Minister says lower uni fess will boost agriculture jobs

By Jamie Salter

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has welcomed changes to university fees, which will see students who study agriculture at university pay 62 per cent less for their degree.

The slashed costs come under a Federal Government higher education funding plan aimed at producing graduates for high-priority jobs in growth sectors.

Mr Littleproud said the agriculture sector would continue to thrive post-COVID-19, and would be helped by more access to educated, highly-skilled workers.

“These reforms recognise that the farming sector will lead Australia’s economic recovery out of COVID-19 and towards the Ag2030 $100 billion target,” he said.

Mr Littleproud said the Australian agriculture industry was changing, including the adoption of technology, advanced equipment and new farming techniques, and the emergence of internationally competitive industry and business structures.

“The workforce and skill needs of the industry are changing too and today’s announcement means that it will be more accessible for people to upskill for the breadth of agriculture, agri-business and ag-tech jobs available today and in the future.

“The announcement by (Federal Education) Minister (Dan) Tehan supports our focus on securing Australia’s food security supply chain and harnessing export opportunities.

“It also reinforces the importance of our development of a National Agriculture Workforce Strategy to guide these future graduates to long and fulfilling agriculture careers.

“These reforms will allow us to support more regional, rural and indigenous students to access higher education, because we believe that every Australian should have access to a world-class education.”

The changes to university fees were announced on June 21.