Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips MP expressed concerns about possible plans by the University of Wollongong to reduce Learning Development lecturer positions at the Shoalhaven and Batemans Bay Campuses.
Learning Development lecturers provide specialised academic and learning support to students to ensure they can succeed in their academic studies.
The Morrison Government’s complete refusal to support our university sector has led to many institutions resorting to drastic measures to ensure they remain economically viable, putting our kids’ education at risk.
Now the government is choosing to attack the faculties which our local satellite campuses rely on – commerce, arts and the humanities - while hiking up student fees.
The Shoalhaven has the highest unemployment and youth unemployment rates in NSW and additional academic support is crucial for students with low socio-economic backgrounds.
“We know that our students are already at a disadvantage to others across the state, but local people have just experienced a traumatic and harrowing year with the recent bushfires and now COVID-19,” Fiona Phillips said.
“We need specialised academic support now more than ever and I have grave concerns that any plans to remove learning development from the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla campuses could reduce student numbers and put their overall economic viability at risk,”
Mrs Phillips has today written to the Vice Chancellor of the University asking that the university abandon any plans to remove these vital support positions as part of the university’s economic response to the pandemic.
“I don’t want to see our kids disadvantaged because they have lost the supports they need to succeed at university,” Fiona Phillips said.
“The Federal Government simply must act now to help universities and save jobs before it’s too late,” she said.