RMIT takes home two BHERT Awards

RMIT takes home two BHERT Awards

RMIT has taken out two categories in the prestigious Business / Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) Awards.

Since 1998, the Awards have recognised the importance of business-university partnerships in innovation, research and development, and teaching.

RMIT's Digital Credentials program won the Outstanding Collaboration in Higher Education and Training category, while the RMIT ABC Fact Check unit took out the Outstanding Collaboration for National (non-economic) Benefit award at a ceremony in Brisbane last night.

Accepting the Digital Transformation Award (L-R) General Manager, Tigerspike, Mark Boulton, RMIT Online Strategic Industry Partnerships Manager. Sanjoli Chauhan, EY Managing Partner Oceania Government & Health Sciences Catherine Friday, RMIT Principal Advisor to DVCE and 21CC Project Lead, Dr Darien Rossiter

Digital credentials leadership

While industry collaboration has always been part of RMIT’s DNA, the University recognised that imaginative and impactful responses were needed to ensure graduates had the enterprise and digital skills essential for the future world of work.

The Digital Credentials program was developed in conjunction with industry partners including REA Group, Tigerspike, Credly and EY. It consists of RMIT Creds, a pioneering micro-credential program for students launched in 2017, and the RMIT Online Future Skills portfolio launched in 2018.

Students currently have their pick of almost 90 creds, which have been specifically designed to develop the soft – or human – skills employers are seeking and can be stacked on completion. Creds focused on cultural competency and emotional intelligence are among the most popular.

The Future Skills portfolio has seen the creation of almost 30 short online courses in collaboration with more than 50 industry partners including Accenture, AWS Educate, Adobe and Salesforce.

BHERT CEO Dr Peter Binks said the panel was impressed with the range and quality of RMIT products, and the University’s collaborations to meet industry skill development needs.

“RMIT University has established a leadership position in Australia in the rapidly growing field of digital learning,” Binks said.

“Its strategic partnership with Credly, a leading global digital credentialing platform, and the development of 85 industry relationships to inform the design and delivery of their credentials, made this a standout program.”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Vice-President Professor Belinda Tynan said the University was proud to give its students the confidence, knowledge, skills and connections they need to succeed as industry-ready, lifelong learners in an ever-changing world.

“As industry demands new and rapidly evolving skills; as digitalisation and automation create new challenges and opportunities, we understand how to shift, adapt, evolve and respond,” she said.

“Central to this is our focus on technology, which has been part of our identity for more than 130 years.

“Our flexible approach and industry connections continue to help educate our students for the jobs that exist today, prepare for jobs that may not exist yet and adapt in a world where change is a constant.”

RMIT Online CEO Helen Souness said the award affirmed the team’s work and vision of forging trailblazing industry partnerships to curate courses that were relevant for the future of work.

“We are so honoured to receive this year's award for Outstanding Collaboration in Higher Education and Training and to be recognised for our commitment to creating a community of lifelong learners that are equipped with relevant skills to succeed in Industry 4.0,” she said.

L-R: RMIT Dean of the School of Architecture and Urban Design Professor Martyn Hook, RMIT ABC Fact Check Contributing Editor Simon Mann, RMIT ABC Fact Check Chief of Staff Sushi Das and RMIT ABC Fact Check Director, Russell Skelton accepting the award for the Outstanding Collaboration for National (non-economic) Benefit

Sorting fact from fiction in a unique partnership

In an area of fake news, misinformation and disinformation, the RMIT ABC Fact Check unit investigates the accuracy of claims made by Members of Parliament, prominent individuals and lobby groups.

Going beyond the daily news cycle, the team combines national and academic scholarship and quality journalism to deliver verdicts across multiple ABC platforms to help inform public policy and debate.

The International Fact-Checking Network-accredited unit has produced more than 110 fact checks since RMIT and ABC joined forces two years ago and puts innovation front and centre.

Key innovations include:

  • The imminent return of the Election Promise Tracker to monitor political promises made during election campaigns;
  • Australia’s first fact-checking micro-credential, a 90-minute online course which allows all RMIT students to learn basic fact-checking and verification skills;
  • Australia’s first dedicated fact-checking university subject;
  • Offering students a dedicated internship program at the unit and providing them with the opportunity to create digital explainers and illustrations for fact checks and fact files as part of their studies.


Binks said BHERT sought university initiatives and partnerships that had influence and impact at a national scale, and RMIT ABC Fact Check achieved this.

“Our panel noted that the program is a rare and successful collaboration in the fast-growing world of fact check journalism,” he said.

“It tackles difficult subjects that are of significant community concern, but mostly neglected by mainstream media. 

“Importantly, it plays a vital role in educating the next generation of journalists through its internship program.”

Walkley Award-winning journalist and RMIT ABC Fact Check Director Russell Skelton said the unit was honoured to receive the prestigious award.

“Fact Check strives to combine excellence in journalism with the very best of academic scholarship to better inform the public on contentious public policy issues, and it is extremely gratifying to have that recognised,” he said.

“I would also like to acknowledge the extraordinary level of support and encouragement fact check has received from RMIT University and the ABC.

“The partnership has allowed Fact Check to deliver quality research to a national audience across multiple media platforms, including online and on TV.”     


Story: Karen Phelan and Amelia Harris


  • Education
  • Fact Check

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