campus, a common hub whereby students can receive advice whilst developing a passion for I&E principles. This goal can easily occur in a pre-established location on campus.

This facility will possess a wide range of built in amenities and facilitative collaboration spaces, from engineering styled labs to open conference room where students can convene to work on group assessments.  It will be a multi purpose space for students, and by students, which can home all club and society meetings and events.  This space can also be used to incubate the beginnings of UC's first startup's in the future.  UPDATE : After further investigation an opening  branch of innovation and entrepreneurship help style center for students called Engage UC, has occurred as a very recent development, opening an avenue for students to be involved.  


Seek whether there is sufficient demand from students and faculty

Uncover a thorough analysis amongst students across campus on their level of interest in this type of support and whether they would use it, after having explained and shown how I&E can be highly relevant and useful towards their own degrees.

Establish rapport with relevant faculty and administration 

Schedule a meeting with faculty leaders to pitch ideas of an innovation space for students with the sole purpose of generating feedback and the feasibility of the on the prospect of either utilizing a pre-existing space or seeking  the foundations of a new space.

Locate sufficient funding (grants, Student Services and Amenities Fee etc.) 

Go to the government homepage and scour the website to help find sources towards grants towards innovation and entrepreneurship for students in higher education, and apply for the relevant  grants.

Source the relevant people to mange the help centre

Utalise the center as a connection point to resources both on and off campus.

Launch of the E&I help centre 

Strategy #4 - Incorporate a UIFresh approach to curriculum for first year's

During interviews with incoming first year students at UC, it was found that whilst many said they would be interested in learning about Entrepreneurship and Innovation , they wouldn't necessarily go out of their way to seek various avenue's and pathways. This can be amended by bringing the E&I to first years,  during orientation week, where they are initially discovering what UC has to offer.

The incorporation of design thinking into the curriculum of first year students in all faculties will be incredibly beneficial, as the design thinking skills learned will produce a significant impact on the entrepreneurship and innovation landscape at UC, which will bring long term and continual benefits to students own professional careers.



Gain faculty permission to run a UIFresh inspired design thinking workshop for incoming students as part of orientation week.

Oraganise a planning committee of dedicated students who have a vested interest in E&I from a range of background majors.

Analyse existing curriculum for first years and  see what need improvements and amendments.

Introduce new E&I introductory elective courses for first year students

Present a report findings to the faculty and chancellor for implementation

Advise any implementation of changes to the course.

Related Links

UC UIF Wiki 


Spring 2018 UIF