Flinders degrees planning for the future

Flinders University and The South Australian Government are partnering to offer new planning and surveying degrees to help address critical skills shortages in the planning professions.

South Australia has only increased its planning workforce by 35 per cent since 2006, the lowest rate in the nation and SA also has the second highest number of residents per planner in Australia behind ACT.

Flinders University has committed to collaborating with Planning and Land Use Services (PLUS) in the Department for Housing and Urban Development and the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) to develop a modernised planning program aimed at setting national standards and leading innovation in the field of urban and regional planning.

The comprehensive undergraduate planning program will address the needs of industry stakeholders by integrating academic coursework with practical workplace experience.

The curriculum will be developed over the next 3 to 6 months in conjunction with industry experts and professional bodies to understand the practical requirements in the workforce.

College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Vice-President and Executive Dean Professor Peter Monteath, Professor in Innovation Giselle Rampersad, Minister for Planning Nick Champion, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Romy Lawson and Associate Professor David Bruce.

The new degree is an important step for the industry as there is currently no undergraduate planning program and a looming workforce crisis given the low number of qualified people. The course complements a new surveying double degree which started at Flinders University this year.

25 students have enrolled in the Bachelor of Geospatial Information Systems/Bachelor of Surveying double degree which was developed by Flinders University and the Surveyors Board.

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says the new surveying and planning degrees will help address critical skills shortages in the construction industry and create a pipeline of talent to support the South Australian building boom in the decades ahead.

“Launching in 2025, our urban and regional planning degree will be an education pathway for future planners shaping the development of Australian cities and providing innovative approaches to sustainable and liveable communities. ”

“The University is currently collaborating with industry experts and professional bodies to develop a curriculum that will meet the future needs of the industry.”

Minister for Planning Nick Champion MP says urban and regional planners play an important role in actively shaping our state to help create liveable and sustainable communities.

Minister for Planning Nick Champion MP with Flinders surveying student Mackinley Miller and GIS graduate Joram Downes.

“These planning and surveying University degrees will provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet evolving challenges as well as hands-on training and expose them to real-world planning projects.”

“Addressing the shortage in planners will help South Australia tackle critical challenges such as housing affordability, population growth, and the transition to a more sustainable future.”

“The Flinders University degrees are an opportunity for school leavers and young people to consider a rewarding career which puts you at the fore of building and planning South Australia for the future. I would like to congratulate Flinders University and PIA for collaborating with PLUS on this important initiative.”

State infrastructure projects rely on qualified surveyors to set out bridges, tunnels and roads. This new degree ensures a locally delivered surveying degree is available to South Australian students to produce graduates to assist in addressing the skill shortages faced by the surveying profession.

The 2.5 year course will see cadets gain valuable work experience while undertaking a Diploma in Local Government (Planning) through TAFE SA.

Flinders Surveying student William Donaghey and Senior Deputy-Vice Chancellor Professor Romy Lawson check out the equipment students will be learning to use in their degree.

A para planner plays a crucial role in supporting qualified planners by contributing to professional projects, participating in on-the-job training, answering customer queries, and undertaking assessments as part of development application processes.

President at the Planning Institute of Australia, Cate Hart, says the Institute  has long advocated for the reinstatement of an undergraduate planning degree and we are thrilled that this will now finally happen.

“Planning is essential for South Australia’s future, and our state needs more trained planners who can continue creating great communities for the future.”

“As the peak body for planning professionals, we look forward to working with Flinders University and other stakeholders to develop the curriculum for this new course.”

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