MORE than 600 subjects will be axed from Charles Sturt University's offerings as the educator struggles with a projected $49.5 million budget deficit.
Earlier this year CSU announced it would cut jobs and was taking urgent action to offset the huge decline in revenue amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, it announced hundreds of subjects would now be cut.
"We have already identified more than 600 subjects for discontinuation, from a total of 4751 offerings in 2019. This is around a 13 per cent reduction," CSU said in a statement.
"To put this in practical terms, we have been in situations where we have offered hundreds of subjects - maintaining the administrative load around these - with no, or fewer than 10, student enrolments. 550 offerings were identified in 2019 to have no student enrolments."
While CSU said it was inefficient to have subjects with no students and there was a need to scale back, it did not list which subjects would be axed.
"Subjects with only a few students are not only financially non-viable, but do not deliver a great student experience. We are spread too thin, and this also affects the quality of our subjects offered," CSU said.
"No student will be disadvantaged. It's important for everyone to know that even if a course will no longer take enrolments with a view to discontinuation, every student in the course will be able to finish their course with us."
CSU said staff would provide feedback through to July 13 to help rebuild course profiles and that changes could include:
- Reducing intakes
- Moving a course to be offered only online, rather than on-campus
- Reducing specialisations that are not resonating with students
- Where a course has not attracted the minimum number of students over a period of years, we may teach it out.
CSU senior executives will have a 10 per cent pay cut for 2020, while the university is also "aiming to save" through changes to course profile, staffing structures and a review of operational expenditure.
CSU's statement said it was also developing a number of "positive opportunities across campuses in medicine and allied health, education, information technology and business studies".
"With a more focused effort, we believe we can enhance the quality of student experience in certain disciplines and fields of study," CSU said.
"While there will be changes, it will mean we can deliver better quality courses, and grow the courses that appeal to the market. Overall we can ensure excellence in the courses we offer and remove the extra workload for our academics of courses that are not attracting students."
CSU said it would have the final decision on courses in two phases, the first by August and the second by September 2020.