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Your views: on university "job factories" and JobSeeker

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on lowering some degree costs while doubling others, and surviving on Centrelink benefits.

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Commenting on the story: Universities should be more than jobs factories

Andrea Michaels’ article should be a “must read’ for all politicians.

I can’t be more dismayed by this latest assault on the very fabric of Australian society perpetrated by the current government.

It seems to me to be the worst attack on the intelligence of our young people in living memory. Furthermore, it is a cynical attempt to dumb down society through the government’s appallingly short-sighted inability to recognise the intrinsic vale of breadth of education, and of the ability to make choices.

Neither does it recognise the richness of a community with a wide variety of occupations, and understandings of itself and of humanity in general.

Where do they get the notion that people choose careers and education on the basis of cost, or that some fields of study should be more supported at university level than others, or that “market forces” can be applied to education or career choice?

A broad based degree in the Arts, Humanities, Economics or Law is not only a firm base for further study, but is also training in the ability to think clearly, creatively, broadly and appreciatively. As such, it is a grounding and framework for a career in many fields. Such graduates are sought and fostered by a range of industries and employers for their abilities to think and to create, and to work in a variety of situations.

Prioritising the proposed narrow, job-based set of education choices is also highly discriminatory against women, and against people from lower income groups, as Michaels clearly points out.

In any case, as is clear from the rapid changes that are taking place in our society and the world at large, most graduates will have four of five “careers” throughout their working lives, which will contain jobs that have not yet been invented. So breath and flexibility are vital aspects of true education beyond the limited prescriptions of the current “jobs market”.

But perhaps this government doesn’t want its people to be thinkers: People might not vote for them if they are. – Peter Bleby

Andrea, you miss the point of the purpose of universities.

They are not there for the “Arts”, they are there, and being funded by the taxpayer, to educate our future workers so that they get the highly intellectual and medical and engineering positions filled by Australians and not having to constantly import them.

If someone wants to do an Arts or Humanities course for which there are very few positions, than let them pay for them, but unfortunately there are so many taxi drivers and baristas who have high HECS debt and very little prospect of repaying it! Fred Driver

Commenting on the story: JobKeeper cut and extended, JobSeeker mutual obligations return

I’ve been on the JobSeeker payment for the last year and getting the coronavirus supplement, so had to fill out a tax form.

I was surprised and not surprised that over the last year I got less than $12,000, and politicians think that people can live on that.

I’d like to see them do it.

Before people say I should get out and get a job, I’m over 60 and have a medical condition so it’s a struggle to find something I can do – and yes, I’m still trying. Karen Campbell

Yes, I agree I cannot live on $40 a day. How about raising it to old age pension rate to start with?

Next, how about raising the limit for casual work from four hours a fortnight, $100 for free, to 15 hours a fortnight for free just like the pensions.

It is only fair to give us a chance to earn some money so we can buy essentials, like interview clothes, without depending on charity. – Trevor Johnson

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