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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 16, July 12, 1976.

Hard Times Ahead for University Students

Hard Times Ahead for University Students

With an overall increase of student rolls of 7% this year and an expected 4% next year the future looks pretty grim for university students. This unexpected increase combined with a 30 - 40% rise in some university costs is heavily taxing already limited resources. Victoria's $8.9 million budget is being stretched to meet even last year's standards and has meant:-
1.Higher staff/student ratios e.g. the Accountancy Dept now has a ratio of 1:24. This means lecturers are teaching classes of more than 400 with some students sitting in the aisles.
2.Drastic and sudden cuts of nearly 25% in books and periodicals bought for the library Though the library received $10,000 more this year it will need another $83,000 simply to continue the 1975 levels of expenditure.
3.Holding Science Department Grants at 1975 levels in spite of large cost increases for equipment.
4.The appointment of lecturers for three year instead of the traditional permanent appointment.

Another example of the mindless tactics of the Government are the cuts in University Research Grants. For the next two years grants will be halved and there will be no money for post-doctoral fellowships This means that university research in key fields such as agriculture, forestry and engineering, vital to our economy, will be totally inadequate.

Victoria is fairly typical of the problems facing other universities throughout the country. Unfortunately the situation doesn't look as if its going to improve. Although the universities are bound by a 5 year block grant for finance the last grant was made in 1975 so there will be no more money for extra staff or facilities until 1980. Mr L. TAuoroa, Deputy Secretary to the Vice Chancellor's Committee prophecied these words of doom: "If the Universities can't get more money and rolls also increase next year, student numbers may have to be restricted. Universities can't bar first-year students. But what they could do is clamp down on others who have failed their units and exclude them from further study."

We cannot afford to let this happen. We must act now to safeguard not only our education but that of our children's. Education is a right. To restrict that right by cuts in spending is to make it the domain of the wealthy.

March against education cuts on July 23

Drawing of a snail and a desk covered in cobwebs