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La Trobe pushes ahead with cuts to humanities and social sciences

La Trobe University will cut up to 37 equivalent full-time positions by the end of the year, and up to four more will go by 2015, according to final details of a cost-cutting plan for the faculties of humanities and social Sciences released on 10 August.

Plans for the cuts were announced to staff in June this year because of falling enrolments. The move put the university in conflict with the National Tertiary Education Union. In a statement this week, the union said the final plan was “marginally better” than the original proposal, but that planned protests would go ahead.

In June, the university said around 50 positions could be cut. There were also plans to cease teaching in art history, gender, sexuality and diversity studies, Indonesian, linguistics and religion and spirituality.

But “following a compelling case made by students and staff – and as an acknowledgement of the strategic importance of Asian languages” Indonesian will remain a major and retain its staff, the university said.

Art history, linguistics and gender studies will also be retained, but as minor subjects.