Many of you may be aware of the ongoing governance and operational issues within the independent ANU Postgraduate and Research Students' Association (PARSA) over the last 18 months.
There has been a lack of stability with the absence of a President and inability to maintain other executive positions, unsatisfactory management of governance, and PARSA has failed to meet its obligations as an association. The University has tried to assist and support PARSA in addressing its governance issues since early 2021, but the organisation has been unable to meet these requirements to an acceptable level.
Notably, this is not a reflection of the work of the current PARSA executive and management group, but rather our observations of PARSA as an association since 2020.
As a consequence of these ongoing issues, ANU will not be entering into an agreement with PARSA for Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) funding in 2023. We are not able to continue to provide funding to PARSA when it is not delivering on its constitutional obligations. The funding will be used to maintain important services for postgraduate students, but not through PARSA.
This decision was not made lightly. Over the course of the past 18 months, PARSA has been provided with repeated opportunities to remedy the issues. PARSA were aware, as part of the University's SSAF agreement with the association, that SSAF funding would be withdrawn if they were not able to meet the high level constitutional reforms to ensure a functioning association.
I want to reassure everyone that student services will not be disrupted. This decision does not impact undergraduate students, the services they receive or how they are represented in any way. To maintain an excellent postgraduate experience and ensure continued representation we will continue to work with PARSA, its staff and other student associations to deliver services and representation this year and develop a new model for 2023 and beyond.
ANU continues to support student associations and acknowledges how important they are for our students - to provide a voice and accessibility to student services. We are committed to maintaining services and will ensure funding is used for the best possible postgraduate student experience.
We will continue to keep you informed of progress as we develop a new model with the SSAF funding to ensure services continue to be delivered.
If you have any concerns or enquiries please email email@example.com.
Professor Grady Venville
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)