Listening

Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. tuition
    • ex. I wanted to go to that school, but its tuition was too expensive.
  2. humanities
    • ex. My son likes to take humanities classes, but his sister prefers science classes.
  3. a degree
    • ex. Anna studied really hard and graduated with two degrees.
  4. discourage
    • ex. The rain discouraged us from going out.
  5. employable
    • ex. If you want to be more employable, you should take some classes to learn more skills.

Article

Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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The Australian government is planning to raise the price of tuition for humanities degrees by up to 113%. A three-year degree in communications, for example, will jump from $20,000 (about ¥1.5 million) to $43,500 (about ¥3.3 million). At the same time, the price of degrees in subjects such as agriculture, math, IT, and health will be cut. Tuition for math students, for example, will only cost $11,100 (about ¥835,000).

According to Australia’s education minister, the government is raising the price of humanities degrees in order to discourage students from choosing them. He believes that the lower price of nursing, engineering, and other “useful” degrees will attract more students and create more “job-ready” graduates. This, he explained, will help the economy.

The government’s plan has received a lot of negative reactions. The National Union of Students said that the price increase hurts many students and explained that universities are not job factories. Politician Tanya Plibersek argued that people with humanities degrees are definitely employable. She also pointed out that the education minister himself actually has a humanities degree.

Discussion

Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

College Degrees

  • Do you agree that some degrees are more useful than others? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think that increasing the price of tuition will really discourage students from choosing humanities degrees? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think it's fair that some degrees cost much more than others? Why or why not? Discuss.

Jobs

  • Do you agree that engineering, nursing, and other such jobs are more helpful for the economy? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think that people should only get jobs that are related to their degrees? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you agree that it's difficult to find a job if you have a humanities degree? Why or why not? Discuss.