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‘An insidious choice’: Humanities Academy president on proposed changes to uni fees – Podcast

Education minister Dan Tehan's recent announcement about changing the course fee structure across Australian universities has been met with a range of views.

Some believe it sets Australia up for the future, while others, including former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, called it "baffling".

Other critics, too, have pointed to the irony of how important the coalition considered the 'soft skills' taught by humanities to the future of the workforce before making such a decision.

One of the most vocal and cogent critics of the proposed changes is the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Campus Review spoke to the academy's president, Professor Joy Damousi, about the issue.

In contrast to the government's line, Damousi said arts and humanities graduates are incredibly job ready and statistics support this. She also said humanities graduates possess "very transferable, very transportable skills".

Damousi also highlighted the need for students to follow their talents and passions, not enrol in courses purely based on financial reasons. She called this "an insidious choice".

The academy's president was also concerned how a fee increase of 113 per cent for some courses would affect low socioeconomic students, and how devaluing subjects like History ran the risk of promoting cultural amnesia and the rise of deeply troubling ideologies.

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