Australian University Decides to Close Its Publishing House

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. in sync / ɪn sɪŋk / (idiom) – in a state where two things agree with or match each other

    The goals of the two teams are in sync, so they work well with each other.

  2. in the long run / ɪn ðə ˈlɔŋˈrʌn / (idiom) – for a long time or in the far future

    The plan seems difficult, but I know that it will help us in the long run.

  3. termination / ˌtɜr məˈneɪ ʃən / (n) – the act of ending something

    Several employees faced job contract termination because of their violation of workplace safety rules.

  4. revoke / rɪˈvoʊk / (v) – to make something not valid, effective, or powerful anymore

    The contest judges revoked their decision to award medals to the team after the members were caught cheating.

  5. tarnish / ˈtɑr nɪʃ / (v) – to spoil or damage

    The cheating scandal tarnished the school’s reputation.


Read the text below.

The University of Western Australia (UWA) formally announced its decision to close the UWA Publishing (UWAP).

The university’s deputy vice-chancellor for global partnerships announced the decision through a memo. According to the memo, the university made the decision because the publishing house’s activities are not in sync with the university’s goals and strategies, which focus on providing an open-access digital archive in the long run.

The operations of the publishing house stopped in the latter part of this year. Terri-ann White, director of the UWAP, did not expect the university’s decision. According to her, the open-access digital archive was meant to support, but not replace, the UWAP.

White was also concerned that the memo did not state the university’s action plan in connection to UWAP’s activities and functions, as well as the possible employment termination of five UWAP staff, including White herself.

Despite the decision, the university has issued a statement, saying that books currently in production will still be published.

As reports about the UWAP’s impending closure broke, writer Melinda Smith started a petition to revoke the decision. According to her, the UWAP is an important aspect of Australia’s culture, and closing it would be a great loss for the country’s literary community.

Other associations have also called for the university to reverse its decision. The Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) said that closing down the UWAP can tarnish the university’s reputation. Similarly, the Small Press Network (SPN), an organization representing independent publishers in Australia and New Zealand, added that the UWAP could reach more readers better than open-access digital archives ever could.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree with the decision to close the UWAP? Why or why not?
• Do you think all universities should fully transition to open-access digital archives? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• In your opinion, is your country’s literary community well-supported (e.g. by schools, by the government)? Explain.
• How do you think a literary community can be preserved? Discuss.