ACT News


Union applauds clamp on UC plans

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The National Tertiary Education Union has welcomed the federal government's rejection of the University of Canberra's plans to expand into Melbourne through a partnership with Holmesglen TAFE.

The union's ACT division secretary, Stephen Darwin, said UC needed to reconsider its strategic thinking given the rejection followed a ''failed bid by UC management to take over the Canberra Institute of Technology''.

The union also questioned the benefits of UC's sponsorship deal with the Brumbies ''with apparently very marginal benefits to the work of the university''.

''These series of failed and costly ventures suggest that the current strategic thinking of UC management is flawed,'' Mr Darwin said.

''Instead of seeking to move on the desperate public TAFE system or engaging in elite sport sponsorships, UC management would be much better advised to focus on further resourcing quality higher education at UC's Bruce campus where enrolments have grown dramatically in recent years,'' he said.

He said Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans' refusal to sign off on the UC plan to offer Commonwealth supported places to students in Melbourne was a sign the government did not want universities ''moving on the public vocational education system''.


Senator Evans said there would be no further extension of Commonwealth supported places to the TAFE sector until the full impact of the uncapping of university places has been assessed.

UC acting vice-chancellor Nick Klomp played down the decision, saying he was confident the issue could be resolved when the university began negotiating its three-year funding compact with the Commonwealth next month.

In the meantime, approximately 200 students had applied for entry to UC degrees - which would still begin this year but in ''supported distance education mode''.