14 November 2012
Universities are at risk of becoming irrelevant in the face of proliferating Massive Open Online Courses unless they invest more in campus teaching, according to the National Union of Students (NUS).
NUS says its 2012 quality survey highlights complaints about overcrowded tutorials, increasing reliance on group work, and insufficient feedback and validates its predictions about the consequences of insufficient funding .
Despite overall high satisfaction, NUS president Donherra Walmsley said the survey confirmed fears that teaching quality would be hit as the Gillard government expanded places without significantly boosting per-student funding.
We predicted overcrowding of classes would worsen. We predicted the casualisation of academia would continue to expand and affect students. We predicted more reliance on online resources at the expense of face-to-face teaching.
National Tertiary Education Union President Jeanne Rea says that you don’t need to be Einstein to work out that a lack of public investment in Australian universities as well as an increasing reliance on casual teaching staff is undermining student experience at our universities.
NUS’s 2012 Education Quality Survey adds to growing body of evidence which shows that the high quality Australian university teaching cannot be sustained without a significant increase in investment.