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Staff cuts threaten to jeopardise student learning

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Staff cuts announced after the start of classes at Curtin’s Bentley and Western Australia School of Mines (WASM) campuses threaten to jeopardise student learning this semester.

According to Education Vice President, Hana Arai, Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering (MECE) students were surprised to learn that their teaching staff were being made redundant as announced by their departing lecturers just a few weeks into the semester.

Ms Arai said that the decision has resulted in other staff having to take on additional work as a result of the changes. Many students are still unsure of course arrangements and the status of their units.

“Some staff have been overwhelmed by the extra workload, with some requesting to take stress leave. This will certainly impact on the quality of teaching provided to students,” said Ms Arai.

“Students who are affected were not consulted with or adequately informed about the changes,” she said.

Ms Arai said that she had met with the Head of School of MECE to discuss how Curtin can assist students and minimise any negative consequences that the staff changes will have on students during the transition period.

The Guild has also worked alongside the NTEU to submit a response to the University about the flawed process and the implementation of the redundancies.

iLectures from retrenched staff members will be made available to students in order to preserve the consistency of learning from their former lecturers.

Ms Arai said that there are plans to discuss with the University how students can provide more input into any changes to staffing arrangements in the future.

Students who have been impacted by the changes at MECE are urged to get in touch with the Guild by submitting their feedback here.

A representative of the Guild’s independent support service, Student Assist, will be in Kalgoorlie from 13 – 17 May to meet with students who have been affected by this issue.