Flexible Academic Programming
Rumours are flying around campus about the University’s latest restructure, called Flexible Academic Programming, abbreviated (to the amusement of everyone except the University) to ‘FAP’.
Last year, the University convened a project team to examine eight different areas, including:
the future of face-to-face lectures, timetabling, using “virtual infrastructure”, what to do about large academic classes, whether it might adopt a trimester model, and reviewing the use of the University’s buildings throughout the year.
So far, the University has been tight-lipped about the progress of the eight “workstreams”, and about exactly how they’re gathering feedback from students and the University community, although in a statement it assures “[c]onsultation with students will commence this semester”.
The staff union, the National Tertiary Education Union has slammed the University’s approach to the changes, with a press release suggesting the “considerable secrecy” surrounding the project is a gambit to push the changes through without meaningful staff consultation.
Some student groups are also concerned, with a Facebook page “Stop the FAP” stridently opposing any proposal. But Tom Crowley, the University of Melbourne Student Union Education (Academic
Affairs) Officer is more prosaic, noting that no decisions had yet been made and that, crucially,
student representatives were included in all of the workstreams.