Last month marked a significant moment in the history of Victoria University.

Higher education students returned for classes on February 26, ushering in the highly touted first year learning model.

The model, which is an Australian-first, has students take each subject or unit for a four week period, undergo assessment, then proceed to the next unit rather than juggle four subjects at once.

Victoria University nursing lecturer Rachael Connor said the model is ideal for the university’s diverse student population.

“It’s only in its infancy, but I think this model really suits non-traditional students,” she said.

“Whether they be from a low socioeconomic background or even looking for a second career, they’re getting every opportunity to succeed under this model.”

With smaller class sizes and no mass lectures, Ms Connor said the new model was already showing its worth, despite only being a few weeks old.

“From a teaching perspective, having the same students each day has meant I can already see a difference,” she said.

“They know me, I know them, they know each other. There’s already a bit of humour, they seem more engaged, less stressed and we’ve created a team.

“As a teacher, getting to see them grow and develop has been really rewarding. Last year I had 18 groups so it was a lot more difficult to get to know them.” While the model is an Australian-first, it’s been in operation throughout Sweden and in parts of North America for over four decades.