Admin/Union

Students booted out of introductory economics subject

9 March 2017


228 students have been withdrawn from Introductory Microeconomics (ECON10004) after the recently implemented enrolment quota was exceeded. Students were notified of their non-negotiable withdrawal via email days before class registration.

The subject, which now has 1,900 places available per semester, is one of five compulsory subjects for the Bachelor of Commerce and for Economics majors completing the Bachelor of Arts. Currently, the subject is available in Semesters 1 and 2.

Paul Jensen, Deputy Dean at Faculty of Business and Economics, said students who must take the subject to continue their degree or major have not been withdrawn.

“The students who were withdrawn were students who take this subject as breadth, so the subject is not required for their degree or major, and as enrolment is based on a first-come first-served basis, the students who were last to enrol were the first to be withdrawn.”

It is unclear what the impact will be for students looking to transfer into a Bachelor of Commerce from other undergraduate degrees.

Jensen said the decision to introduce quota had been approved by Academic Board.

“In order to ensure high quality learning outcomes for all students, it is no longer possible to offer the subject to more than 1900 students per semester,” said Jensen.

Jensen told Farrago that students have been able to check details regarding to the quota on the handbook since 1 December 2016. However, he did not respond to Farrago’s further enquiry on possible measures that could have been taken place prevent student withdrawal altogether.

UMSU Education (Academic) Officer Roger Samuel said a clearer indication of the possible withdrawal could have been provided to avoid any confusion.

“Even if it is on the handbook, it might be better to make it clearer via email,” said Samuel.

“Some students might not check the handbook. It could be annoying for them.”

Samuel said that if students have space in their timetable they should try to enrol in the subject in Semester 2.

“From previous experience the quota is unlikely to be reached in the second semester, so those who wish to take the subject as a breadth should be able to study it then.”

Despite the disadvantages, Samuel believed the new quota would still have some benefits.

“Although this change makes the subject less flexible for those who want to study it as a breadth, the change should also help to maintain the quality of teaching by keeping class sizes from growing,” said Samuel.