Union: Macquarie Uni Course Cuts Will Cause Long-Term Damage

STEM, Gender Studies and Biostatistics all face the axe

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has today slammed moves by Macquarie University management to make significant cuts to its course offerings for 2021.

Among the courses facing the axe are gender studies and a host of STEM offerings including the Bachelor of Mathematical Sciences, Bachelor of Advanced Science and Master of Biostatistics.

“The University is ramming these cuts through without consulting with staff or students. This is astonishing given that “Students First” is apparently central to the University’s Operating Plan,” said Associate Professor Nikki Balnave, President of the NTEU Macquarie Uni Branch.

“No Faculty is immune from these cuts. The Faculty of Arts is clearly under fire, and the NTEU is also in possession of a vast list of courses to be “rested” in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. This includes courses recently established to meet the high demand by industry for graduates in the mathematical sciences, along with majors designed for our future secondary education teachers.

“Resting” appears to be another word for “abolishing”, but with a different time-frame, she continued.

“That Arts majors of significant societal value such as gender studies and social justice are slated to be culled based solely on an arbitrary and non-strategic “efficiency metric” is appalling and worryingly short-sighted. What exactly is Macquarie management’s vision for the future of the University, and indeed society? The NTEU calls on management to stop and consult with staff, students and the wider community,” said Associate Professor Balnave.

“These cuts are ultimately the product of the federal government’s refusal to legislate a rescue package for higher education amid the COVID pandemic. They will cause long term damage to Macquarie Uni and will only be exacerbated if the government’s Job Ready Graduates package is made law by the Parliament,” said Dr Damien Cahill, Assistant Secretary NTEU NSW.

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