Reports that 150 academics and 190 general staff jobs at Sydney Uni will be axed is a serious blow for student learning, directly linked to government underfunding of universities, said Greens Senator for NSW and higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon
Senator Rhiannon will give notice of a motion in the Senate today calling for the government to immediately increase public funding by 10 percent for government supported university students, as recommended by the Bradley Review.
“Moves by Sydney University management to slash 340 jobs smacks of an anti-academic penny-pinching approach that will harm student learning and research”, said Senator Rhiannon.
“Sadly, these job cuts do not stand alone. La Trobe University plans to shed up to 230 academic and general staff, 50 jobs are slated to go at Macquarie University and cuts are mooted for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at University of NSW.
“The bean-counters have taken over Sydney University but it is the government that has invited them to the party with inadequate funding and a push to deregulation.
“Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans needs to face up to the impact of squeezing university funding and forcing universities to rely on international student fees.
“Universities need the budget certainty of public funding so their annual forecasts do not swing widely with staff on the front line for cuts in a bad year.
“Chronic underfunding by the Commonwealth of our universities has ushered in an era where university management are sharply focused on the bottom line to the detriment of quality education.
“At a time the government are looking to increase student enrolments in universities, slashing jobs at Sydney University will hurt student learning, blow out staff-student ratios and increase the casualisation of the workforce.
“The Greens stand squarely behind the NTEU’s campaign to fight these cuts,” said Senator Rhiannon.