Your voice on campus!

Stop The Trimonster

Curtin's plans for 2020 Trimester System. 

Click here to download the Fact Sheet.

Click here to sign the petition.

Click here to view the proposed academic calendar for 2020. 


From 2020, Curtin University plans to introduce a trimester system.

We will lose a tuition-free week each semester as well as the study week before exams.

There will be another semester of study during the summer period.  

The University says the summer semester will not be compulsory when these changes are first introduced in 2020. However, once these changes are implemented it will be very easy for the University to start converting courses to a compulsory trimester model. A trimester model would allow the University to collect fees from students three times a year instead of two.


Losing two weeks out of each semester means:

  • Less time to complete your assessments
  • Less time to work part-time
  • Less time for lecturers and tutors to mark your work and provide quality feedback
  • Less time for fun or clubs involvement
  • Less time to enjoy the ‘student experience’ 

Losing a study week means:

  • You’ll be doing your assignments right up to the day of your exam
  • You could finish class on Friday and have two exams on the following Monday

You could lose your Centrelink, Transperth concession and private health if Curtin changes its definition of a full-time study load to only students who study under the trimester system.

If you plan to or are already completing trimesters, you will now have to study over Christmas and New Years break.

Your Practicum or Vacation work will be even harder to fit into your semester

  • Law - when will you do clerkships? 
  • Engineering - when will you do your compulsory vac work?
  • Education, Nursing and Health Sciences - when will you do your practicum?
  • Commerce  - when will you do your internships? 

You might not receive your marks for one trimester by the time the next trimester starts.

The appeal process for terminations may not be finalised until over halfway through the next trimester.

The Guild will not receive any more funding for student activities but will have to utilise the funds we do receive over a much longer period.

International or regional students may not get the opportunity to visit home if trimesters become compulsory.

Due to increased workload requirements on students under a trimester system, we believe that Curtin’s already under-resourced mental health and support services will be unable to meet the demands of students (appointment wait times are already 4 weeks).

The study breaks seldom align with school holidays and other campuses.


Students were assured by the university last year that the academic calendar would remain virtually unchanged. 

This was after the Guild worked with the University in 2016 and 2017 as members of a working party to look at options for the academic calendar going forward. The working party recommended not to change the academic calendar and the Academic Board accepted this recommendation in September 2017. 

On Friday, 15 June 2018, the Guild found out that the University was planning to introduce trimesters despite all the time, research, and consultation invested in the review of the academic calendar. We are dismayed that the University would proceed with these changes after such a comprehensive evaluation recommended not moving to a trimester system. 

The University has provided the Guild two weeks’ notice of its intention to take the changes to the Academic Services Committee during the semester break when students are not around.


Unfortunately, the Guild has yet to see a report which details exactly why the changes are being made despite accepting the previous committee’s recommendations against the proposal. Based on comments to the media, we understand that Curtin wants to fast-track degrees, enable students to study at other Curtin campuses and provide more flexible study options to students. 

From a business perspective it will allow the university to make more efficient use of its assets by utilising them more than 24 weeks each year.

The Guild is concerned that the University is too focussed on maximising revenue rather than providing quality education to students.  


From 2020, the trimester system will affect the following students:

  • Undergraduate students
  • Even those already on trimesters – the academic calendar will be re-aligned 
  • Postgraduate students
  • Domestic and International students


Unless you are graduating in 2019, these changes will affect you. 
They will impact you if you decide to undertake post-graduate study in the future. 
They will impact people you know - your friends and family members. 


Still have questions? Send an email through to hello@guild.curtin.edu.au.


Click here to download this Fact Sheet as a PDF.

Click here to sign the petition.