Submission to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee inquiry into the Higher Education Support Amendment Bill 2020.
On 10 September 2020 the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia made a submission to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee inquiry into the Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020.
The proposed reforms represent some of the most significant changes to higher education in Australia in decades and will have a profound impact on Australia’s university sector. Decisions taken now will determine how the system develops over the decades ahead and its ability to provide future generations of Australian students with a high-quality education.
The Academy supports the Government’s ambition to increase the number of domestic student enrolments and the measures to support Indigenous students and those from regional and remote areas. However, there are areas of the Bill which the Academy believes must be changed in order to deliver the Government’s stated objectives and to retain our national capacity to respond to rapidly changing social and economic circumstances in the future. The Academy made the following key points:
- Social sciences play a critical role in our capacity to design and implement effective social, health, economic and environmental policy
- The idea that price signals will shift course enrolment demand is not supported by the evidence – and may lead to unintended and perverse consequences
- Further information and analysis are required before pursuing significant changes to Australia’s higher education system