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Gender Studies, European Studies and Medieval and Early Modern Studies will be rescinded as majors but a UWA spokeswoman said UWA was planning to teach the subjects as units within more popular majors.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