HOLMESGLEN TAFE has won a partial reprieve from the impact of the State Government’s budget cuts with the University of Canberra set to open a campus at its Chadstone headquarters.
The branch campus, to be known as the University of Canberra Melbourne, will offer 11 new degrees from next year. The Commonwealth funded degrees will include the study areas of business, commerce, justice, sports management, design, and information technology.
‘‘It gives greater opportunities for our students, much greater,’’ Holmesglen chief executive Bruce Mackenzie said today.
‘‘Our students can currently do degrees at Holmesglen, but with the exception of nursing and early childhood, they’ve got to pay full fees. Now they won’t have to.’’
The annoucement of the new campus comes after leaked cabinet documents revealed the extent of cost-cutting measures after the Baillieu government slashed millions of dollars of funding to TAFE providers across the state.
As reported by the Weekly, before today’s announcement fees were forecast to double at Holmesglen and 65 full-time teaching jobs were at risk.
About 20 jobs have already been cut with the rest to go by the end of the year.
Up to a further 50 jobs in administration, support staff and contract teaching were also at risk.
The new initiative will see about 30 staff staff re-employed as part of the degree programs.
‘‘What this announcement will do though is it will give confidence to the TAFE sector that Victorian TAFE is still a very strong, powerful organisation. It’s still the most innovative in this country.’’ Mr Mackenzie said.
He said the deal had been in the pipeline for the last seven months, well before Holmeslgen realised it would bear the brunt of $30 million cut in funding.
‘‘Holmesglen was never going to be in any difficulty.’’
University of Canberra vice-chancellor Stephen Parker said the situation was a win-win.
‘‘I hope that it will be the beginning of something even bigger so that (University of Canberra) and Holmeslgen programs can be taken nationally together,’’ Professor Parker said.
‘‘This particular campus in Chadstone, when it adds to its higher education scale through UC, is going to be a very significant tertiary base.’’