Science degrees cost less in 2009!

19 November 2008

The Australian government has reduced the cost of undergraduate science and mathematics degrees starting in 2009 - there has never been a better time to enrol in an undergraduate science degree. Fees have fallen from as high as $7 260 per year in 2008 to $4 162 per year starting from 2009.

HECS fees for science and mathematics degrees have been greatly reduced by the Australian government, making studying science from 2009 even more attractive.
HECS fees for science and mathematics degrees have been greatly reduced by the Australian government, making studying science from 2009 even more attractive.

"Having science, mathematics and statistics undergraduate degrees move into the National Priority band of fees makes studying science even more attractive for students - it's now almost half price!" said Professor John Rice, Executive Director of the Australian Council of Deans of Science and Honorary Associate in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sydney.

"It's a positive message to young people in Australia that science degrees are really important and that the government is actively encouraging students to enrol in science degrees," said Professor Rice.

"What's more, if students choose science or mathematics teaching they repay only half their HECS during their first five years in the workforce. Well qualified science and mathematics teachers are in short supply and the government is finally doing something about it, which means great career opportunities for students."

The Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) is for domestic students (those with Australian or New Zealand citizenship or Australian permanent resident visas) and provides Commonwealth funding for part of the cost of tertiary study. Students in Commonwealth supported places pay HECS fees to cover part of the cost of their education, with the rest covered by the Commonwealth.

There are three bands of HECS fees into which undergraduate degree disciplines are divided: Band 1 has the lowest fees and includes the humanities, behavioural sciences, social studies, foreign languages and visual and performing arts; Band 2 has higher fees and includes computing, the built environment, health, engineering, surveying and agriculture; and Band 3 has the highest fees and includes law, dentistry, medicine, veterinary science, accounting, administration, economics and commerce.

Outside of this fee structure, the Australian government has identified several National Priority disciplines, which attract HECS fees lower than Band 1, to encourage more students to enrol in these areas. From 2009, science, mathematics and statistics are in the National Priority HECS band, which makes studying science one of the least expensive degrees.

"The new low fees in science provide a wonderful opportunity for students to get valuable science and mathematics degrees, which lead onto a huge diversity of careers within and outside of science," said Professor David Day, Dean of Science at the University of Sydney.

"With a science degree you can go anywhere - finance, business and government sectors love science graduates because of the analytical and problem solving skills developed through studying science. You can go into science education, communication, journalism and marketing sectors with a science degree. Or, of course, you can become a scientist working in a huge choice of exciting research fields!" said Professor Day.

"Research-led teaching, which is how science is taught at the University of Sydney, is more expensive in terms of materials and staff-to-student ratios than other disciplines, so the new low fees make a science degree at the University of Sydney a particularly attractive value offering for students."

Contact: Katynna Gill

Phone: 02 9351 6997

Email: 2a4a444d2a0d11592c3847296b0647523c470a3d02773b2f