Class size matters (Australia)

Australia’s higher education minister has expressed concern about rising university class sizes, saying it is an issue the academy must tackle. Senator Chris Evans told listeners at the recent Universities Australia conference in Canberra that vice-chancellors needed to address the problem – but added there would be no additional government funding to help, The Australian newspaper reported. He said that although technological and pedagogic advances meant that there were different ways of supporting learning other than small tutorial groups, student-to-staff ratios remained a key part of maintaining standards. “I am paying you all this extra money, you ought to be able to fix it,” he said, referring to recent funding increases for the sector. “But I’m happy to have some more sophisticated discussions about it because I am sure you won’t concede that point.” Expressing concern that larger tutorial sizes could exacerbate dropout rates, Mr Evans reiterated the government’s commitment to looking for ways to link some funding to student completions rather than enrolments.

Source: Times Higher Education