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Higher Education Support Amendment –

HCNSW submission

The joint History Councils of Australia (HCA) has made a submission to the Dept of Education, Skills and Employment (DESA) on the exposure draft for Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020.  In part it reads:

“We strongly oppose the proposed increase in the cost of Humanities degrees, including degrees in History, the price of which would more than double for students.  We particularly resist the contention that these majors do not produce “job-ready” graduates.  No evidence is produced to support this claim, and much is available to contradict it.  

The opening statement of the “Job-ready Graduates Discussion Paper” (p. 3) reads “A strong economic recovery will depend on knowledge-intensive jobs held by Australians who are highly skilled, creative and flexible.”  On this point we do agree, wholeheartedly, and we know that History graduates hold just these attributes.  

The study of history equips graduates with valuable sets of skills in at least two domains.  The first is a set of practical transferable skills in research, analysis of differing points of view, critical reading and the clear communication of an evidence-based position.  The other skill set prepares history graduates to work harmoniously and productively with people from diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds.  The study of history produces an open mindedness, social awareness and broad perspective much needed in the forecast growth areas of education, health, construction and science and technology, and across the society and economy.”

You can read the HCA’s full submission here.  Further information about the proposed legislation can be found on the DESA website here.

(Image:  “A Group of Six Men”.  Sam Hood Collection, State Library of NSW)