To: UWA Faculty of Arts

Save GEND, EURO and MEMS Majors at UWA!

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Dear UWA Faculty of the Arts,

The students of UWA urge you to reverse the planned cuts of the Gender Studies, European Studies, and Medieval & Early Modern Studies Majors at UWA. These majors have been consistently under attack for years because of 'financial constraints' that apparently make them too costly to run, yet there is little done to promote them to incoming students. These courses all have inherent value and are essential to keep if UWA wants to truly market itself as a global university that produces well-rounded graduates.

Why is this important?

As a student at UWA the proposed cuts to Arts Majors is a great cause of concern. I believe that my university should pride itself on creating graduates who have an understanding of global issues and have received a broad education, rather than being an institution that just focusses on what will earn them the most money in the short term. Decisions like this not only affect students currently enrolled in the Gender Studies, European Studies, and Medieval & Early Modern Studies Majors, but all students at UWA as I believe this decision greatly harms the integrity of the university.

No figures have been provided as to why these majors aren't financially viable, and it's unclear why it is them who have been continually under attack, rather than the university carrying out a proper Faculty-wide review.

Having done units from these majors in the past I can testify to their high quality and the passion of the lecturers and tutors. The fact that the majors haven't been well promoted in the past, especially as they have been continually under attack, is the root cause of any under-enrolment. If the university truly valued these areas of study the best solution would be to promote them more widely to incoming students, rather than cut them all together.

UWA has the only Medieval and Early Modern Studies and European Studies Majors in the state and Gender Studies is extremely important as a study of the current and past oppressions of women. These majors all have an important place at UWA, especially as a university that claims to produce 'global citizens'.

In the interests of preserving UWA's reputation as an institution that values a broad range of areas and puts the education of its students as its number one priority I urge the Faculty of Arts to reverse its decision.


Reasons for signing

  • I do a gender studies unit and it has really opened my eyes and provided me with a lot of insight into issues that I hadn't previously considered.
  • I did Honours in History in the Early Modern and Medieval fields with a focus on gendered representations and text; analysis at a high level. These studies developed my capacity for critical analysis, essential for work as a policy writer. I cannot speak highly enough of the dedicated and passionate academics who delivered the course. We need more, not less opportunity to study our institutions, values and assumptions in as wide a social and historical context as possible.
  • I did Honours in European Studies, and the courses' unique combination of broader political, social and historical context with detailed, close study of text is undeniably vital to my current job as an editor at Penguin. Removing European Studies and its dedicated, passionate teachers will deprive future students of the critical thinking and deep engagement with ideas and issues the department offers.

Updates

2015-08-03 22:31:30 +1000

500 signatures reached

2015-07-28 18:26:17 +1000

Thanks to UWA's Pelican Magazine for running an article on the UWA has Major issues campaign. You can check it out here - http://pelicanmagazine.com.au/2015/07/28/students-protest-major-cuts/

2015-07-16 14:11:53 +1000

100 signatures reached

2015-07-16 10:49:17 +1000

50 signatures reached

2015-07-16 05:49:05 +1000

25 signatures reached

2015-07-16 00:54:59 +1000

10 signatures reached