STUDENT AMENITIES FEE: Video; Mr Peter Enlund (UNE Chief Operating Officer); details

Posted by | April 17, 2012 | News | 17 Comments

Last week we shot a quick video with Peter Enlund, UNE’s Chief Operating Officer, on the topic of the Student Amenities Fee (here’s the link if you can’t see the embedded video).

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/DLWS7BJWXJs" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

17 Comments

  • Mike says:

    As an external student this video made me even more angry about the decision taken by UNE to introduce the compulsory fee for external students.

    Rather than providing a short video glossing over the issue, UNE should provide external students with a very clear explanation of why UNE chose to charge us the fee, why they believe that such a small discount for external students is appropriate and how they expect external students to participate in the benefits of this fee – particularly given the statement by Mr Enlund that the benefits should be accessable by as many students as possible.

    What amount of the total amount of $2.6 million will be provided by external students. My guess is that this will be close to 70% of the total amount, if not more (given 80% of students are external). On this basis – external students should have a similarly proportionate representation on the council. I see that external students will only have a 50% student representation on the committee while contributing 70% or more of the amount of the funds.

    Mr Enlund noted that it is the priority of UNE to continue to provide high level of student services, accessable to as many as possilble. Mr Enlund also goes onto discuss the opportunities to spend our money on capital works for UNE – sporting fields etc. – without providing comment on how this will support the 80% of students that are unlikely to ever set foot on the university campus.

    Mr Enlund also discusses on many occasions the legislative power that has been given to universities to charge the fee. Mr Enlund fails to clearly state that the legislative power bestowed on universities also provides them with the choice not to charge the fee, or to charge different categories of students a varying fee. I note that many other universities have either decided not to charge external students, or have provide an appropriate level of discount to external students. UNE cannot claim that the mediocre discount provided to external students appropriately represents their likely use of services that are provided.

    The 80% of your students that are in the same situation as myself, the majority of which I would guess are also angry about this decision, deserve better answers from UNE than this.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Very well said Mike! I am an external student studying full time. I find it atrocious that my money in in effect being stolen for others benifits, money that I would prefer to use to buy more books for my education. University is a place of learning, and that is all I believe that I should be paying for. I am 21 years old and do not believe that I should support others childcare access or meals. I also firmly believe that if people want something they will pay for it themselves, not force others to do so for them. I am sure that those who are on campus would be adult enough to pay for themselves or chose what they find more important. I will not benifit from the ‘amenities fee’ nor would most externals. This video and committee is also NOT consultation! The university has simply told us what it is doing.

  • F says:

    yes…. the “consultation” on how to use the funds will be just like the “consultation” on the decision to charges the fee to begin with. basically an f..u, we will do what we want no matter what you think…especially in regards to the 80% of the student numbers which are external students.

    i will really enjoy using the sporting fields, medical centre, childcare etc from 5 hours away…the photos on the une website will give me great enjoyment and benefit especially as i have to pay the fee twice as i am enrolled in two courses so i am supposedly equivalent to two people. can’t wait to experience the wonderful lifestyle that this is fee is going to provide me!!!

  • Bradley says:

    Well said, Michael and Elizabeth and F!

    I can’t agree more. I feel it is unjust and unreasonable to tax external students for services that primarily benefit on-campus students.

    Furthermore it is rather galling that the university has adopted a “pay-first, negotiate-second” approach to this tax. What person hands over their money for others to decide what to do with it later? As such I find the university’s “shotgun” manner of implementation with regards to this so disappointing.

    It is in regards to this last point particularly that I feel that Mr Enlund hasn’t recognised or addressed in his communication. We are real people, Mr Enlund. If you genuinely want to be consultative wouldn’t you discuss first and win a majority consensus to your view before taking action?

    I am very disappointed by the way you have communicated and interacted with external students like myself on this matter.

    Dear UNE,

    stop the videos,

    drop the tax, and

    sit down and talk to the majority of real people your decisions affect!

  • Michael says:

    I agree, this is a foolish thing for a university to do that relys on external students. Not so much charging the externals but completely disregarding any and all dissenting points of view.

    Is it worth my dropping my course and going elsewhere? No, it is not but UNE’s reputation is falling rapidly and I am not talking it up like I used to. I think that the drop in relative standards so far as recorded lectures and external support goes needed to be addressed before even thinking about something like this.

  • Mel says:

    This is appalling. But it’s obvious that UNE don’t care, which is very short sighted. I’m looking at switching my course to another institution. And I agree with Michael, I used to talk UNE up but no more.

