The Challenges and Demands of Being Multi-Campus
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The Challenges and Demands of Being Multi-Campus

There are challenges associated with multi-campus environments – and this is compounded if those campuses are interstate and/or overseas. Without a doubt – in the case of my own institution – having multiple sites has meant survival and considerable ‘bounce back’ from COVID-19 – that would otherwise have not been possible. One could argue that the multi-campus concept saved the school. The additional challenges of multiple cities and states (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Cyber) have meant ensuring a quality system has been put in place accompanied by some strict guidelines around key areas and processes.



A single Board of Directors and a single Academic Senate are in place to ensure governance issues are dealt with appropriately and always in the best interests of the larger organisation.

See – Corporate Governance at GCA

See – Academic Governance at UBSS -

At all meetings – and at all points – each of the campuses is well represented and included to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of all involved – staff and students.



A common timetable is in place across all three campuses. This ensures that all subjects are available to all students across the school. Some adjustments have been made in terms of rooms (numbers vary as well as size) and of course any time zone issues (Adelaide is 30 minutes behind Sydney and Melbourne).

Staffing names vary on the local schedule – but the slots and foci remain the same giving the timetable a national feel. This standardisation is essential to reinforcing the notion of one school (UBSS) – two levels (undergraduate and postgraduate) and three campuses (Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide). The Cyber option uses the standard schedule – with additional weekend support provided for online-only students in Australia and Overseas.

See – It is as simple as 123 -


Lecturer/Facilitator model

The use of a single Lecturer for each subject (across the school) is vital in ensuring both the quality of the delivery as well as the consistency – that is one subject – the same for all. In T1, 2024 this was done out of Sydney. In T2, 2024 a number of subjects will be delivered (lectured) out of Melbourne with the intention of extending this to Adelaide in T3, 2024.

Using facilitators in Melbourne and Adelaide has meant that the consistency of what is delivered is maintained – and the assessment of each subject is also consistent and appropriate. As the facilitator notion is spread across all three sites – the notion is ensuring both quality and consistency.

See – The important and emerging role of ‘The Facilitator’ -


Normalisation of results

UBSS has in place a normalisation of results that is essential when operating at a number of campuses. This was put in place in T2, 2023 in preparation for growing numbers across all sites. Called ‘normalisation’ because it acknowledges the natural curve of results that ensures all students – across all sites – are fairly assessed with location bias. This was not required in a single-site setting – but became important as the institution grew and diversified (size and location).

SeeGrade Moderation Process -


Learning and Student Support

Essential to good teaching and learning is the provision of strong student and learning support. This can be achieved locally (campus-based) and further augmented centrally (across all campuses).

In terms of student support each campus has a dedicated contact person on site (usually at the reception centre) and is augmented by additional staff (onshore and offshore) providing an ongoing response to queries and requests for assistance – provided in person or by telephone in real-time and email.

In terms of learning support, each campus has dedicated staff who provide ongoing support for students – usually in real-time. In addition, a 6-part series of online videos has been produced to provide 24/7 access to support on specific (and highly relevant) topics.

See – Student Support – academic and non-academic -

See – Learning support – a key element of overall student support -

See – Learning Support Online – Help is only a click away -


The challenges (and advantages) of being a multicampus institution are significant. In order to work effectively and appropriately management needs to be mindful of the importance of both being the same – and being different. If this paradox is harnessed correctly – significant growth and success can be achieved.


Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (UBSS) and Chief Executive (GCA).