Indigenous students against TTA cuts
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This trimester, the Oorala Aboriginal Centre of the University of New England made an announcement regarding changes to the TTA policy that they facilitate. Targeted Tutorial Assistance (TTA) is a successful, significant and meaningful front line support service available to all Indigenous students undertaking university studies. TTA involves a qualified and experienced tutor being matched to a student undertaking studies in a subject that is related to the tutors qualifications.
Previously, the TTA policy at UNE meant that tutorial assistance was available in the form of two hours per week, per unit, with the option to apply for more hours during exam periods. Recently, Oorala announced that the tutoring hours would be capped at 12 hours per student per trimester, with an option to apply for 4 additional hours. For a student undertaking a full-time load of 4 units, this is a decrease from 96 hours a trimester to 12 hours - an 88% decrease.
In addition to the significant cut to the hours students are entitled to, there has been no information provided in regards to the process for applying for additional hours. At present, it is a non-transparent and non-disclosed process.
This was done with no consultation with students, at the beginning of trimester 2 and is part of a tradition of decisions being made for Indigenous students of UNE without Indigenous student input. Since the announcement, students and tutors have raised their concerns with the new policy, however there has been no further announcement from Oorala to acknowledge/provide answers to the concerns bought up. This policy change, along with a serious lack of consultation with Indigenous students is worrying and frustrating
Indigenous students of UNE want direct consultation from Oorala on the changes to the TTA policy and hope that a comfortable compromise in regards to tutoring hours can be met. It is our aim to raise awareness of this detrimental policy change and for the policy to be reviewed in a timely manner involving consultation with Indigenous students - the recipients of the TTA program.
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