NURSING, teaching and science students will receive a windfall to become graduates Australia needs, a major federal government reform to university degree funding wants to ensure.
Deakin University's Warrnambool campus says the change could help boost enolments because those study areas are already among its most popular courses.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan canvassed the reform to universities on Friday that will fund an extra 39,000 student places by 2023.
The government will reduce fees to incentivise students doing courses it deems Australia's job market needs.
But Mr Tehan said students doing "popular" degrees such as commerce, also offered at Deakin Warrnambool, will pay 28 per cent more. Meanwhile, humanities degrees will increase 113 per cent.
"To deliver cheaper degrees in areas of expected employment growth, students who choose to study more popular degrees will make a higher contribution," he said.
Students in teaching and nursing will pay 46 per cent less, while agricultural degrees will cost 62 per cent less, and science, health and engineering students will see 20 per cent cuts to fees.
Deakin University Warrnambool campus director Alistair McCosh said nursing currently had the highest enrolments at the campus, while teaching and marine science, along with commerce, were also popular.
"We expect that there will be an increase in domestic student numbers," Mr McCosh said.
He said the university was already expecting an increase in domestic enrolments next year as fewer students took gap years amid job uncertainty and potential ongoing international border closures.
"I think students are saying 'I need to consider my future and obtain my degree one year earlier so I can move into the workforce'," Mr McCosh said.
The campus had 182 enrolments at the start of this year, slightly up on 2019.
Mr Tehan said existing students would not see increases to their fees and those set to benefit could receive cuts to their fees from next year.
"We are putting more funding into the system in a way that encourages people to study in areas of expected employment growth," he said.
"We are facing the biggest employment challenge since the Great Depression. And the biggest impact will be felt by young Australians. They are relying on us to give them the opportunity to succeed in the jobs of the future."
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