Former NSW Minister for Education Verity Firth says the federal government’s decision to increase the cost of arts and humanities degrees, is short-sighted.

Now the Executive Director of Social Justice at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Ms Firth says employers are really searching for “people who are able to do things that robots can’t do”.  

“We need people to be critical thinkers, to be able to analyse problems. We need them to be able to collaborate with peopleto be able to communicate well with people, and the wonderful thing about arts degrees is they teach you all of that. 

Data collected by the UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion has revealed that the number of students of low socio-economic status (SES) choosing to study Arts and Humanities has declined by 31 per cent since 2016.  

“We don’t want a situation where people don’t do arts degrees because they feel they can’t afford it. It’s not about who your parents were. It is not about your background. It’s about your desire to learn and the talent and the potential that you bring.”  

— Story and video, Bevin Liu @JLiuBev

*Central News is published with the support of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UTS