OPEN LETTER FROM THE AWGSA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REGARDING THE PROPOSED FUNDING CHANGES TO HIGHER EDUCATION

As representatives of the Australian Women’s and Gender Studies Association (AWGSA), the peak national body for researchers, academics, and students in this field, we oppose any fee restructure to university courses that will disproportionately disadvantage students undertaking Humanities, Social Science, and Arts degrees. Constructing and perpetuating hierarchies between disciplines operate as a disservice to all engaging in teaching, learning, and research activities at a tertiary level. The proposed funding changes will impose further impediments to accessing tertiary education and will create greater hardship for already disadvantaged groups to advance their education. There are also particular gendered implications, with the proposed changes largely being to the detriment of fields of study taken up by women. Education is not simply a pathway to increased employment opportunities. The exposure it provides to critical thinking, equity, and social justice are essential for a diverse and democratic society.

Dr Juliet Watson (President)
Dr Sarah Casey (Vice-President)
D Suzanne Egan (Secretary)
Professor JaneMaree Maher (Treasurer and Immediate Past President)
State, ECR, media, and post-graduate representatives:
Dr Ruby Grant
Dr Monique Mulholland
Dr Tom Sandercock
Dr Andrea Waling
Dr Camille Nurka
Dr Jessica Kean
Dr Sharon Bickle
Dr Chantal Bourgault Du Coudray
Dr Kythera Watson -Bonnice
Dr Emma Whatman
Ms Shawna Marks

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