A new lens to plan and evaluate projects for the 21st century campus

Our Campus in the 21st century (OC21) is the formal response to the University of Melbourne’s strategic plan Growing Esteem. It enables the University community to interpret and guide the practical implementation of the strategic plan, through a quality framework.

The OC21 prism is the planning and communication tool that supports and enables University of Melbourne projects, initiatives and partnerships to evolve and excel. It supports projects of all shapes and sizes, from the location and design of a park bench to the planning of a precinct.

The five major themes of OC21

The five major themes of OC21 are integral to how the University of Melbourne will plan for the future, developing a high-quality campus-based experience for diverse communities with activities that are well integrated throughout our research, teaching and learning environments.

The central drivers

The central drivers of OC21 are intrinsic to the University of Melbourne's vision and values; underpinning the five major themes of the OC21 prism.

They are crucial to how we approach growth and change in every area of what we do and how we do it.

  • » Local character and identity across each precinct with international best practice that strengthens our brand

    » Methods to encourage partnership opportunities in research that benefits local and global communities

    » Environments that are designed to encourage interconnections between our city-based and satellite campuses

  • » Seamless practical connections between physical and virtual experiences as we evolve and grow

    » Stand out exceptional experiences in physical and virtual environments to maintain our point of difference

    » Methods to engage diverse communities in activities through campus-based or online notifications and platforms

  • » The creation of a mix of attractive and comfortable internal and external spaces

    » Acknowledgement of innovative and diverse use of indoor and outdoor spaces

    » Spaces that encourage accessibility and safety

  • » A continuity and sequence of spaces that stimulate people socially and culturally

    » Social and cultural activities that engage people in the intellectual life of our communities

    » Demonstrated commitment to our Reconciliation Action Plan through a holistic approach

  • » Facilities that are flexible and will function well over time while reducing our environmental footprint

    » Campus-based buildings and spaces that embrace recycled and sustainable materials

    » Design solutions that enhance the campus experience by demonstrating leadership in sustainability practices

The Consultation

During 2015 and 2016, a number of workshops were held across all campuses with staff and students to introduce the central drivers and themes within the prism, encouraging the interaction between people and ideas.

This consultation process provided the feedback needed to refine the material. Nearly 100% of people we engaged with were positive and interested in the process. Creswick, Dookie, Werribee, Shepparton, Burnley, Southbank and Parkville campuses all contributed to how OC21 could be used by faculties and departments to support their work.

Some examples of how University of Melbourne and its partners could use the prism are listed here:

  • To support a brief with a consultant
  • To generate ideas for marketing or promotional materials
  • To guide the creation of a mission or vision statement
  • To guide the development of a proposal
  • To plan a workshop
  • To stimulate discussion around new projects or initiatives
  • To include in formal requirements such as an Expression of Interest or a Request for Tender


‘It led to opening up thought processes through conversation and brain storming.’

‘All projects should go through this process.’

‘This is a nice way to formulate grant applications.’

‘A great way to focus questions and answers.'

‘I can see using this when fleshing out research ideas and for a range of purposes – research proposals, presentations and planning’.

'I think it was quick to achieve a result’.

Contact Us

If you have questions or want to learn more about a project, contact us below:

Email our-campus@unimelb.edu.au