The University has proposed the discontinuation of Bachelor of Arts/Advanced Studies (Politics and International Relations) stream, merging it with BA/BAS (International and Global Studies) stream in 2025.
Further, a new proposal is being planned for a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (BPPE). This is being offered in place for students who want to focus on a politics-centred learning. BA/BAS (PIR) will be discontinued with “major curriculum amendments” for BA/BAS (INGS) with the stream being renamed to BA/BAS (International Studies).
The change has been brought forward as “the BA/BAS (PIR) and BA/BAS (INGS) are cannibalising significant load from one another”. Also, “Sydney Future Students (SFS) have reported to the Faculty that prospective students are unclear on the distinctiveness of the two streams.”
SRC Education Officers Ishbel Dunsmore and Yasmine Johnson condemned the change, stating “these attacks, on top of the rumoured cuts to Arts and implemented cuts to Honours courses, represent everything wrong with the neoliberalisation of our university. In the wake of the JRG [Job-ready Graduates Package], and the Labor government’s failure to put an end to such legislation, student and staff conditions have been whittled to the bone.
According to a University spokesperson, the faculty is currently reviewing their courses as the change is “ this proposal is not about cutting units – it’s about rebadging some of our curriculum for clarity and to ensure it’s clearly aligned with our students’ interests.”
The University also said that the “curriculum refresh” has been favourably accepted by different faculty-based committees, and will go to the University Executive Strategic Course Portfolio Committee before a final decision is made in January 2024.
The proposed changes come in the wake of a raft of changes instigated under the “Future FASS” plan, which has seen courses and disciplines — most recently, discipline-specific Honours subjects — cut and student choice reduced.
Provost Annamarie Jagose, in her former role as Dean of FASS, described student choice as “poor pedagogical practice”.
The USyd branch of the NTEU was approached for comment.