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Can government actually predict the jobs of the future?

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, David Peetz, writes in The Conversation (26.6.20) about the federal government’s proposed changes to higher education fee structures in a supposed attempt to make students more ‘job ready’ through degree choice.’The future of jobs has been used to justify the major changes to university education announced last week. Fees for courses that, according to the government, lead to jobs with a great future will fall, while those with a poor future will rise.

‘But can the government predict the jobs of the future? And do proposed fee changes match those jobs that will grow?

‘In the research I have done on the future of work, several things are clear. The further you look ahead, the less useful the present is as a guide. This is especially the case in employment because, in a quickly changing world, technology is hard to predict and changing consumption patterns even harder.

‘… A more plausible explanation for the changes to university fees is that the marketable skills argument is just a cover for another agenda.

‘Critical thinking is a key skill for the future, but one can’t help but think it is not something the government wants encouraged.’

Elect the vice-chancellor!

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, David Peetz, writes in Inside Story (15.10.20) about the Coalition’s changes to university fees, wondering if university governance is getting in the way of a healthy higher education system.

‘Many people blame federal education minister Dan Tehan for the parlous condition universities find themselves in. But it would be unfair to ignore the contributions of many other people over the years. Among many candidates, the biggest culprit is Brendan Nelson, who was education minister a decade and a half ago. That’s not because of the big cuts in funding he oversaw. More important were the changes to university governance he forced on universities.

‘… This change in governance is key to understanding universities’ lack of effective resistance to years of government measures, including the recent changes to fees, that clearly make students and staff worse off.’

The TJRyan Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or material available on this website. The TJRyan Foundation reserves the right to change information or material on this website at any time without notice. Links from this site to external, non-TJRyan Foundation websites should not be construed as implying any relationship with and/or endorsement of the external site or its content by the TJR Foundation, nor any commercial relationship with the owners of any external site. Should any TJRyan research project be funded by an individual or organisation the source of funding will be stated beside the research report. In all other cases contributions are provided on a pro bono basis.
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