Swift blow to the head
In yet another assault on higher education, Australia faces damaging its cultural heritage following news the only heritage conservation training program in the country will close – with no consultation with the sector. The Australian Institute for Conservation of Cultural Materials has expressed its dismay at the decision of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra to suspend all enrolments in the Conservation of Cultural Materials courses, and undergraduate enrolments in Cultural Heritage Studies, citing high cost as the reason – the HECS fees do not cover the cost of running these specialised courses which turn out professionals to deal with materials held in national and state museums, art galleries, libraries, archives and rock art sites. A desperate campaign by staff involving petitions and letters of support from the sector failed to save the facility. The V-C noted that there is a very good conservation course available in Vienna.

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