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July 16, 2020, 02:01:48 pm


Are you happy with the changes to university fees?

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Author Topic: University Fees Changed. Science Fees To Decrease, Arts/Humanities to Increase.  (Read 596 times)  Share 

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I find this to be very interesting. As a prospecting science student, i'm happy to have my fees reduced, but I do feel sorry for Arts and Humanities based students. However, in my opinion, I do feel as if this is somehow fair, simply because of the normal fee for an Arts degree is generally much cheaper than a science based degree. Not all Arts majors are going to decrease, but humanities have taken a huge hit.

What is everyone opinion on the situation? Does this make future arts/humanities students feel discouraged from pursuing a passion/interest? Is anyone happy about the fee situation? Does anyone think this will increase demand for certain courses?
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For reference here's the current student contribution amounts.

I didn't consider my fees much at all when picking my course and left that for future Brianna to deal with HECS. I'm not sure that this will do what the gov wants it to & I think it makes sense, for example, for arts students to pay much less since my understanding is that they cost vastly less for a uni than a med student does.


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There are many government policies which I find quite lacking - this is not one of them. There's an extra 39,000 university places, so on the whole the government is increasing spending. For every degree that is made cheaper, the government needs to make up the difference and from what it seems, the aim is also to increase students studying certain degrees that have a higher probability of employment.

As a former commerce student, pretty happy to see the fees go up (even if I had to pay it) - there is such a huge influx of commerce and law students that it pales relative to the job opportunities in those fields. Some ridiculous portion (e.g. 20%+) of graduates cannot get jobs in these fields, in 2020 I've seen this number balloon to anywhere from 50% to 70% depending on who you talk to, whereas fields like teaching and nursing are seen as 'unpopular' fields and much higher employment rates. I'd even advocate for a larger jump in comm/law pricing to even further subsidise high-achieving students who wish to go into teaching and the like (e.g. making comm/law 18k and for every comm/law student offer a full scholarship for someone who commits to education for the next 2-3 years, prices will work out)

I'm not well-versed in humanities so don't have a strong opinion on the humanities aspect but the general gist of 'carrot and stick' to ensure more future employability is something I support - as for whether there will be a significant disincentive for people to study given HECs that remains to be seen


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As I can only benefit from this change I'm quite happy, however, I do see why so many prospective humanities/arts students are angry. Anything to ease the burden of paying off 6 years of uni is a bonus.
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Probably similar to others in that I never really looked in depth at the cost of my course of the before starting. I would just see it in passing when looking at the university website but didn't really play a factor for me when choosing my courses.

I feel like depending on how much publicity this change gets will determine how many people are actually swayed. I still would think most people would go into something that they actually want to study and enjoy.

From Orb's point, I would hope to see this change result in high employment rates overall but obviously it has to come at a cost of these increased prices to dissuade the students from certain areas of study.

Will be interesting to the impact of this over the next few years.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 12:31:52 pm by Sine »


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I would hope people aren't too put off by the cost so much that they don't pick what they actually enjoying studying. It's on a per subject level rather than a whole degree level - so I hope people do their research as changes roll out.

For anyone who's thinking of psychology as a new enrolment, APAC accreditation makes this process a little wonky and there is yet to be clear news on how this affects the subjects/units that make up the undergrad APAC major and graduate courses as a whole.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 01:00:30 pm by www »
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Where would communications come under these changes? Part of humanities or english?
edit: found the answer
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 08:16:55 pm by jeydanaazli »
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I personally think this is a rather disappointing policy deceptively framed in the idea that higher education funding is zero sum, and an unfortunate attack on the accessibility of university. Humanities degrees are themselves significantly cheaper than most STEM courses (owing to no labs or placements etc), so itís much less clear why they should be targeted.

As a med student who has studied arts at a university level, an education in the arts is really valuable in providing a broad perspective and enriches so many professions that run society Ė and importantly, you donít need to work in the field you studied for it to be valuable. Speaking about medicine, healthcare is intrinsically tied to society and politics: the social determinants of health is a well-evidenced theory that the conditions and systems in which people live in heavily influence their health, and itís important that doctors have an obligation to advocate and hold policy-makers to account on issues like asylum seekers, racism or climate change. With the COVID-19 crisis, we wouldnít have ethicists, historians, anthropologists without education in the humanities, who are every bit as essential: telling us how and why people act in crises, what we did in the past and whether it worked, how society should act. Studying humanities teaches you to think critically about these issues as well as communicate properly, and medicine itself didnít provide that for me.

A narrow-minded focus on "employability" to discourage students from enrolling fields that enrich society won't be in our best interests.
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There's an extra 39,000 university places, so on the whole the government is increasing spending. For every degree that is made cheaper, the government needs to make up the difference and from what it seems, the aim is also to increase students studying certain degrees that have a higher probability of employment.

Actually, from a few things I've read this doesn't seem to be true: It's actually a cost-neutral project.  To me, that feels more like a classic divide-and-rule strategy: make sure there are enough people who are better off under the new system to hide the fact that on average each student will have to pay more and the government less for the same degree.

From the discussion it seems like the rise in demand is Covid-19 driven.  Not clear whether that means it's temporary or permanent, but particularly if it's temporary there isn't actually a need for it to be cost-neutral.  In an attempt to help the economy recover from Covid-19 the government will be throwing money at various things they think will help the economy recover, and I don't see why education shouldn't be one of those things.

I'm a straight maths-science student, and I don't think I took a single humanities subject in university (despite them at the time being cheaper).  Like other commenters, I think, while I knew the cost of my degree, it was unlikely to change me studying what I wanted to study.  And, like Bri said, I always considered it reasonable that humanities subjects cost students less because they generally cost universities less to deliver.

I've probably heard all the critiques of Arts degrees and said some of them myself when younger.  But if you look at my out-of-work hours reading and writing now, it's much more skewed to the humanities, because they're important.  I hold a technical role, and my technical skills help, but so do my non-technical skills.

And this doesn't just affect students in Arts degrees (the soft targets the government think they can get away with).  It affects maths-science students who want to take humanities subjects as electives - electives that could be more useful for making them a well-rounded student than taking another technical subject (like, um, I did...).  To take just one example, I remember a time when we were being told we were in the Asian century and in a global economy, so students should be encouraged to take languages like Indonesian and Mandarin.  I don't know how often that actually happened, but this would be a disincentive to it.

Finally, unless you think the number of people needed in these fields or with these skills is zero (and I don't) there is possibly an argument to try and limit the number of students supported by the government - but I don't see the argument for keeping the same number of students (or possibly a little lower) and supporting each student with less government money.  If you want to get the best return on government money then you want to try and get the best possible students for each area - and that applies for both the humanities and the sciences.
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I'm happy coz the course I want to do will be reduced. But I can see people's reasons for why it's not a good idea. However. Not sure because I haven't looked much at it.
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