Australia is doubling tuition fees for the humanities. At $45,000, a humanities degree will now be the most expensive diploma in the country. According to the country’s education minister, the price hike should get people to “study in areas where there is expected growth in job opportunities”. *
This is not surprising. The humanities teach us how to think, not how to execute a job. They build our characters, not our CVs. And they push us to ask questions rather than pick the right answer from options A to D.
Official responses to Covid-19, ranging from panic to blatant lies, have shown just what happens when we lose faith in critical and creative thought. Defunding the humanities will simply assure that the lessons of Covid-19 remain unlearned.
Universities have become mere gatekeepers of the job market, selling diplomas in return for the right to earn a living. But the humanities are not “dying out.” They are just disappearing from venues that don’t nurture critical thinking and relocating to venues that do—like PICT.