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The National Youth Science Forum has announced today that it will not be running a Session B in Perth for 2015.

Agreements with the University of Western Australia and Curtin University for both financial and in-kind support have expired, and at this stage, neither institution has been able to commit to continuing its support, meaning the Perth session is not sustainable.

While this situation is regrettable, through the support of The Australian National University, the NYSF will be able to offer 80 additional places in sessions A and C for students from the 144 allocated to Session B. So instead of offering a total of 432 places in 2015, there will be 368 places available.

The NYSF looks forward to working with our Rotary partners to continue to ensure those students from around Australia who will benefit most from participating in the January Sessions will be offered a place to attend. Each district is to be asked to reduce its total allocation by four places.

The decision to run Session B of the NYSF was made in 2008 in response to high demand for places. At the time, Perth was identified as a reasonable host location due to the booming economy and the perceived interest in a range of study and career opportunities emerging in the West. Session B in Perth was first offered in 2009 and agreements with our host universities were in place for five years, with an extension negotiated for the 2014 Session.

However, the current financial situation in which the university sector finds itself, and the uncertainty around changes in higher education policy settings means than many of our smaller university partners are finding that they are unable to continue supporting the NYSF.

While the cancellation of Session B is unfortunate, the commensurate cost savings for the NYSF will be positive, as the travel costs associated with delivering the Session have gradually increased over time and do impact on the organisation’s operating costs.

Discussions will be held in the coming months to find alternate hosts for Session B in 2016 as the demand for places at the NYSF continues to be high.

Further information: Damien Pearce, 0422 055 356.