Changes loom at university

Arts changes: Federation University said they are looking at making staff changes to the Bachelor of arts degree after only three students enrolled in he degree at the university's Gippsland campus. file photograph

By TOM GANNON

FEDERATION University is consulting staff on proposed redundancies at both the Gippsland and Ballarat campuses.

The university has confirmed it is looking at making staff changes to the Bachelor of Arts degree following low enrolment numbers.

The proposed staff changes would see three redundancies at the Gippsland campus and three redundancies at the Ballarat campus.

In 2021, only 29 students in total enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts degree across Federation University’s Gippsland, Ballarat and Berwick campuses.

Only three of these students were enrolled in the degree at the university’s Gippsland campus in Churchill.

Across the three campuses the university currently has 19.5 full-time equivalent academic teaching staff which works out to be a ratio of 1.5 students per staff member.

“Unfortunately demand for Bachelor of Arts programs has been declining at universities across Australia and only three students enrolled in the degree at our Gippsland campus in 2021,” a Federation University Australia spokesperson told The Express.

“While we remain committed to teaching the arts and humanities, we are currently consulting with staff about changes to the Bachelor of Arts degree. We are introducing new majors such as marketing and entrepreneurship to give students a broader range of job skills, while a small number of redundancies are proposed.”

Despite the decline in enrollment numbers for the university’s Bachelor of Arts degree, the university said it is committed to further investment and a continued presence in Gippsland.

“We are absolutely committed to the Gippsland region,” the university spokesperson said.

“We’re investing in new programs that students and employers want, and that lead to good local jobs and economic growth in the region.”

With a new speech pathology degree announced last month, the university said it is focusing on expanding its allied health programs across the region.

“In Gippsland, we’ve significantly expanded our allied health programs, including the launch of a new speech pathology degree last month, because we know there are shortages of health care professionals and a strong demand for healthcare services and jobs,” a university spokesperson said.