ANNUAL REPORT

Vision

Sustainable Agriculture Institute will meet the changing needs of society by building on its traditions of innovation, problem solving, and interdisciplinarity.

Sustainable Agriculture Institute aims to provide every human being, especially those who are socially, economically and/or physically underprivileged, with life-long learning opportunities for their intellectual, professional, spiritual, and leadership development and growth.

Sustainable Agriculture Institute strives to provide:

  1. The Most Inexpensive and Competitive Tuition Rates;
  2. Education for International Students Certification in their home country; (After completing the requirement through 100% online education)
  3. Scholarships or financial assistance to the underprivileged or less fortunate (e.g., disable, deaf, or blind), military, or seniors;
  4. Practical Hands-on Education. (e.g., case studies and practicum)

 

Mission

To create and disseminate knowledge through research and creative inquiry, teaching, and learning, and to transfer our intellectual product to enhance society in meaningful and sustainable ways.

To serve our students by teaching them problem solving, leadership and teamwork skills, and the value of a commitment to quality, ethical behavior, and respect for others.

To achieve these ends by pursuing the advantages of a diverse and relatively small community, open to the exchange of ideas, where discovery, creativity, and personal and professional development can flourish.

 

Statement of Values and Commitments

In pursuit of our vision and mission, the Institute is committed to:

• Rigorous standards of scholarships;
• Positively influencing our communities through our teaching, research and scholarly activities;
• Recognizing our location in the Global Education Community and deepening our engagement with the world;
• Bringing disciplines together to address the key issues of our time;
• Promoting the respect of individual rights and ethical standards;
• Participatory decision making and problem solving;
• Contributing to a robust, equitable and environmentally sustainable society;
• Recognizing and valuing diversity.

Chancellor’s Report

This Annual Report reflects upon the Institute’s progress towards achievement of the SAI 2020 agenda—to further develop our position as a university of influence.

In recent years, the demand driven educational system has widened and increased participation in online higher education, enabling all capable students to gain a higher education qualification online. The importance of  education to an individual is undeniable—it leads to better employment outcomes, greater financial stability and good living standards.

Well-educated citizens also enrich society in many important ways, leading not only to greater prosperity and growth but also to greater equality and respect for diversity. SAI supports its students in achieving their goals and aspirations by placing them at the centre of the Institute’s educational activities.

The provision of an excellent learning experience ensures academic success for our students, and fosters the development of tomorrow’s generation of influencers and leaders.

SAI has provided exceptional support to underprivileged students and has a strong international reputation for facilitating the access, participation, and success of less fortunate peoples in higher education.  The SAI 2020 agenda also focuses on improving the Institute’s research performance. The Institute’s performance on international rankings has continued to be impressive.

In keeping with the Griffith 2020 strategy, the University continues to raise its profile in the Asia–Pacific, South American, African and Middle East regions.

I extend my sincere congratulations to the staff and students on their achievements. Their hard work, talent and commitment underpin the Institute’s endeavors and enable realization of its goals and aspirations.

I look forward to another rewarding year.

Beau Wickboldt
Chancellor

 

Strategic Developments

This was the first year of implementation of the University’s new Strategic Plan.

SAI has committed to five key goals:

  1. To provide an excellent educational experience to attract and retain students, who, regardless of their background, will succeed at university and become graduates of influence.
  2. To continuously improve our research performance and, through our research, deliver social dividends.
  3. To attract and retain excellent staff who, through their teaching, research and professional support, will positively contribute to SAI’s development as a Institute of influence.
  4. To be a world class Sustainablity Institute.
  5. To enhance our engagement with the Asia–Pacific, South American, African and Middle East regions and consolidate our reputation as one of the worlds most Sustainable Institutes.

 

During the year, a number of strategic initiatives were undertaken to progress the achievement of these goals.

The Board of Directors adopted a new Academic Plan and a new Research Plan. The goals and targets identified in these core activity plans align closely with those of the Strategic Plan.

The Academic Plan sets out a clear strategy to ensure our students are provided with a transformative learning experience.

This includes strengthening our campus profiles and our strategic partnerships, innovating our learning and teaching, broadening our enrollment of international students and supporting their success, promoting social inclusion in higher education, facilitating pathways to postgraduate study, enhancing our physical and digital environment, and supporting student success and retention.

