Why has UNSW adopted a new academic calendar?

A key priority of UNSW’s 2025 Strategy is the development of the Scientia Educational Experience (SEE). The Scientia Educational Experience aims to give students an opportunity to personalise and tailor their university experience, and provide graduates with the attributes necessary for success in the 21st century. The development of the UNSW3+ academic calendar was the first step in this process.

The ability for UNSW to grow and deliver world leading research and education.

Investment of $100m to transform courses and learning.

Flexibility to spread study load over the year and to study fewer courses per term enabling deeper learning.

Alignment with the Northern Hemisphere university calendars, creating global experiences and new global partners.

Enabling work integrated learning opportunities to better prepare students for the work environment.

A more vibrant campus life through greater utilisation of our world-class facilities.

Student engagement

Student surveys

UNSW has conducted comprehensive student surveys to measure preferences on different calendar models and to obtain feedback on the UNSW3+ calendar. Feedback received from the surveys raised concerns on fees, visas, benefits, university breaks and exchange. These concerns are addressed across the current student website. Links to further information can be found above. 

Student leaders and focus groups

In addition to the student surveys, engagement has occurred with student leaders through a number of forums and meetings:

  • Student Representative Council
  • Academic Board
  • University Academic Programs Committee
  • Postgraduate Council
  • UNSW Council
  • Student focus groups

On campus information centres

UNSW3+ information centres were available on Kensington and Paddington campuses throughout the latter half of 2018. The centres, staffed by student ambassadors, supported students as they transitioned to the new UNSW3+ calendar.


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