The end of Arts at Federation U

Federation University announces its bachelor of arts will be no more as of next year, attributing it to “an ongoing and steady decline in student numbers” 

The university reports 83 commencements in 2018, down to 23 this year.

““As part of our plan to be strong and sustainable, we regularly review our programmes and courses to ensure they meet student and industry needs and remain viable to operate,” acting VC Wendy Cross says.

While there are courses that are part of the BA programme that continue, Professor Cross points to the university’s” key role to play in driving economic growth and jobs in our regions.”

To do this, we must build a strong and sustainable university first,” she says.

The end of arts appears to have been in the works for a while. Management cut six positions a year back, citing low on-campus and on-line arts enrolments (CMM September 16 2021). And in November the university responded to declines in overall student numbers with a restructure intended to “respond to employer and innovation demand.” This included ending organisational structures, “which are designed around historically inward-facing models of academia.”

“We understand that the overall changing environment may not align to where some of our people currently wish to be, which is perfectly understandable. Workplace skills are changing at a rapid pace as well as technology capabilities as we become a more flexible workplace,” Federation U management stated then.”

“Regional university staff and students deserve access to this core program, and without having to leave their communities and move to metropolitan areas,” union official Mathew Abbott says now.

“We need an urgent intervention with emergency funding to save this key pillar of regional higher education. Rogue Vice Chancellors making destructive and short-sighted decisions need to be reined in by governments.”