From increasing the fees for Humanities to university funds cuts, tertiary education in Australia has been in a great struggle affecting the future generations and our generation.
Educational reforms in Australia have now exceeded the federal level and have impacted many of us. At Curtin, a proposal suggesting the ‘blended learning’ model of teaching which included replacing all lectures with multiple 15 minutes short video clips and other forms of online materials has been introduced in late 2020. It also ensured a 30% online element in every unit while face-to-face contact hours were no longer restricted. This change has affected both students and staff across the campus with more than 300 staff losing their jobs.
The Curtin Student Guild opposed such changes in learning by launching a feedback portal and organising social media campaigns. They also demanded an extension on the University’s consultation period which will now run until the end of April.
“I spoke to some medical students and they’re saying they don’t feel ready to go into the workforce and do their job. We brought this information to the University and they said science students are always complaining about something dismissive. The University has completely disconnected from what students are experiencing in the classroom.” said one of the Guild representatives.
President of the Postgraduate Student Committee, May Majimbi said research students spending five to seven years on their works could not guarantee a job after their study.
“Cuts on education isn’t just the course you’re doing, it’s also the entire research workforce that depends on funding.”
This fight does not only limit domestic students but also international ones. International Student Committee President, Cristian Moreno said it is not fair for international students who are away from their families and struggling with basic commodities such as food and rent.
“While I’m paying 80,000 Australian dollars every year, the only support we have received from the university is basically nothing.”
Not only students in various degrees but the cuts also affect staff across campus. Lecturers are then doing extra managerial tasks which directly affect the quality and time in their teaching, resulting in students learning low-quality and outdated lectures.
This change in education has impacted students and staff in all sorts of ways. If you have a voice waiting to be heard, there are student consultation workshop sessions across this month of April starting on the 13th of April where you can learn more about the proposal and have your say.