The University of Sydney and Taronga Conservation Society Australia have been awarded the Silver Award in the QS Reimagine Education The Power of Partnerships Award for our partnership that has resulted in the innovative degree Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Taronga Wildlife Conservation).
The international QS Reimagine Education awards celebrate educational excellence, with the winners announced at the QS event which ran from 5 to 8 December 2022 at the Nova University Lisbon in Cairo, Egypt, and Wharton University in Philadelphia, USA.
“We’re very pleased to have won the Silver Award for our innovative alliance with Taronga. In creating this partnership, we have leveraged the power of two iconic institutions in the southern hemisphere to innovate at scale and create an immersive and exceptional learner experience,” said Professor Pauline Ross, from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, in the Faculty of Science.
“Our Taronga wildlife conservation degree is a unique offering that provides students who have a passion for animals and dream of making an impact in the conservation sector, the highly sought-after skills they need to secure a future for wildlife on the planet,” said Professor Ross.
Commencing in 2018, the educational partnership between the University of Sydney and Taronga Conservation Society Australia resulted in the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Taronga Wildlife Conservation) which is designed so that students spend 50% of their time over four years directly in the Taronga Zoo environment. Classes take place at the University’s Camperdown and Camden campuses, and at the new Taronga Institute of Science and Learning at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
“Together, we’ve created our joint degree that educates students to be the next generation of wildlife conservatists. Our degree provides students with unparalleled opportunities to develop skills and expertise in achieving conservation outcomes,” said Dr Emma Thompson, University Program Manager and Lecturer, at the Taronga Institute of Science and Learning.
“Our Taronga Institute of Science and Learning is the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere and provides a gateway for students to access the wider zoo campus and provide authentic, interactive learning opportunities in an environment of working science,” said Dr Thompson.
The partnership allows staff at both institutions to exchange knowledge and conservation research, which creates social and cultural capital at each of these iconic institutions.
Students love their degree, as evidenced by the excellent unit of study survey results for the joint University of Sydney and Taronga units: over the past four-year period, the unit of study survey results achieved a maximum of 4.67 out of 5 and 90-100% response rates.
Student comments describe the sense of satisfaction in doing these units, including:
“I have loved so many things about this unit! Our lecturers and tutors offered lots of interesting insight into the course material thanks to their varied professional backgrounds.”
The units done at Western Plans Dubbo Zoo are some of the highlights that motivate and inspire students to learn, with feedback including: