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Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Scrap the Melbourne Model!

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This Sunday is Open Day at Melbourne University. The administration will be using this day to promote the ‘Melbourne Model’. Melbourne Uni has been very secretive, and manipulative with its million dollar media campaign. What the flashy advertising doesn’t say is that most students won’t be able to afford the very expensive fees as of 2008.

Melbourne University is set to introduce up front fees, and sub-standard ‘generalist degrees’ which exclude subjects like Indigenous history, arts and other political areas of study like gender studies. The reality is most working class people will not be able to afford to study at Melbourne. The Melbourne Model will also mean significant cuts to staff and student numbers.

Melbourne University is leading the way in adopting the new US-based structure. Vice Chancellor Glynn Davis he has already talked openly about wanting to reclaim the word ‘elite’ for his institution.

The graduate scheme is predicated on reducing student numbers and increasing the number of students paying for their degrees. Even worse, it is clear many more universities will follow suit. This means there will be an overall reduction in student numbers across Australia.

Secondary school principals have spoken out about their deep concerns about equity. Brian Burgess, Secondary School Principal’s Association commented “Equity in terms of the amount of the time the course will take and the pressure that puts on students. Some of this program does smack of elitism. The notion of the scholarships; it’s wonderful to have scholarships, but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the number of students that actually access the courses”.

Socialist Party members at Melbourne University have been involved in the campaign against the Melbourne Model. We are opposed to cuts in education and campaign for free education for all. We are helping to let the public know what’s really going on at Melbourne University and what it will mean for higher education across Australia. We want to pressure the University where it hurts – their public image.

We call on all SP supporters in Melbourne to attend the open day and assist the student union distribute information about what the Melbourne Model will mean for students. Come along this Sunday August 19th, 10am – 4pm. Look out for the Student Union information stall.

By SP reporters

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