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Australia plans university fees hike to deter humanities students

20 Comments
By Andrew LEESON

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Any subject with the word "Studies" after it is a waste of time and doesn't transfer any skills or knowledge that is productive or could benefit society.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

@burning bush

first world, over privileged thinking

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Interesting move.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Philosophy is the foundation of all education. When philosophy goes, you’re left with a rudderless ship going nowhere.

Dumb move, Australia.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

God forbid we have people actually study history.

I’m OK with funneling more resources to programs with greater demand, but to actively sabotage enrollment in other ones is just gratuitous academic vandalism.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

A lawsuit waiting to happen!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The higher education sector is long overdue for reform and technological disruption. Most university programs could be standardised by top institutions and delivered online for a fraction of the current cost. There is no need for hundreds of sprawling campuses full of expensive administrators subsidised by taxpayers. The price of a bachelors degree should really be no more than $2000 (+books). There's no reason for students to be burdened by massive debt, delay their working lives, and put off family formation well into their 20s or 30s only to realise that their degree doesn't give them the advantages they were promised.

Philosophy is the foundation of all education. When philosophy goes, you’re left with a rudderless ship going nowhere.

Philosophy isn't going anywhere. All of the seminal works in philosophy are out of copyright and freely available on Google books. If you want to pay someone $100,000 to walk you through them over 4 years, you will always be free to spend your own life's savings.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

But critics slammed the plans as "unconscionable" and part of a broader "culture war" that puts economic utility above learning.

But why can you have both? It’s not like a technical degree somehow isn’t learning. The government seeks to help people become independent, productive, and contributing members of society. Once you have achieved that, there is no reason one could not go back to school and learn philosophy if you could not afford it earlier. The Left is worried they will lose their ability to brainwash young people into believing their own country is evil and irredeemable.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Philosophy is the foundation of all education. When philosophy goes, you’re left with a rudderless ship going nowhere.

Philosophy isn’t going anywhere. It will just cost a little extra. Not the end of the world. One can still earn a degree in engineering without knowing Kant backwards and forwards.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

It's about time. Now, if Canada, the U.S., U.K. and Japan would follow suit we'd all be better off, as aging taxpayers.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Pretty sure maths teaches imaginary numbers, too.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Unfortunately universities in the West have been heavily dominated by extreme left wing factions in recent times. Humanities however are important and should not be devalued as this appears to have been.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I studied physics and ended up working for a manufacturing company where most of what I studied wasn’t relevant. Mechanical or electrical engineering would have been far more useful.

As for languages, with continuing improvements in translation software and interpretation devices, is this going to be an area where we’ll need more language specialists?

How about economics? My snobbish old lecturer described it as English Lit for people who can do basic maths. How about law? Most law graduates I know don’t practice law. My wife is a law graduate and now works in logistics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

In the US since the 80s, maybe 90s, governments have reduced funding for universities which is why tuition at state schools - which used to be anywhere from $100 to $500 a semester now clock in at $5000+ a semester.

Because of the reduced government funding, universities have become cheaper to run: more part-time teachers, bigger classes, more reliance on research funding, fewer options for students etc.

The cost burden shifted from the government to the individual student. The US is encouraging students into the 'marketable' majors just by not paying for anything.

Who wants to spend upwards of $40,000 for a degree in English literature when they can earn $40,000 saying "You want fries with that?"

All the whining about 'us poor taxpayers' is bogus as 'we poor taxpayers' aren't paying for any education beyond junior high school.

What Australia might end up with are our-year technical schools instead of a university where an eager Australian can get a well-rounded education. More cogs for the corporate wheel, less thinking. Perfect! I guess.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Unfortunately universities in the West have been heavily dominated by extreme left wing factions in recent times. 

The west is a big place. I doubt that you have much knowledge of universities outside your own country, and probably not that much within it.

At my own university, there wasn't much evidence of extreme leftwing factions being dominant. If we drop the word extreme, and just stick with leftwing, there wasn't much evidence of that either. The students were a mix, although those from working class backgrounds were none too over-represented, and for the first time in my life, I was encountering a high proportion of people my own age who had been educated at public schools and grammar schools.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As for the lecturers and other staff, I have no doubt some were leftwing and in some cases, possibly very leftwing. They were offset by what seemed to be about an equal number of smarmy, privileged Tories.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its gonna be a surprise for the "professional university student" having to pay a lot more for their worthless degree so they can cop out of the real world for decade after graduating high school

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Who wants to spend upwards of $40,000 for a degree in English literature when they can earn $40,000 saying "You want fries with that?"

My father picked up a degree in English literature from Cambridge University, but I don't think he ever served fries in his career.

My degree in political philosophy has been very helpful in my career in banking - logical thought is extremely helpful and certainly far more useful than studying economics, which I studied at school and in my first year of university.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Its gonna be a surprise for the "professional university student" having to pay a lot more for their worthless degree so they can cop out of the real world for decade after graduating high school

Good example of the anti-intellectual nonsense that has become so prevalent in this era of populism, symbolised through Trump and Brexit.

If we look back in history, the industrial revolution started in Britain, and we are still living with the consequences, both good and bad. That was proceeded by an agricultural revolution which allowed people off the land and into factories.

But more importantly, this too was proceeded by an intellectual revolution that gave us the ideas of Hobbes, Locke, Newton and overseas Galileo, Descartes and many more. Philosophy, mathematics and science were always accepted as being closely related.

It was intellectual freedom that allowed technology to develop and we forget this at our peril. Australia is pursuing a short-sighted policy that panders to superficial thinking on the right.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But more importantly, this too was proceeded by an intellectual revolution that gave us the ideas of Hobbes, Locke, Newton and overseas Galileo, 

Yet in the days of Hobbes, Locke, Newton, and Galileo there wasn’t the massive state support of public education that exists today. So how was it possible that these great thinkers and their ideas came about? Humanities education is not being eliminated. It still receives state support. Due to the massive wealth made possible by capitalism and the industrial revolution more people than at anytime in human history are being educated in the humanities. How does a slight change in emphasis toward preparing people to make a comfortable living in skills most needed in the modern society spell the end of the humanities? I suspect the outlandish reaction to such a small change in emphasis in education is seen as a threat to the indoctrination industry run by the ideological Left in Western universities.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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