Sydney Uni To Slash Number Of Undergraduate Degrees It Offers

The University of Sydney is looking to slash the number of undergraduate degrees on offer as part of measures to compete with the University of Melbourne

Sydney Uni currently offers 122 undergraduate degrees, which “does not make a huge amount of sense,” said vice-chancellor Michael Spence, according to reports and confirmed by the university. “They are a huge expense to maintain.”

“We were willing to put a degree on just about everything,” he reportedly told staff members. “We ended up with 122 undergraduate degrees, and very complicated rules about degree progression that were designed to maximise student choice, but often just left students bewildered.”

To give you an idea of what that feels like, here’s the majors offered in the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts alone:

That doesn’t even go into the majors offered to Bachelor of Arts students by other faculties, or the four other faculties and two other specialised Arts faculties to choose from. 

It’s all part of a bid to radically shake up the university over the next six months and bump it into the number one spot in Australia. Less degrees = more streamlining = more money for research. Dr Spence likened it to waking the sleeping dragon, which had mixed results for Daenerys Targaryen but ended well for Bilbo Baggins.

There’s no word yet on which degrees will be cut and how, but according to a spokesperson from the uni: “We’ll be deciding in the best interests of the education of our students. The process will have significant input from our staff, students and faculty, which has already begun.”

The university also plans to address the fact that it’s a breeding ground for privileged members of society, with an imbalance of “old, white males” in positions of power. Again, there’s no details yet on what measures the university will take, but full marks for acknowledging and hoping to correct the fact that just 7% of students are from disadvantaged backgrounds, while a third come from schools with fees in excess of $16,000 a year.

Dr Spence called the changes “traumatic” but necessary for the uni to reach its full potential, which tbh sounds exactly like our parents ever since the dreaded letters ‘H’ and ‘S’ and ‘C’ were first whispered.

We all know that one friend who did an arts degree at Sydney Uni because they literally had no idea what they wanted to do in life, and probably still don’t. Those days may just be behind us.

Updated June 1 at 12:15pm:

Although Dr Spence made references to estimating that the University of Melbourne had about “six degrees” when outlining the plans for Sydney Uni, they actually have 13.

Sydney Uni is not looking to get its undergraduate degrees down to that number, but it should give you a guideline to what they’re aiming for.

“We look forward to seeing the full detail of the University of Sydney’s plan,” said a spokesperson for the University of Melbourne. “We’ve been proud of how [our] new generation degree structure has been received by students and employers, and we continue to work hard to ensure our student experience is first class.”

Via SMH 

Image: University of Sydney / Facebook