It was heartening to hear Minister of Education, The Hon Jason Clare MP, talk about his passion for the power of education at his National Press Club address today. And, it is terrific to see the report’s initial set of recommendations are focused on achieving higher equity and participation for regional students, students in outer metropolitan areas, First Nations students, and students from poor backgrounds.
We don’t want to see anyone priced out of a humanities education at university. The redress of the Job Ready Graduates scheme – which put the cost of many humanities degrees at a premium, punished students for following their passions and adversely impacted Indigenous students and women – is therefore especially welcome.
The Academy is also pleased to see the Minister consider the recommendation for a Tertiary Education Commission. As we said in our submission, the Learned Academies are well placed to contribute to such a body – as an expert voice on a range of higher education matters, independent of universities, and with a mandate to produce national reports on the state of disciplines to inform national coordination and planning.
We look forward to contributing to the Universities Accord agenda over the coming months and responding to the big ideas in the report.