This year, the University of Queensland chose to celebrate International Women’s Day by cutting its gender studies major from the faculty of Arts.
Gender studies staff have been vocally opposed since the university announced its intentions on March 1. “We’ve had a huge outpouring of support from students currently enrolled in the course, and… students who have enrolled in past years,” said senior gender studies professor, Carole Ferrier to ABC National Radio last week.
While the gender studies major will be discontinued, individual units focused on gender studies will still exist within other disciplines such as philosophy and sociology. University administrators described this as the “triumph of gender studies,” insofar as the subject was now mainstream enough to enter other disciplines. Professor Ferrier told ABC National Radio it was “funny how conservatives can turn it around,” and that dissolving the major was an “alternative to in-depth substantial analysis.”
National Union of Students education officer Clare Keyes-Liley told Honi Soit UQ’s decision was “detrimental to the future of tertiary education in Australia,” and was “indicative of society’s misogyny and sexism.”
The University of Queensland gender studies major has been offered for 41 years. Students wishing to study gender studies will now have to go interstate to obtain their major.