  • Andrea says:

    UNE don’t care and I find their charging of this fee when the bulk of the students are external disgraceful. I won’t benefit from the childcare and as for other services offered at the campus I think they need to get real and take a long hard look at what is available. Pretty much nothing.
    At a recent residential school it appalled me to see that things like the second hand bookstore (very poor on the best of days) was closed and not even open when the place was crawling with students. The cafe closes in the early afternoon, is never open on weekends when there are residential schools or graduations which is absolutely pathetic given that plenty of people would like a coffee or a sandwich at those times and it is the same with the newsagent there, never open on weekends which for res schools would be handy and perhaps show a bit of foresight on une’s part?
    When I first came to une in 2001 parking was free, they had a nice restaurant called footlights run by students, a well stocked second hand bookstore , students lounge and other amenities; including a dentist and an ATM. Today those things have gone or been scaled back to such an extent that if we want to call une a major educational centre we’d better take a long look at places like Melb Uni because frankly une is not even close in the standard of amenities offered to its students, its beginning to look like a major sad afterthought and then the cheek to introduce a new amentities fee. FOR WHAT Id like to know and I know Im not the only one in wanting to know this so please give us some answers and rethink all the amentities and what we could offer up at une to make it great!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I agree with charging the fee. I fully support giving some money to amenities to help with my external experience, and if that frees up money so that I can have things like lecture podcasts and vodcasts, a better online environment to learn in, more resources, printed learning materials, that’s great. That would be wonderful. Those things are the reason I’m a distance student at UNE and not an internal student at a closer university.

    But what I got from that video was essentially that my external money is going to fund internals for childcare services, sport services, and by extension of ‘freeing-up’ some cash, pay for capital works for internals as well.

    Podcasts of lectures are great, but not when it takes a week to get them. Vodcasts of lectures would be great, if lecturers knew how to make the equipment work so they actually got recorded. Moodle *could* be great, if it were used innovatively. External interaction with other externals would be fantastic, but unfortunately UNE has had to resort to Facebook for that level of connectivity.

    Here’s hoping a candidate who actually cares about externals gets voted in, so something actually happens for the 80%, the majority of which will never see the campus.

  • W says:

    I feel ripped off by the university. I am external and I can’t remember a time when UNE hasn’t dropped the ball.

    There are online tests with insufficient information. The online tests have repeatedly not worked, or scored incorrectly. Nothing short of a disgrace, surely?

    I have repeatedly course notes that are out of date, have incorrect information, incorrect dates, outdated legislation, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. I’m not joking in the least.

    I have had had my paper lost after submission, and have received distinction with no comments.

    I have lecturers who do not respond to online topics, or respond weeks and weeks later – one gets the picture that academics are furthering their own careers first and foremost.

    In sum, UNE is the worst university experience I have ever had (contrast USQ, USYD and others), and now they want me to pay more for absolutely disgraceful provision of services.

    I don’t beleive anyone should take up studies at UNE, and if I had my time again I would change where I studied.

  • Sue says:

    I love UNE and have found them awesome in every aspect. Very student orientated and willing to help.

    I think its stupid to charge externals this fee. UNE ask if the residential school was ok and how my studies are going, but they dont ask for consultation regarding this issue.

    Totally agree with Mike above.

  • Barny says:

    I put this on Ed’s FB on 17 Apr. Not much from the Uni in response to comments from externals – am I dreaming thinking we will get one?.

    “The COO seems to hide behind the Commonwealth legislation that allows the Unis to charge these fees. I didn’t think it was compulsory for Unis to charge the fees nor is it a requirement to charge fees to the maximum allowable under the legislation (which I think UNE has done for an internal full time student). I still question how much benefit externals will derive. The argument that the charging of this fee allows the re-direction of resources back to teaching, learning and education because funds were used for services (student support, child care, medical centre and sports) when compulsory student unionism was abolished is weak. I note the Uni has created a committee to “consult with” but I wonder how much notice will be paid to the views of that committee. Good luck to those who have stuck their hand up – I would, but working full time, studying part time and trying to be a father to two little boys leaves very little time. Not real happy about this!”

  • T says:

    I’m so glad that there will be more childcare at the UNE for internal students. So glad that there will be better funded sporting facilities. I’m so glad to be forced to contribute to these luxuries while I cannot afford all of my textbooks and have to live in my car for the duration of the compulsory intensive schools, as I simply cannot afford the outrageous prices to stay in accommodation for the week. Thankyou UNE, I’m glad to know that you’ll provide better soccer balls for internals to kick around for fun, but do nothing about the incompetent admin, and lecturers who do the bare minimum to “provide” a course. Think it will “free up funds” for other more important things like resource materials? What do we pay course fees for then, if not those things? What a joke.

  • jane says:

    Is it just me or do the last few entries make no sense?

  • G says:

    We had a chance to vote in a strong reliable president to the uneg but got a ” friend” of the COO instead who has inside interests. What would of been the result and out come if we had someone who would use these fees for the students? I am still waiting on answers as to why my profile for election was 3 days late and my emails to the returning officer where not answered.
    Be good to see if the new president is actually going to help the students or himself in his business interests how lame they are

  • David Mailler says:

    UNEG policy will be about students external, internal, domestic and international.
    In the next week there will be a survey go out to all students, this your opportunity to influence the policy of UNEG. I would implore all students to fill in this survey and present any suggestions for how the UNEG board and I can represent your need.

    G, I can assure you I have no business interests in UNEG representation far from it the role will and is costing me personally. My position on SSAF and student representation is and will be transparent and independant. I am accountable to the undergrad student cohort and the UNEG board.

  • A cheat who resorts to biting (on more than one occasion) when things aren’t going his way.

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