Major shake-up to uni degree fees amid education overhaul

Uni course fees are hiking for some while being slashed for others. (Source: Getty)

The cost of some university courses is expected to double, while others will see a drop in price in a major shake-up of the university sector.

Education Minister Dan Tehan is expected to announce in a speech at the National Press Club that the fees for university courses will be adjusted in order to funnel students into industries that the federal government believes will drive job growth.

According to the ABC, degrees in the humanities will be more than doubled (113 per cent) and cost as much as law and commerce degrees at $14,500 a year.

Students thinking of studying law or commerce will cop a 28 per cent hike in fees, while medical, dentistry and veterinary science students will see no change to course fees.

Those considering agriculture and maths degrees are the lucky ones: these course fees will fall by 62 per cent, while teaching, nursing, clinical psychology, English and languages degrees will be nearly halved (46 per cent drop).

STEM subjects of science, health, architecture, environmental science, IT and engineering degrees will be slashed by a fifth (20 per cent).

Current students will not pay increased fees, but those enrolled in courses that will become cheaper will see fee reductions from next year.

According to modelling by the government before Covid-19 hit, 62 of employment growth was forecasted to be in healthcare, science and technology, education, and construction.

Student unions were not thrilled about all the course fee changes: the National Union of Students said lowered fees were good for some students, but came at the expense of others.

“We need funding, not attacks on students,” the union said in a statement.

“Universities are not job factories and tailoring fees around that premise will hurt our sector in a time where we are already facing billions of dollars lost and hundreds of staff cuts.

“Being a student should not be a debt sentence, but the Government has decided to force tomorrow's workers into a lifetime of further debt.”

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