Controversial changes to ADA degrees to go ahead next year | Academic Board votes 

By Alex Neale

On June 28, The UNSW Academic Board voted to pass changes to the structures of thirteen degrees in the Arts, Design and Architecture faculty, effective from 2023. The board functions as the governing body for students, staff and researchers and is represented by the Vice-Chancellor, Deans and Undergraduate representatives alike. 

The faculty is boasting the instalment of five new degrees under their purview. These come at the expense of the aforementioned thirteen currently in place.  

The changes came about in light of data collected by the ADA faculty through various avenues including myExperience surveys and student consultations. However the SRC, who had representatives at the meeting, has expressed concern that neither the nature of this data or the process of consultation have been made publicly available. 

“While the SRC recognises there are limitations in … reflecting the views of all students in the faculty,” read an SRC Statement to Tharunka. “We will continue to push for more transparency, accountability and details from the ADA faculty and providing regular updates to the student body to ensure this change is taking place in a co-designed process.” 

During the Academic Board meeting, the SRC pushed to delay these changes until the 2024 academic year, saying students may not have a “thorough opportunity” to provide personal insight into the effects and consequences of these changes.  

They also noted the potential strain on staff working conditions, with only six months to update, reshuffle and rewrite thirteen degrees worth of courses in adaptation to the new structure.  

Students currently enrolled in degree programs to undergo changes will have the option of transitioning into a replacement program at the beginning of next year. They may also choose to see out their degree in its current structure. 

Website material from each degree will be made public next week. 

The SRC’s full statement can be found here: ADA Comment.docx 

More to come.