Our Chair, Bob Fels (pictured) wrote:  “Prof John Dewar, AO, Vice Chancellor and Principal, La Trobe University, gave us a comprehensive insight into the impact of the pandemic upon higher education in Australia. Specifically, its impact on La Trobe.

This year has seen a massive revenue drop of $200 million in budget of $900 million, primarily caused by the drop in international students.

This has also meant a loss of further comparable dollars, that students would have spent on living expenses, books, travel etc. in the local community. It could take 5 years to return to last year’s numbers, imposing a serious medium-term shortfall.

La Trobe, like all universities, has made substantial changes to teaching and research processes. Moving to online teaching and tutorials, it lauded his staff for their creative and rapid adaptation to the new world of learning.

La Trobe already worked with TAFE but this is being extended; particularly, as there is a new demand for shorter courses to produce work-ready graduates with newly required skills. Again, he praised his staff for their rapid and effective innovation of course content.

Some of these changes will be sustained as they are quite beneficial improving both teaching techniques and knowledge – it is not all gloom!

Research, so important to growth and economic activity, is being cut back."

Thank you Bob.

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