There are few better to summarise the meaning of education than Albert Einstein, who referred to this quote as part of a discussion on the subject: "Education is that which remains, if one has forgotten everything he learned in school."
What he refers to, of course, is his experience of formal education's reliance on simply memorising facts and concepts to fulfill monotonous jobs, rather than it fostering the ability to think critically and challenge concepts.
It seems ludicrous, then, that the federal government wants to regress higher education to this base level of studying for the sake of possibly getting a very specific job, rather than looking at the centuries' worth of evidence showing the value of well-rounded, research-rich humanities courses in creating more employable people.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The government's decision to double the cost of humanities degrees, increase the cost of law and commerce degrees, while reducing the cost for degrees in teaching, nursing and health, is completely ironic given such a decision has no evidence to back it up. It's even more ironic given Education Minister Dan Tehan - himself an Arts graduate - could not apply the critical thinking skills he could well have picked up during his studies.
The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching shows that humanities graduates have a 91.1 per cent employment rate, compared with 90.1 per cent for maths and science. The government based its argument on being "job-ready", so where's the data to back this up? Even those in nursing education have concerns, saying there's no shortage of students, and attention needs to be on other workforce issues.
The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the government is against people gaining critical thinking skills. And by jacking up the price of humanities degrees, what they're really doing is pricing the poorest out of the market.
It's also another attack on young people generally, who already face worsening disadvantage in regards to housing, health funding and our inaction on climate change. Why would we add education to this list?