ANMF Statement: University misconduct claims

Wednesday 22nd April, 2015

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has expressed its concerns about allegations of academic misconduct raised in Monday night’s Four Corners program.

ANMF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said the ANMF had become increasingly concerned about the pressure placed on universities as a result of the systematic withdrawal of public funding over the last two decades. If the allegations raised in the ABC program are true, it is very likely that this financial pressure on universities has been a contributing factor.

Ms Thomas said: “While the ANMF has had concerns about the lack of appropriate funding for universities, the ANMF is shocked at the extent of the allegations, which include claims of fraudulent behavior, exploitation of unsuspecting students and potential risks for the disciplines involved.

“Nursing and midwifery have very high national standards of practice for both initial registration as a nurse or midwife and ongoing authority to practice. In addition, a national agency formally accredits all undergraduate nursing and midwifery courses in Australia in accordance with standards agreed to by the professions.

“The ANMF is entirely confident the professions have appropriate standards in place. However, these allegations raise concerns regarding the implementation of these standards in the treatment of all students across all universities.  

“Clearly, these allegations need to be appropriately investigated, and any necessary action taken as a matter of urgency. Then, most importantly, public funding for universities must be restored. It is critical that we do not allow this situation to worsen, which will inevitably happen if we continue down the Government’s path of deregulation of universities.”  

Ms Thomas said the ANMF had previously raised its concerns about the impact of the Abbott Government’s attempt to privatise Australia’s higher education system through the deregulation of university fees.

The ANMF, with over 240,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia. 

ANMF media inquiries: 0411 254 390.