Last year, the Federal government announced changes to university fees as part of its Job Ready Graduates Package. The introduction of the package has led to a reshuffle of student contribution amounts for a number of degrees, with increases for some and decreases for others. This has significant repercussions for both future and some existing students.
According to an article by the Sydney Morning Herald, humanities and communications subjects have more than doubled in price, while significant increases also impact law, economics, management, commerce and creative arts units. Meanwhile, a number of subject areas have decreased in cost, including significant decreases of 59% for maths and agriculture, and 42% for teaching, english, nursing, languages, and clinical psychology, alongside smaller decreases for allied health, other health, science, engineering, architecture, IT, environmental studies.
Students who transfer degrees on or after January 1, 2021 are significantly impacted by the fee changes. A University spokesperson clarified that “If a student transfers into a new Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) from 1 January 2021, they will not have their student contribution amounts grandfathered, and will be required to pay the new 2021 student contribution rates. This includes students transferring programs within a Flexible Double Degree.” These changes will impact students transferring in Semester 2, 2021 onwards and could mean they have to pay higher fees for their subjects, depending on their academic area.
However, some degree transfers are exempt from paying the 2021 fees. An ANU spokesperson explained that this includes “transfers from the ANU Bachelor of Studies to another ANU program” and “any student who is requested by the University to transfer from their current program as a result of changes in the University or its curriculum.” A Bachelor of Studies is a program exclusively for high school students.
Current Honours students will not be impacted by fee changes. As a University spokesperson outlined, “If a student has completed their program before 1 January 2021 and, on or after that day, the student commences an honours program that relates to the earlier program they will be grandfathered.” So for example, if a student completed a Bachelor of Art History and Curatorship prior to 2021, and commenced their honours this semester, they would pay the 2020 fees for the duration of their program. Future Honours students who finish their original degree this year or later will most likely be grandfathered.
Nevertheless, the University further explained that “When it comes to the question of grandfathering fees, each student’s individual program and study circumstances will be considered. If students have any questions about their prospective fees in 2021 they should contact student central in the first instance.”