UWA sticks to cuts

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By SO­PHIE GABRIELLE

DE­SPITE protests by stu­dents and staff, the Univer­sity of WA will con­tinue with its plan to scrap three arts ma­jors.

Gen­der Stud­ies, Euro­pean Stud­ies and Me­dieval and Early Mod­ern Stud­ies will be re­scinded as ma­jors but a UWA spokes­woman said UWA was plan­ning to teach the sub­jects as units within more pop­u­lar ma­jors.

“The Univer­sity hopes this will re­sult in more stu­dents pur­su­ing stud­ies in these ar­eas,” she said.

“UWA re­mains com­mit­ted to teach­ing Gen­der Stud­ies, Euro­pean Stud­ies and Me­dieval and Early Mod­ern Stud­ies.

“The Univer­sity is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing its stu­dents – with those cur­rently en­rolled in the Gen­der Stud­ies, Euro­pean Stud­ies and Me­dieval & Early Mod­ern Stud­ies ma­jors able to com­plete their stud­ies as planned.”

Stu­dents at UWA started a pe­ti­tion over the cuts that has at­tracted more than 300 sig­na­tures.

UWA Stu­dent Guild women’s of­fi­cer Emma Boogaerdt said de­spite UWA be­ing the only univer­sity in WA to of­fer the ma­jors, the Arts Fac­ulty wanted to re­scind them be­cause they were no longer fi­nan­cially vi­able.

“These cuts fail to con­sider the aca­demic merit of the ma­jors and their very high stu­dent sat­is­fac­tion, and have been pro­posed with lim­ited stu­dent con­sul­ta­tion,” Emma said.

“In­creas­ing the pro­file of these study ar­eas won’t come through scat­ter­ing units through­out other cour­ses, it will come through ap­pre­ci­at­ing the value of the spe­cific named ma­jors and ac­tu­ally en­sur­ing that they are well ad­ver­tised to stu­dents.

“We’re yet to see any fig­ures as to how much money this would ac­tu­ally save the fac­ulty, given that no staff will be lost and a num­ber of units will still be run.”

The UWA spokes­woman said the de­ci­sion was not made for fi­nan­cial sav­ings.

“The Univer­sity recog­nises the rights of peo­ple to voice their opin­ion,” she said.

Me­dieval and Early Mod­ern Stud­ies stu­dent Kather­ine O’Brien moved from Mur­doch Univer­sity to com­plete her ma­jor.

“UWA is the only place where I can study this, un­less I want to go in­ter­state,” Kather­ine said.

“I can’t un­der­stand why UWA wouldn’t want to keep some­thing so unique.”

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