Diploma of Languages reinstated for 2021

By Helena Burke

The Diploma of Languages program has been reinstated for 2021. The program was cancelled in 2018 as part of the Federal Government’s $2.2 billion cuts to university funding in December 2017.

Speaking to Observer, an ANU spokesperson attributed the diploma’s reinstatement to the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, who they said has “worked hard for two years to get the government to reinstate these sub-bachelor places”. Sub-bachelor places, which include diplomas, are funded places assigned to degrees that are below the undergraduate level.

The Diploma of Languages is a one-year undergraduate degree available to students who are enrolled in or have graduated from a bachelor’s degree. The diploma offers students who are unable to fit a language into their bachelor degree an opportunity to study one of 16 different languages. 

In March 2018, approximately 150 ANU students protested the $2.2 billion cut to university funding. Universities Australia has also heavily criticized these cuts, accusing the federal government of treating the tertiary education sector as a “cash cow to be milked for budget cuts”.

The cancellation of the Diploma of Languages program in 2018 received particular backlash from ANU students. 

ANUSA’s Education officer at the time of the cut, Harry Needham, described the Government’s act as demonstrating an “unnerving disregard” for the value of humanities and language learning. Needham also criticized the move as “at odds” with the government’s rhetoric of engaging with an increasingly interconnected and multilingual world.

ANUSA College Representatives for the College of the Asia Pacific and College of Arts and Social Sciences established a specialized working group campaigning against the cut. A photo series on the students adversely affected by the diploma’s cancellation was posted on Facebook as part of this campaign. 

Although there has been no official announcement from the University, Observer has been informed by the academic contact for the Diploma of Languages that the reinstated program will “continue to run as it did previously”.  Students will be able to enrol in the program starting from next year.

ANUSA did not respond to request for comment in time for publication


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