As many of our alumni and friends will have seen in the media in recent days, the University of Tasmania is redesigning its course structure to make it a better experience for students.
While much of the focus has been on speculating about job losses and cuts to courses, there is more to the story.
Many recent graduates will know how bewilderingly complex the current course structure and enrolment process can be.
Part of the changes will involve reducing the number of degrees and units. While it’s true the University currently offers 514 courses, currently around 200 have no students enrolled in them this year. A further 200 have, on average, fewer than five students enrolled.
These reforms will ensure that the University is offering a smaller number of high-quality courses that students want to study, while remaining distinctly Tasmanian.
There is also a need to change the complicated and confusing rules in our course structure. Last year alone, the University overrode its own rules more than 8,400 times.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said the University needed to be sustainable for the long term, but was facing “sustained headwinds.”
He said two risks arrived simultaneously this year, a potential pandemic and an over-reliance on China as a market for international students.
These external factors accelerated the need to implement its strategy.
“If we are not sustainable, we start to lose our choices about our future,” Professor Black said.
“Central to being sustainable is a curriculum that provides outstanding student outcomes and experience and puts them at the centre.”
Discussions with the University academic community are underway with decisions to be made midyear. The new course offerings will be offered in time for Semester 1, 2021.
While change of any kind can be unsettling, these reforms offer an opportunity to strengthen the University’s learning, teaching and research, which make a profound contribution to the future of Tasmania and the world.
If you would like to know more about the changes watch the Vice Chancellors’ presentation to senior staff.
Or contact the Alumni Relations team with any queries: Alumni.Office@utas.edu.au