Letter from HASS Associations opposing changes to HASS Degree fees:

The Federal Government recently announced that many Humanities based degrees will see their fess doubled to assist those ‘job-ready graduates’ in degrees such as Nursing, Teaching and Science based areas across the sector.

This will have major impact on the University sector and Australian society as a whole over the coming years.

The announcement of this policy has potential to systemically undermine the ability of many marginalised people to access education or further positions of power and could possibly have greater impact on academics working in HASS. Future students will not be able to afford such fee increases and we may see subjects across disciplines vanish due to small numbers. I ask, what will happen to subjects that has strong connections to Race, Identity, Sociology, or the true history of Indigenous and First Peoples? And at a time when we as an Association wish to see more Critical Race conversations occur, including the building and strengthening of such in the Australian academy, we could be facing a future where opportunities for such discussion are completely removed.

Today, the President of ACRAWSA joined other Academics in signing a letter To Dan Tehan MP condemning this announcement. The letter states:

As academics who research, teach, and were trained in society and culture, humanities, and communications we have seen first-hand the value of studying these fields to our students, and in turn to Australian and wider society. We note how many of our leaders across all sectors have HASS educations, including yourself and many of your parliamentary colleagues.

We welcome positive opportunities for university students in Australia, but not at the expense of those degrees that have been arbitrarily and incorrectly deemed irrelevant for employment. We call on you to provide equitable access to higher education for all young people, no matter what they want to study, not least of all because the demand for HASS skills from employers has dramatically risen in the past decade.  To not do so would be an unconscionable attack on Australia’s future.

For a link to this open letter, please click here. This indeed has been a difficult time for us all in this space. I urge you all to keep speaking to this as it is vital our voices be heard.

Thank you.

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