UC should ditch Brumbies, not languages: NTEU

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THE National Tertiary Education Union has called on the University of Canberra to immediately reverse its decision to dump its language programs. 

In a statement released today, ACT Division NTEU Secretary Stephen Darwin said that rather than cutting language courses, UC should “instead abandon its high-cost rugby [ACT Brumbies] sponsorship deal in preference to irreparably damaging a core teaching area of the university.”

The push comes after UC language students protested against the cuts at Parliament House on Friday.

In May, UC Vice Chancellor Stephen Parker announced the university would close Chinese, Japanese and Spanish language courses from next semester, with students to continue courses at the neighbouring Australian National University. According to Mr Parker, the cuts are caused by the federal government’s efficiency dividend for universities.

Mr Darwin has labelled the decision “flawed”.

“It was now clear that this decision was based on flawed understanding of the importance of languages to the university, an overstating of the costs of their provision and wholly inadequate arrangements for current UC language students,” Mr Darwin said.

“The NTEU supports comments made by languages expert Professor Kent Anderson from the University of Adelaide in his keynote speech at a major languages conference last week at the Australian National University, who described the rationale offered by the University of Canberra for abandoning its language programs as ‘totally incomprehensible.'”

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