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MEDIA RELEASE: CAPA concerned about Australian universities’ staff-to-student ratios decline in global rankings

20 Jun 19

CAPA concerned about Australian universities’ staff-to-student ratios decline in global rankings

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is concerned about a decline in staff-to-student ratios in almost all Australian universities, as revealed by the latest QS World University Rankings.

The QS World University Rankings note in their methodology that the staff-to-student ratio is an effective proxy measure of teaching quality. They explain that a larger number of students per teacher results in students having less access to lecturers and tutors, and a higher teaching burden on each academic.

This aligns with the experience of students nation-wide. Many student leaders report that their universities experience problems with under-resourcing as enrolments skyrocket and federal funding declines. Universities must ensure that they have the capacity to deliver a quality education as they welcome increasing numbers of students, both domestic and international.

CAPA calls on universities to reinvest some of their profits from international students and domestic postgraduate coursework students back into providing a high-quality education. Further, CAPA calls on the Federal Government to reinvest additional resources into the higher education sector to ensure our universities can be world-class by all measures.

This includes improving staff-to-student ratios, and ending notoriously insecure employment conditions faced by the majority of teaching staff.

“Access to teaching staff is a basic requirement of a university education,” says CAPA National President, Natasha Abrahams.

“The decline in staff-to-student ratios is a warning signal for Australian universities to address the quality of their degrees, and for the Federal Government to reconsider funding cuts which worsen the situation.”
For comment:
CAPA National President Natasha Abrahams
M: 0430 076 993