Following changes made to TAFE funding in the Victorian Budget 2012-2013, Victoria University financial modelling demonstrates that its state revenue will be reduced by $32 million in 2013.
The University has made an immediate strategic response to cope with funding cuts of this magnitude.
Victoria University has reviewed all TAFE courses against considerations such as financial viability, fee structure, potential for guaranteed pathways and their alignment with the VU Agenda.
Course fees have been increased in line with the government changes and diploma tuition fees in particular have been substantially increased. Eligible students will be able to defer tuition fee payments through the VET FEE Help system.
The VU Agenda is Victoria University's new direction for 2013 involving the development of integrated VET and higher education colleges, a new VU Trades Academyand a distinctive new curriculum.
As an outcome of this review, Victoria University will not offer TAFE courses in animal studies, boatbuilding, and events and tourism in 2013.
The number of courses offered in sports and fitness, hospitality, business and financial services will be significantly reduced. However the University will still offer strong pathways from VET diplomas into degrees in these areas. It is expected that these course changes will result in some future job losses.
Victoria University Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anne Jones said, "In order to mitigate the impact of the TAFE funding cuts we have had to make some difficult decisions. These decisions were made in a swift and thorough manner to ensure our ongoing viability but also with the future structure of the University in mind.
"We understand that these funding cuts will have an impact on our staff. There are currently approximately fifty positions being made redundant in the faculties of Technical Trades Innovation and Workforce Development. These were already expected because of the likely funding reductions following the State Budget although the magnitude of these reductions took us by surprise.
"Since we will progressively transition out of the discontinued courses it is unlikely that further redundancies will need to take place until the end of 2012," Professor Jones said.
"Staff working in areas that are immediately impacted have been briefed this morning and offered counselling services. Both the Australian Education Union and the National Tertiary Education Union have been informed."
"The new course structure is aligned to the new college structure and the University's distinctive specialisations – business; creative industries and creative arts; education and early childhood; engineering, science and the built environment; health; law, justice and government; social science and communities; and sport science," she said.
"We will work hard to minimise the impact on our students and are committed to giving existing students the opportunity to complete their course. We will continue to provide a positive student experience and access to excellentTAFE education."
Background papers Refocussing Vocational Education and Training at Victoria University and The VU Agenda: Excellent Engaged and Accessible are available
Christine White, Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University, 9919 4322; 0434 602 884; [email protected]