Journalism program axed

THE discontinuation of four programs offered at the Monash University Gippsland campus, including the Bachelor of Arts (Journalism), will be proposed at an Education Committee meeting at the Monash Clayton campus this afternoon.

The proposal to “disestablish” the Bachelor of Arts (Journalism), double-degree programs Bachelor of Arts (Journalism)/Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Business and Commerce/Bachelor of Visual and Media Arts as well as the Graduate Diploma in Music will be put forward.

Monash University Gippsland public affairs director Tim Grainger said the journalism course would no longer be offered in 2013 following declining numbers of first-year enrolments.

“Given current levels of demand… it is not sustainable and presents little benefit for the university, region or students themselves in continuing to offer a program that has such a small number of enrolments,” Mr Grainger said.

He said there would be no changes to the staffing profile, nor any plans to remove the School of Applied Media and Social Sciences at the campus, adding a new program was being developed to commence in 2014.

“Monash University is currently developing a Bachelor of Media and Communication degree (which will) allow students to combine studies in journalism, communications and other subjects, and gain a broader, more versatile set of skills,” he said.

“Current (first and second-year) students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) program will not be affected by this decision (to discontinue the program); (they) will be able to complete the remaining years of their degree on the Gippsland campus.”

Monash University Gippsland Student Union president Ben Rogers said the union was disappointed the course was being discontinued.

“Since the Bachelor of Journalism was discontinued here and it became Bachelor of Arts (Journalism), the numbers dropped off,” Mr Rogers said.

“Monash Gippsland is the only tertiary institution in regional eastern Victoria, so it is important a wide range of courses are provided to all students.”

Former Monash Gippsland student and Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) student Julia Auciello also expressed her disappointment in the discontinuation of the course, which provided her with valuable hands-on knowledge.

“Being from Morwell I chose to study at Gippsland because it was close to home, and it was the course I wanted to do,” Ms Auciello said, adding however, she understood the university’s need to address demand.

“The Gippsland campus has already moved a number of courses to Clayton, which has been unpopular with students, and it’s just a shame that they’re getting rid of more.”