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Govt tells arts students to 'mix and match' courses and get a job


University arts students have been told to “mix and match” subjects as the federal education minister tries to double their fees.

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Dan Tehan has introduced legislation to more than double the cost of humanities degrees, while slashing the price of more “job-relevant” courses such as teaching and nursing.

“The amendments in this bill demonstrate the government’s commitment to ensuring university graduates have the job-ready skills and experience to be competitive in a challenging labour market,” he told parliament on Wednesday.

Earlier, Tehan said he wanted humanities students to think about getting a job after graduating.

“Mix and match the units – take some of those units which will help you to be able to get a job at the end of your degree,” he told ABC radio.

Labor education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said the government’s plan would make it harder and more expensive to go to university.

“Students will pay more. Thousands of students will see their fees double. It’ll be harder to get into a degree,” she told AAP.

“Billions will be cut from universities and it will do nothing to get young people into high-priority courses or jobs.”

Tehan also introduced legislation to protect domestic up-front fee paying students if their provider cancels a unit.


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