UNE management assists students caught by industrial action

But the university signals it wants workload change

What’s happened: Students at the University of New England have a week’s assignment extension, granted, PVC Academic Innovation Jonathan Powles says, because the union has a ban on electronic communication with students.

“Coming as this action does in the busiest assessment period in the trimester, students have understandably reacted negatively to the disruption to their studies. Requests for assistance have been received centrally and at faculty level. In particular, on-line students have felt that their coming assessment performance may be negatively impacted as they cannot ask questions or receive advice or guidance online owing to the industrial action.”

Where this comes from: UNE management and the National Tertiary Education Union have been at odds for well over a year on all sorts of workload issues, mostly connected to enterprise bargaining. New vice chancellor Brigid Heywood has made it plain that to return to a budget surplus, productivity needs to lift and that means changes to academic workloads.  Presumably she is also looking to fund the $400m STEM she told the local Armidale Express about.


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