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What the Overhaul of Tertiary Education Fees Could Mean for the Australian Cybersecurity Industry

Posted by Olivia Scullard - 24 June, 2020


The Federal Government recently announced upcoming changes to tertiary education fees as part of remediating the pandemic’s crippling effects on the economy. Could this overhaul signal a broader national investment in the cybersecurity industry?

Changes to university fees include an increase of 39000 places for domestic students, with the added intention to incentivise study for what Education Minister, Dan Tehan, called ‘jobs of the future.’

The Government’s priority to stimulate interest in employment growth industries involves a major increase of 113 per cent in fees for Humanities degrees, and slashing the prices for other courses, namely a 20 per cent decrease in IT and engineering degrees.

While some denounce the increase in Humanities degrees and Law and Commerce courses as part of a shortsighted and ‘increasingly business-oriented focus,’ it is evident that the decrease in other disciplines provides those from low socioeconomic backgrounds with more accessible pathways to previously unattainable sources of industry knowledge.

This focus on boosting domestic university places is a product of the pandemic, with a lack of international students to fuel our universities and national economy. COVID-19 has highlighted how heavily reliant we are on the international operations of globalisation and marks potential restrictions on the nation’s dependence on foreign firms. It points to the desperate need for a return, or restoration of the nation’s self-reliance and necessitates an investment in local industry skills.

These changes could potentially mean greater collaboration between universities, government and the cybersecurity industry in service of bolstering national resilience. As evidenced within the past week, cybersecurity plays a crucial role in protecting Australia’s sovereignty, and now more than ever, it is paramount to invest in cultivating local industry expertise.

The overhaul will perhaps address the skill shortages that are so central to enhancing our economy and assist in boosting our national cybersecurity capabilities.

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