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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Student Unions

Michael Gilmour (Letters, 17/3), there are sound economic reasons for universities to aggregate the demand for "a whole range of services, be they child care, medical, legal, recreational", not least for efficiencies due to scale and specialisation.

The difficulty is in how this is best organised. The present tax-vote-subsidise model made sense at a time when universities were very small and homogenous communities. Now, with the explosive growth and diversity of students, the Government is right to look at new market-based approaches.

There are other factors at play too. If a few undergrad Arts students want a Fellini night or the jocks want a rugby field, they have options outside of uni that their parents didn't. But every student still benefits from O Week, bands and open functions like barbecues. As the students attending universities have changed, so have their expectations, and changes need to be mindful of that.



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