Tertiary Update Vol 19 No 27
Twenty people could lose their jobs at the University of Otago as it reviews and restructures its humanities division.
An email from the university’s pro-vice chancellor of Humanities, Tony Ballantyne, says he will start management of change processes within Anthropology and Archaeology, English and Linguistics, History (with change also probable in Art History), Languages and Cultures and Music.
Ballantyne also told people working in the humanities division that it is probable the university will restructure its College of Education early next year and that Philosophy, Social Work and Classics will be reassessed later next year.
The university is currently meeting with people who work in all the affected departments outlining the process for change.
Ballantyne says he is committed to preserving the university’s status as a “diverse and comprehensive humanities division”.
However, he also says the changes are about cutting costs and saving money.
TEU national president Sandra Grey says people working in the humanities division, particularly those in the departments the university has identified, are extremely worried about their jobs, and also about their future students.
Grey says TEU is advocating to protect its members, but also to protect opportunities for future humanities students.
“At the moment Otago is not suggesting it will cut programmes, but we are worried about future students losing choices and opportunities.”
Grey says a strong humanities division is essential to large, modern universities such as Otago.
“Our universities have to resist the pressure from outside to cut away arts and humanities. We cannot let this outside pressure be the only thing that dictates what universities do and do not teach,” says Grey.
Also in Tertiary Update this week:
- Poverty campaigner wants student loan interest to return
- New pay steps lift WEA towards Living Wage
- PTE students not allowed to know their risk
- Local researchers concerned about govt’s recruitment fund
- The latest business news
Victoria University’s Director of Human Resources, Annemarie de Castro, said the university’s annual survey shows that academic staff in particular “want to see action on workload and ensuring they are well in terms of job stress and other factors” – Salient
Of 17 students enrolled in Waiariki’s horticulture course for semester one, only two passed a drug test. None of those students wanted to re-take the drug test, which meant the class had to be cancelled that semester. In semester two 16 students are enrolled and will take the drug test this week – Whakatane Beacon
Some workers are increasingly ready to take strike action as low inflation prompts employers to ratchet down pay. The economy is growing at about 2.5 to 3 percent, but wages are failing to keep up – Radio NZ
Global private tertiary education provider Navitas has reported a 25 percent lift in full year profit to $90 million driven by a record $1 billion revenue stream – ABC
Students starting university courses in England will no longer be able to apply for grants towards living costs. Under changes that came into effect on Monday, grants for students from low-income homes are replaced by loans – BBC
The peak body representing Australian universities has urged the Turnbull government to finally abandon the 20 percent funding cut to universities originally proposed in the Abbott government’s politically-toxic 2014 budget – Sydney Morning Herald