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Speech: Higher education language teaching

Speeches in Parliament
Mehreen Faruqi 8 Dec 2020

Universities are cutting courses and slashing jobs. The combined blows of COVID-19 and funding cuts are devastating. We should prioritise and expand education in languages and cultures, especially those in the Asia-Pacific, and reject these harsh, nonsensical cuts to language programs.

In its submission to the job-ready graduates bill inquiry, the Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities said:

Successful language study involves the acquisition of both linguistic skills and cultural knowledge … the new funding system poses the risk of enforcing a language/culture divide.

Some of the blame for these cuts must be attributed to short-sighted university management, certainly, but we should not let the government off the hook. Humanities programs were squarely the target of the so-called job-ready graduates measures. These cuts are a result of this government's juvenile hatred for humanities, and this country will suffer as a result.


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