Radio Today

Radio course to shut down

The Swinburne University of Technology are discontinuing their Graduate Diploma of Arts (Commercial Radio) course that has been going since 1989.

In those 23 years many students have secured positions in varying area's of commercial radio.

A spokesperson from Swinburne said....

"Over a sustained period of time the enrolment numbers have been quite low and that's made the course basically non-viable"

For all current students, they are still able to complete their course but no further intake will occur.

Swinburne has been a significant industry training provider for many years, so hopefully they will be able to continue to do so in another form in the future.

Published on Published on Thursday, 06 September 2012 13:56



Peter McGinley (4:15am 06 Sep 2012)
I don't know how they had low numbers, I've known people over the last few years who have been knocked back because it was full.
squinty (4:22am 06 Sep 2012)
Devastating news!

I did the Swinburne Course in 2007 and without it, I believe I would not be where I am today! Jim is a true radio man and still offers advice to past students.
I believe our Inderstry has lost one of the best radio courses in the country,

Thanks to Jim and Peter for all your help over the years.

Squinty
Lauren Saylor (5:19am 06 Sep 2012)
Brilliant course and one that will be missed in Melbourne and the industry...

Jim Barbour and Peter Marcato, fantastic job...
Bevo (5:22am 06 Sep 2012)
Could this be a sign of the times? Is a career in radio less desirable to students than ever before? With the amount of networking that radio now does are those who were once interested now quitting while they are ahead? Just a few things to ponder.
Anonymous (5:25am 06 Sep 2012)
If that unattributed 'spokesperson' has been quoted accurately it's a blatant lie.
I'm a currently enrolled student; amongst the cohort we know people who were knocked back from this year's intake because the maximum number of students had been reached.
It isn't numbers of students but rather the number of dollars the university is concerned with. It's unfortunate that they seem blind to the fact that the effect on the industry will be invaluable.
Swinburne, like many educational institutions, is facing harsh financial challenges in the current environment, but it's a shame honesty and ethics are going out the window along with the best radio course in Victoria.
Joshua Olek (5:36am 06 Sep 2012)
Absolutely shattered. Was planning on taking the course next year. It would have been the perfect stepping stone to a announcing or producing job.

Really poor form Swinburne.
Anonymous (5:45am 06 Sep 2012)
What a load of rubbish that the intake was low!

Heaps of people get knocked back year after year, this was the last course available to allow students to secure jobs within the radio industry. It was a unique course that made swinburne stick out from the rest of the universities.

Extremely disappointing to say the least.
Mark Hales (6:14am 06 Sep 2012)
Anonymous from 3.25pm - The quote from the 'spokesperson' was printed exactly as given to Radio Today.
Sam (6:14am 06 Sep 2012)
It's just so weird, there is not an actual decline in enrolment, Swinburne have just phrased it to sound like that.
What it actually means is that each year only 20 people are accepted, because more than that would be hard to give in depth quality training.
So yes there has been a low amount of enrolled students for a while, because that is a requirement.
In fact, since it's inception the amount of students enrolled on a yearly basis has increased.
Swinburne has just decided that this isn't earning enough money.
Ellie Mobbs (6:52am 06 Sep 2012)
Big big big shame. I did Swinny in '04 and it launched my path into this wonderful industry. Jim Barbour is a god, GO JIMBO!!
Lana Wilson (7:20am 06 Sep 2012)
I was considering enroling in Swinburne's Commercial Radio course in 2013, to further support my passion for radio programming and to support my degree in journalism.
What a shame Swinburne are cutting this from the curriculum. Their outlook to be more technology/business orientate is alienating and has made a lot of people very frustrated.
This course is one of two that have direct relationships with many Australian networks but if this course is to be dumped, so too will those relations, which means less opportunity, less work experience and less networking for industry hopefuls.
Perhaps Swinburne's decision means other universities in Melbourne will be smart enough to create a similar course - there is most certainly demand for it.
Jan (7:28am 06 Sep 2012)
Maybe people have just switched on to the fact that you can't live on $17 an hour award rate & that Commercial Radio Australia only support the licence holders not the industry employees.

