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screwedJim Reynoldson
Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research
Murdoch University
Perth, Western Australia

8 October, 2009

Dear Mr. Reynoldson,

i am shocked and, frankly, appalled  to hear of the proposed reduction in Higher Degrees by Research (HRD) staff members.

i am strongly opposed to this option as i feel that this will dramatically reduce the services provided to students like me toiling away thousands of kilometers away as external students.  It will also, unfortunately place undue stress on the remaining staff members.

When my partner and i researched which Universities to apply to in order to further our education we were assured by several independent bodies that Murdoch provided research degrees that were reputable and therefore valuable and worth trying to attain.  This decision and the nature in which it was made does damage to the University’s standing and reputation.

The lack of support shown to HDR students and the lack of consultation afforded to HDR students in this decision process is indicative of the University’s treatment of the HDR student base as a whole.

Such erosion of HDR services is directly related to Murdoch’s recent poor HDR student satisfaction and will, no doubt lead to, ultimately, a drop in candidates seeking to study at Murdoch for higher degrees by research.

Please reappraise this decision and look to the long term rather than the short term savings incurred by axing the support we need.  Please advise me of your decision.

rob clément

Student No.30905455

if you care about this email Jim at:

or even better, if you’re on campus, hand deliver a letter to 4.019 on the fourth floor of the Chancellery.



  1. Hi Rob,

    Thank you for advising me of your concerns about HDR management at Murdoch University.

    Murdoch University is proud of its history as a research intensive higher education institution and committed to its membership of the Innovative Research Universities Australia (IRUA).

    Currently through the Murdoch 2010 Program, the University is in the process of implementing a new model for delivering improved services to all students including Higher Degree Research (HDR) students. It has been brought to my attention that there are concerns being raised by some HDR students regarding these planned changes. I feel it is important that I communicate with you directly to address these.

    Firstly, some HDR students have expressed concerns regarding the level of service that will be delivered to research students as part of these changes. I can reassure you that as part of the ongoing commitment by the University to our research students, we are seeking to increase the level, consistency and timeliness of services by investing in a state-of-the-art Student Centre that will have specific responsibilities to service HDR students. This new model includes an integrated student services team, located in one area rather than spread around the campus, and also includes a specific team for supporting HDR students.

    Secondly, concerns have been raised regarding changes to staffing within the Graduate Centre. It is important realise that part of the change will be the transition from a stand-alone Graduate Centre to the HDR Services Team being part of the larger team. Whilst this may mean a reduction in the number of staff located directly within the HDR Service area it is coupled with an increased team of employees who service students in general. This new structure provides additional support for both students and staff by providing general assistance supported by specialist knowledge and advice as and when required.

    In addition the transition is underpinned by state-of-the-art improvements in technology.

    Research is a key priority in Murdoch University’s strategic plan and these changes have been designed to further entrench the University as a premier research institution.

    Professor Jim Reynoldson, DVC (Research), Murdoch University

    • Dear Jim,
      thanks for your reply. The changes, as you speak of them make sense and, hopefully, will play out as you expect them to. i do hope, however, that you put into place on going assessment of the new model to ensure that it will be doing what it was designed to do and that you are prepared to take remedial action should problems arise.
      Murdoch’s ability to support research students will be borne out in the number and quality of research students on board. i wish you every success in your attempt to improve the Uni’s capacity to facilitate our work.

      rob clément

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