Free advice for Macquarie U law students

In February Macquarie U VC S Bruce Dowton told staff that the feds’ funding freeze and the end of the demand driven system meant the uni was “examining structural issues in the budget assumptions to which we have become accustomed,” (CMM February 21). Sound like cuts to you? It certainly does in the law school where there is a proposal to reduce the time casual academic staff can spend helping students out of class hours. This, campus union official Lance Dale says, is crook.

“Because casual academics are committed to their students, are often driven to do their best in the hope of continuing employment, they will continue to provide student consultation (be it, online or in person) irrespective of whether payment for this work is provided or not. This is wrong and exploitative of the good-will and loyalty of these staff. Moreover, because tutors are in direct face to face contact with students, and have thus developed a platform of trust with them, it is natural and desirable that students approach tutors about many issues in the first instance.”

Mr Dale adds, that the five minutes set aside before and after class “does not cut it”, – too many students, not enough time.

This looks economising of the every little bit helps kind, as the university pays down its $253m in borrowings last year, down $100m on 2016.


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