I’m very pleased to report that the government’s attempts to deregulate university tuition fees failed to pass the senate. This all went through before the planned rally which obviously affected turnout but overall I’m very happy with what happened. MEAN have begun strategising over where to from here since it looks like tertiary education reform will not be a government priority. MEAN are leaning towards a campaign around free tertiary education, or at the very least increasing public funding for education since Australia ranks towards the bottom of the OECD in public funding for education. Also, I am handing over most organising responsibilities for MEAN to Gavin Scolaro, who has proven to be an enthusiastic and engaged member. So this allows me to focus on other tasks in my role.
- First and foremost, now that the IT transfer has gone ahead I will be spending the week setting up the Guild Wiki, an open resource that students can contribute knowledge and opinion about the university to. I am (optimistically) hoping to soft launch it next week.
- Education Council still hasn’t met, mostly because after contacting the people who put their hand up to be School Board reps, few are interested in taking on the job this year. I’ll try and refocus on instead contacting the faculty societies and having them take a more proactive look into advocating for student in their courses.
I want to bring council’s attention to the increasing number of informal complaints and feedback being posted across social media about people’s learning experiences at university. I know a lot of people like to have a general whinge but it’d be great if Councillors could assist me in educating students that The Guild is here to take on their concerns and act on their behalf. And that we can actually make a real difference in their experiences on campus by advocating for them.
Finally I want to report that I’ve been doing my usual duties such as sitting on appeals hearings, working through assessment policy and meeting with associate deans of learning and teaching about the delivery of learning and teaching at Murdoch. There is nothing much of particularly outstanding interest although the university has completed it’s first draft of their new curriculum building guidelines. It’ll probably take a few years for anything substantial to come out of it but it should help produce more soundly structured courses and units in the university. It’ll probably cause a bunch of gripes from unit coordinators who are annoyed they’ll have to change things but, you know, that’s their job.
Oh, and of course I’ve been assisting or hindering the President with her work as appropriate.
Roland Belford, Education Vice President.