500 signatures reached
To: Sharon Pickering - Deputy Vice Chancellor of Education
Monash University: Reverse Cuts to Arts Honours!
In late 2021 Monash University made the decision to silently cut the Honours component of 10 different Arts majors - Denying thousands of students the opportunity to undertake a crucial part of their degree that many have spent years preparing for.
The affected fields include: Anthropology, Communications and Media Studies, Criminology, Film and Screen Studies, Human geography, Journalism, Linguistics, Politics, Religious Studies & Sociology.
The removal of the honours components of these degrees is one of several increasingly concerning steps in the commercialisation of our universities - With Monash continually choosing to put profit above the experiences and welfare of their staff & students.
We are asking that the university reinstate the honours components of these courses as soon as practicable.
Why is this important?
The Honours component of an arts degree is an essential portion of many students' educational experience and career progression. It serves as the foundation for post-graduate education and provides students with research skills needed to undertake high-level positions in their chosen field of study.
The alternative degree suggested by Monash, the Master of Arts (Research Training) is unacceptable as an alternative for a number of reasons including:
- It is a two-year course, as opposed to the one year traditionally required for honours.
- Entrance to the degree requires completion of a number of specific and niche undergraduate units, meaning many students must make dramatic changes to their study plan in order to be eligible for the degree.
- It requires completion of a thesis that is up to 10,000 words longer and significantly more complex (something the university openly admits and brags about on the website advertising the degree).
- It provides significantly less academic supervision and support.
- It is explicitly catered towards industry experts that lack an academic background, not recent undergraduates. Thus, the program is not fit to be a replacement for an honours degree.