Submission to the draft Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020.
On 17 August 2020 the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia made a submission to the draft Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020 (the Bill).
The Academy supports the Government’s intent to increase the number of domestic student enrolments and measures to support Indigenous students and those from regional and remote areas to access high quality higher education.
However, the proposed reorganisation of funding clusters will see student fees for a number of social science courses substantially increase. The Academy does not support this proposal for the following reasons:
- The idea that social science degrees don’t lead to good employment outcomes is not supported by the evidence.
- The idea that price signals will shift course enrolment demand is not supported by the evidence – and may lead to unintended and perverse consequences
Given the questions regarding the effectiveness of proposed incentives and disincentives to achieve the Governments objectives, the Academy suggests further consideration of the Bill is required. This should be informed by robust modelling of the potential implications and costs and include proper consultation with a range of experts in the sector to devise an optimal mechanism.