Actually, it'll be that nobody listens to radio anymore instead ipods, podcasts, spotify, netradio etc.... - commercial radio only have themselves to blame for the lame programming they've been spoonfeeding listeners for years. The whole "we know what they want" & "...the research says..." has finally driven everyone away!
Greg Bakker (7:51am 06 Sep 2012)
This is devastating news for the industry, and no doubt for Jim and Peter too. This course has consistently turned out the highest quality, job ready commercial radio professionals. It is the best in the country.
Anonymous (8:11am 06 Sep 2012)
There's now a Facebook group to save the course... http://www.facebook.com/SaveTheSwinburneCommercialRadioCourse
Simon Portolesi (8:28am 06 Sep 2012)
I too am a former student, I was in the class of 2004 and after hearing about the course through another student, Jim's course was all I wanted to do to get myself into the radio industry.
It is wrong for Swinburne to loose this course... It has helped many, many students in their radio career and should do so for many years to come.
Gunner (The Wasp Brooke Taylor) (11:00am 06 Sep 2012)
I am not a former graduate, nor do I like Tandem Bikes, but any radio course that lets you develop a radio passion like this must stay. online content cutters and tv presenters are good. But audio guys and jocks are the balls! I have a life to prove it. RADIO IS STILL KING. READ: (rate the hits)
anonymous (11:40am 06 Sep 2012)
I don't think it's fair for the future of radio lover's to only really have one other option, AF#RS
Chris Mueller (12:22pm 06 Sep 2012)
Such a shame. Was a great experience with some great people.
50 Shades of Ray (12:39pm 06 Sep 2012)
@Jan - is it lonely on the bitter side of the radio stick?

You're not breaking any news with your comment.
Shitty wages are pretty much a given in radio but unfortunately now for those young hopefuls they'll still have to settle for scrap salaries in fish & chip shops rather than creative careers in the art of radio.

Perhaps you're a fan of fish & chips? So am I, but I'd much rather slave over the panel than a deep fryer.
Lame programming? What exactly is 'cool' or 'hot' programming if it's not already being catered for? Let us all know if you have the key ingredient...

For the most part, all of those other listening platforms are forward changes to the way people listen to music NOT content. Podcasts are the only real exception to that but if you look at the top 200 podcasts on iTunes you'll see that more than half are RADIO podcasts (FM & AM). Content Be King!

At the end of the day, it's a real shame that aspiring radio people have lost Swineburne and that opportunity to launch into commercial radio but if they have any sense they'll ignore bitter radio-haters and find their own way in.
Chris Plumridge (2:23pm 06 Sep 2012)
Such a shame. That Swinburne course got built up over a number of years to become a great stepping stone into the industry- and other aspects of media as well. I'm no longer in radio, but Jim and Pete's knowledge and passion of all things audio has led me to pursue a career as an audio engineer- without them I don't know what I'd be doing. It's heartening to see those two have had much the same effect on many other students that have come through the course over the years.
Ally (3:16pm 06 Sep 2012)
Jan - This really has nothing to do with current radio station formats or programming, or the fact that radio is a 'dying industry'. They said radio would die when TV's came along, and has that happened? Far from it.

This is about the institute not realising the affect this will have on past, current and future passionate radio students.
And by the amount of response that this post has received, I'll be very suprised if they didn't see this coming.

What other option will students who want to pursue a career in commercial radio have?!
This course has been well recognised throughout country and metro commercial stations across the whole of Australia for producing highly skilled students who are willing to keep learning when they do enter the industry.

Swinburne needs to lift it's game. If this course does get shut down, there won't be another one which could take it's place.
Jim and Pete have done an amazing job, and should have the chance to continue teaching future radio gems.
Dom Evans (11:25pm 06 Sep 2012)
Not good... really important breeding ground

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