Uni union rejects three terms

Southern Cross University staff have made their feelings clear to a review into the three-session teaching calendar that was introduced earlier this year.

The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at SCU said the three-session calendar was implemented suddenly “in a cynical bid to increase student enrolments, with no consultation, no consideration of the individual content within individual courses, and no consideration of its effect on students and staff.”

The union said it had resulted in students having to squeeze their studies into shorter time frames and increased workloads for staff.

“Now we appear to have a situation where some schools feel compelled to return to the two-semester year; some are adopting the three-session year; and others are coming up with their own models entirely,” NTEU-SCU Branch executive member Dr Yvonne Hartman said. “Nor have there been any additional resources allocated for the introduction of a third teaching session which means existing general and teaching staff have had their workloads increased by up to one third.”

The university called for a review, which is being headed by Professor Barbara van Ernst. The NTEU made their submission on Tuesday.

Dr Sandy Darab from the NTEU said Professor van Ernst had given them a good hearing but could give no assurance that the new calendar would be scrapped. They will wait for the outcome of the review before deciding whether to take industrial action.


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