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Cost of priority degrees to be slashed, some fees to soar in funding overhaul

Fees for university courses in health, teaching and science will be cut while the cost of popular humanities, law and commerce degrees will soar under sweeping changes to higher education funding aimed at producing graduates for high-priority employment areas.

The overhaul of student and government contributions to be announced on Friday will fund an extra 39,000 university places by 2023 and 100,000 by the end of the decade in response to surging demand for tertiary education.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan: The government is unveiling an overhaul of university funding to incentive students into priority areas.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan: The government is unveiling an overhaul of university funding to incentive students into priority areas. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The cost of humanities and communications courses will more than double, with a year of full-time study costing $14,500, up from $6684 this year. Fees for law and commerce will increase 28 per cent to $14,500 a year, up from $11,155. A full three-year program in these disciplines will cost students about $43,500 as the government slashes its funding contribution.

Teaching, nursing, psychology, English, languages, maths and agriculture courses will cost $3700 a year, down by 46 to 62 per cent. Fees for science, health, architecture, environmental science, IT and engineering will drop 20 per cent, with a year of study costing $7700.

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