Melbourne Business Practicum - subject innovation
The University has partnered with the Committee for Melbourne to create the specialised subject, taking students beyond the classroom. The Committee for Melbourne’s Higher Education Taskforce developed the concept and has been instrumental in locating appropriate enterprises requiring high-level research. The practicum projects allow both local and international graduate students to polish their skills working on real projects in conjunction with local businesses.
The first practicum involves a group of four local and international graduate students in accounting beginning the work of mapping the carbon footprint of the Royal Botanic Gardens. The aim is to produce a tool that could be applied to gardens across the world to establish their carbon footprint.
Associate Professor Brad Potter from the Graduate School of Business and Economics will oversee the team, and says students will draw on international best-practice to develop an enduring model which accommodates the various areas of a public garden, from the buildings and the paths to the plants and trees.
“The students will calculate the Gardens’ carbon footprint by creating an Environmental Accounting model. This model will combine cutting-edge science, accounting and environmental management practice.”
“The students will also be able to draw on the extensive archives at the Royal Botanic Gardens and the considerable expertise of Gardens’ staff in creating the accounting architecture,” says Associate Professor Potter.
“Plants and trees provide the greatest challenge - all plants have different carbon absorption characteristics and efficiencies depending on their age, as a young tree is much more efficient in carbon off-set than an established tree.”
The next practicum to commence in 2010 will be an examination of the regulation, taxation, cost frameworks and other incentives facing commercial and housing developers in Australia’s cities. Hosted by the Grattan Institute, the students’ findings will be used to make policy recommendations on how market design can encourage commercial and housing development that matches housing and employment needs.
This article first appeared in the Faculty of Business & Economics News website