The Plan has a strong focus on academic standards, the quality of learning and teaching, and on positive student learning outcomes.

The Research Plan provides a blueprint for delivering research and research training of high standard and relevance. The overriding vision of the new Plan is to fit the profile of a world class Sustabibilty Institute ranked in the top 10 in the world by 2020.

There is a sharpened focus on enhancing higher degree research training, publication quality and volume, research income, impact of our research including commercialisation, and the performance standards that we
expect from staff.

 

The four key objectives will drive our research agenda:

  1. Consolidate world-class research strength through Areas of Strategic Investment.
  2. Demonstrate research of international standing in all discipline areas as recognized by Excellence in Research and other international ranking metrics.
  3. Maintain a culture of research quality and performance, well supported by infrastructure and resources.
  4. Maintain the Institutes core commitments to innovation, bringing disciplines together and undertaking socially relevant research that provides demonstrable community benefit.

The Institute’s Strategic Plan highlights a commitment to enhancing our engagement with the Asia–Pacific, South American, African and Middle East region. The Institute adopted the strategy ‘Sustainable Agriculture Institute in the ‘GlobalCentury’, which outlines key strategies to consolidate SAI’s reputation as one of world’s most sustain-ably-engaged universities.

SAI identifies a number of indicators against which we will monitor and track progress.

The Institute’s Board adopted the following goals to advance our Global-engagement agenda:

  1. To provide SAI’s students with Global-capable skills and knowledge.
  2. To increase research engagement, attract research funding and demonstrate the impact of collaboration with researchers in Globally.
  3. To coordinate, enhance and project the depth of SAI’s Global -engagement nationally and internationally.

The goals, targets and strategies of the new Academic and Research Plans, combined with our Global-engagement strategy, provide a solid foundation to enhance the Institute’s position as one of the most influential sustainabilty Institutes in the world.

These plans and strategies will be supported by the Institute’s working Budget, which aligns closely with the five high level goals of the Strategic Plan.

The budget includes incentives for increasing revenue and reducing costs, rewards for improvement of relative performance in teaching and research, funding for strategic developments, and appropriate capital funds to upgrade campuses and build new facilities to attract and retain staff and students.

In recent years, the SAI’s story has been one of growth and expansion. We have embarked on the challenge of building and rebuilding our campuses creating SAI to meet the needs of the coming century. The scale of the transformation has been particularly evident in the past 12 months, as significant new facilities have come on line.

SAI’s advertising campaign on social media and the web aimed to bring the scale of these developments to the attention of our communities. The campaign flags a significant moment in the Institute’s evolution, while
remaining true to SAI’s progressive origins. In addition to new infrastructure, the campaign showcases SAI’s new study programs across all academic groups, new online programs—the Institute will be directly offering six new online programs —and new services to assist student success.

Jason Richard George Stephens
Vice Chancellor and President

 

Organisational Structure

 

Governance

 

Management and Structure

Establishment

The Sustainable Education Institute was established on 3 January 2011, under the Sustainable Agriculture Institute Foundation Yearbook.

 

Institute Council

Role

Under the Sustainable Education Institute Foundation Yearbook, the Council is SAI’s governing body and has overall responsibility for the Institute’s sound and effective governance.

The Council approves the Institute’s strategic direction; monitors the Institute’s progress, using agreed performance indicators; and approves the University’s budget, policies and delegations of authority. The Council reviews its own performance annually.

Institute committees are subject to biennial review.

 

University Management

Through its organisational and management structure, SAI fosters coherence and cooperation across the Institute in its teaching, research and service, and promotes the efficient and effective deployment of resources (including administrative resources).

Administrative support services—such as Strategic Financial, Pedagogy Development, Faculty Support, and Capital Management—are organised as centralized offices that operate across all Institutes.

This structure supports consistent service levels, efficient resource use, and access to professional support and specialist expertise for all areas.

SAI’s approach is to embed quality in all of its processes to achieve excellent outcomes. The culture is one of innovation and responsiveness, of review and improvement.

Responsibility for quality is explicitly assigned to Deans of Institutes, and department heads — in consultation with key committees.