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Adelaide University may slash number of undergraduate degrees

University of Adelaide

University of Adelaide

Adelaide University is considering cutting the number of its undergraduate degrees as part of its strategic plan for the next 10 years.

Vice chancellor Professor Warren Bebbington released a discussion paper for staff and students, which stated the university had reviewed its undergraduate structure and determined it needed to axe low-intake and low-quality programs.

Currently, the university has more than 150 undergraduate programs on its books, many of which are specialised and lead on to a specific profession.

Prof Bebbington, who took up the top position at the University of Adelaide in July, was formerly deputy vice-chancellor (university affairs) at the University of Melbourne.

The paper said the University of Melbourne had “embraced with vigour” a new degree structure known as the 3+2 model, where students take a three-year generalist degree in either arts, biomedicine, commerce, environments, music and science – which is then followed by either a professional or specialist add-on masters degree.

“Deep discipline specific knowledge belongs to the postgraduate coursework realm and exploring new and unchartered knowledge territory is what Higher Degrees by Research are all about,” the paper stated.

“Given this, and to address our students’ needs better, it is imperative that we make our range of offerings more streamlined, with clear pathways and specialisation that map into either further studies or employment opportunities.”

Prof Bebbington said this was just the beginning of the university’s strategic planning conversation.

“Later we will be consulting our alumni, government and the community,” he said.

“At this stage we have raised a series of questions for our own campus discussion, and I am very much looking forward to the exchange of ideas and opinions over the coming two months.”

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