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Friday, 12 June 1970

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - There are certain universities which conduct substantial external courses, in particular the New England, Macquarie and Queensland universities. In Victoria the University of Melbourne has been reducing this activity. There is a distinct need for certain people to be able to undertake external studies. Seeing this need, the Australian Universities Commission recommended doubling the allowance which was made for this in dealing with the requirements of universities in its last report in order to encourage universities, and particularly universities in Victoria, to undertake further external studies courses. The recommendation was accepted. The response has been disappointing. 1 myself have had some discussion with the vice chancellor of Monash University. The most that that university is prepared to offer is external studies courses in education for graduates. This of course did not touch the need with which the Universities Commission was concerned. Further efforts have been made to encourage universities to provide external studies courses for undergraduates but so far without success. It is not only the State Government but also the Commonwealth which would like to see these courses introduced. If further funds for particular courses were required a proposition could be put if finance were a difficulty. But as I understand it, it is not the difficulty, and certainly no proposition has been put forward. The problem appears to be that some universities are reluctant to undertake this type of activity.

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