27 April, 2015. 16:41

ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

THOUSANDS OF FINAL-YEAR STUDENTS around Australia have thrown their support behind Christopher Pyne’s higher education reforms, saying that the proposed changes will make their degrees more valuable.

There were chaotic scenes this morning as the education minister landed in Sydney to speak in front of hundreds of his adoring fans – some of which were overcome with emotion.

Nearly all of the students present were undertaking studies in a creative field, who see Christopher Pyne as their shepherd – to guide them through the uncertainty of a life dedicated to the arts.

Under the federal governments plan to make tertiary education less affordable, the number of students enrolled in trivial degrees is expected to fall dramatically as high school leavers look to study more practical disciplines.

Many voters were disappointed that the proposed higher education reforms were shot down in the Senate last month, prompting action from politicians and students to get the issue back on the national agenda.

The overwhelming majority of support for the embattled education minister has come from students studying Fine Arts, art criticism, Jewish history, ceramics, horticulture, journalism, astronomy and other useless degrees offered by third-tier universities.

In recent years, the jobs market has been saturated by mediocre and pointless bachelor degrees – making it increasingly difficult for employers to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Chyna Shearbart has thrown her support behind the higher education reforms. PHOTO: Honi Soit/Fiona Grinspoon
Chyna Shearbart has thrown her support behind the proposed higher education reforms. PHOTO: Honi Soit/Fiona Grinspoon

However, if Christopher Pyne has his way, the number of people earning these meaningless bachelor degrees will decrease, effectively increasing the value the education of those who’ve already graduated.

One of students in question is Chyna Shearbart, who is currently undertaking her fifth-year of undergraduate study and is enrolled in an Associate Degree of Creative Writing at Southern Cross University.

“My biggest problem with higher education is the fact that it doesn’t guarantee you a job anymore,” says the 39-year-old.

“There’s too many people running around with these redundant degrees, which makes it harder for people like me who study constructive and pragmatic courses to find employment,”

“I’m going to be a best-selling author one day, so why should I have to wait tables and wash dishes until then?”

“The skills I’ve learned in my creative writing course should let me walk in to any ad agency or newspaper,”

“But now everybody has a stupid degree.” she moaned.

Mr Pyne vowed to reintroduce the Bill and have another attempt at reforming Australia’s university sector.

“Few dispute that without reform, Australia’s higher education system will steadily ­decline,’’ he said.

“We will, therefore, bring back the higher education ­reform package for the ­Parliament to consider. We will not give up. This reform is too important.’’




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