16/03/2016 - 11:57

Green light for UWA reform

16/03/2016 - 11:57

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The University of Western Australia will proceed with its renewal program, including the consolidation of eight faculties into four, after a previously announced move to reduce staff was halted by industrial action.

UWA is one of the top 100 ranked universities worldwide.

The University of Western Australia will proceed with its renewal program, including the consolidation of eight faculties into four, after a previously announced move to reduce staff was halted by industrial action.

Senior deputy vice-chancellor Dawn Freshwater announced the first phase of the program had been approved by the university’s governing body, the senate, in an email to students today.

The statement did not confirm if the new plan would include the previously touted 300 staff reductions, although the university’s website suggests that number may still be in play.

A second part of the renewal program will include adopting a consistent methodology for evaluation of academic roles across faculties.

Ms Freshwater said the university’s decision was driven by financial pressures and a need to invest in campus infrastructure.

“We are proud to be a top 100 worldwide university that is committed to high-quality teaching, impactful research and innovative community engagement, however, our current structure and financial cost base is inhibiting the university’s ability to invest for the future and that is simply not fair on our current and future staff and students,” Ms Freshwater said in the email today.

“A majority of the changes are of a managerial and administrative nature and it is not anticipated that the changes will directly affect (students).  

“As valued members of the university community we do want (students) to be aware of the project and to understand that a main driver for the change is to release money for strategic spending on our teaching and research, and (enhancing) student experience at UWA.”

Leaders in the higher education sector had previously warned that changes could be necessary if reform to deregulate fees or bolster funding was dropped from the agenda.

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