Yesterday students in the University of Melbourne’s bachelor of environments program received an email telling them that there wouldn’t be an intake for the degree in 2017. While the degree will be taught out for current students, those who deferred an offer and were expecting to start in 2017 are unsure of their future. The FAQ sent around to current students yesterday made no mention of students who had deferred offers. This year the university took just 489 students into the course, well below the thousands admitted to its science and arts degrees.

Instead of offering the degree, which was one of the six broad degrees introduced under the Melbourne Model almost 10 years ago, the university is introducing a bachelor of design, absorbing a number of the majors currently available in the bachelor of environments. The degree will be housed in the university’s school of design building, which was completed in 2015. Curiously, the major of environmental science will not be available in any degree, but a number of related options remain in the bachelor of science.

When contacted by Crikey, University of Melbourne Provost Professor Margaret Sheil confirmed that nearly 50 students who have deferred for 2016 are guaranteed a place in the Bachelor of Design in 2017 and may be offered a place in the Bachelor of Science, provided they’ve met the degree’s prerequisites.

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Peter Fray

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