Humanities students at the University of Sydney have claimed their course fees have risen by up to $15,000 despite enrolling in the degrees before the former Coalition government hiked up prices in 2020.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Angelina Gu said she and other students who enrolled in certain arts degrees at the University of Sydney prior to 2021 have been affected.
“When the Job-ready Graduates package was passed last year, I was absolutely devastated,” she said.
“Enrolled students were ensured this would not impact them. I quickly found this was not true.”
As a quick refresher, the Job-ready Graduates package was the ol’ Scott Morrison government’s plan to basically force people into studying things they didn’t want to study by doubling the fees of courses they did want to sink their teeth into.
After the policy was introduced in 2020, humanities degrees more than doubled while law and commerce degrees also increased, so the government could drop fees for STEM courses such as maths, science and engineering.
Per the Sydney Morning Herald, students who enrolled in courses prior to 2021 were told their OG, lower fees would be honoured for the rest of their degrees.
However, some darn sneaky fine print clarified that fees would only be grandfathered for “ongoing courses” and students who transferred courses would have to cough up for the new fees.
And due to some shonky communication surrounding course requirements, University of Sydney students have been hit particularly hard.
According to Gu, she enrolled in a combined Bachelor of Arts and Advanced Studies degree in 2018 with the plan to complete honours in history.
But with the tertiary education system being the borked beast it is, the University of Sydney wouldn’t allow her to complete her honours under her existing degree (despite having completed all the necessary units), which meant she had to transfer to a new, much more spenny degree.
“There was nothing in the course handbook at the time that said you could not complete your honours in your second major and it was never mentioned at any information session,” Gu said.
“Those who enrolled in the degree from its 2018 introduction to 2020 who want to pursue honours in their other major must change degrees and incur the new fees purely because of the constrictive internal structures of the university.”
A University of Sydney spokeswoman told the Sydney Morning Herald they were trying to reduce the “negative impacts” on their students and were “working with the new [Education] minister to review the issue”.