Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (16:10): I move:
1) The Senate notes that:
a) The University of Western Sydney (UWS) has foreshadowed planned cuts to economics and community languages courses and academic staffing cuts across various schools.
b) UWS claims the cuts are in response to budgetary pressures due to lower than expected student enrolments following the uncapping of university places, however the university still carries a budget surplus and can expect a steady increase in enrolments over time.
c) In 2003 UWS allocated 62.5% of student fees earned to teaching and learning, whereas in 2012 only 38.3% of student fees earned went to teaching and learning, with a corresponding increase in administration expenditure.
d) Teaching and learning is under resourced at UWS, with one of the highest staff to student ratios in Australia as well as one of the highest staff casualisation rates, and further staffing cuts will deny the students of Western Sydney a quality education.
e) UWS plans to close its student learning service that targets academic skills support to socially disadvantaged students and students who are the first in their family to attend university, which applies to a large number of students from Western Sydney.
2) The Senate calls on the government to:
a) Urge University of Western Sydney management to retain its current courses and academic staffing resources.
b) Immediately increase public funding by 10 per cent per government supported university student, as recommended by the Bradley review, to give budget certainty to universities.
The Senate divided. [16:14]
(The Deputy President—Senator Parry
DIVISION:NOES 36 (26 majority) AYES 10 PAIRS 0