Uni Queensland says English-teaching jobs must go

It’s a tough outcome in any language

In his last week as Uni Queensland VC Peter Høj reported discussions were underway with staff and union to cut jobs in the English-teaching institute, with income and enrolments down 70 per cent (CMM July 28).

Casual teachers are largely gone, but the Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education estimated last month salaries would exceed income for the balance of the year. It expects to lose $7m this year, down from a $6.3m surplus last. And it expects enrolments for first quarter next to be down 70 per cent on this.

Management proposes to retrench 46 of 87 positions.

Which, staff respond, is “short-sighted and extreme.” Other savings measures, including taking leave and working part-time are not exhausted, their paper states. And a focus on China, ignores other markets. “Through adaptability, ingenuity and vision, ICTE has a huge capacity for growth, even under trying circumstances.”

“However, challenging the next 12-24 months may be, it would be extremely short-sighted of the university to divest itself of staff and programmes with the potential to capitalise on the re-emergence of the industry post-COVID.”

Consultation continues.