The Australian government has proposed a university fee overhaul that will see reduced rates for STEM courses, but increased rates for arts and humanities courses.
This plan aims to increase overall student contribution by 6%, thus creating more places at university without increasing government funding.
Education Minister Dan Tehan presented this plan in a speech to the National Press Club on Friday, 19 June. By encouraging “job-relevant” courses, the government hopes to attract more Australian students to get their qualifications and join the workforce to restore the economy post-COVID-19.
Will a university fee overhaul create job-ready graduates?
Most Australian university students take a government loan to pay for their studies and repay later through tax.
Although the government’s main aim is to restore jobs for its citizens, these revised fees could also be positive for international students who want to study STEM in one of the country’s many institutions.
Under this plan, fees for agriculture and maths courses would drop from nearly 28,600 Australian dollars over three years to A$11,100. Similar reductions will be applied for teaching, nursing, clinical psychology, science, health, architecture, information technology (IT), and engineering.
On the other hand, fees for arts and humanities courses could double. For example, degrees in history or cultural studies could increase by 113%.
The university fee overhaul is based on the government’s prediction of high-growth industries in the next five years. Simply put, Australia wants more graduates in healthcare, science, technology, education and construction.
Australia university fees 2021: Who will be affected?
As an international student, you should know that these changes will only apply to those who enrol in 2021. University course fees for current students will remain.
Another important detail to note is that the changes “are based at a unit level, not a degree level,” Tehan said.
He went on to explain, “So if you are going to do philosophy, we want you to think about doing a language. If you are going to do ancient Greek, do IT with it. Just make sure that you are thinking about getting the skills that you’ll need to get a job beyond your degree.”
See the list of revised course fees here:
|Course field||Current yearly student fee (A$)||
Proposed yearly student fee (A$)
|Food and hospitality||11,355||14,500|
|Management and commerce||11,355||14,500|
|Law and Economics||11,355||14,500|
|Architecture & building||9,698||7,400|
|Society and Culture||6,804||14,500|
Source: The Guardian Australia