Who does this affect?

The brunt of this change will be felt by those who rely on communications professionals – fundraising for charities, disease awareness groups, mental health education, councils, critical health services, infrastructure projects – the list goes on.

Why is this an issue?

If we want communications to be accessible and effective for all Australians, we want a diverse and informed workforce, from a range of socio-economic, political, geographic and demographic backgrounds. This policy strikes at the heart of this endeavour.

How can you help?

ACAG is mounting a campaign to advocate against these changes, and your input is critical.

Why is it important to change this decision?

The Federal Government’s proposed ‘job-ready’ package is ill-conceived and the unintended consequences of this package will damage the welfare of our society.

In the era of fake news, eroding trust in significant institutions and the fragmentation of the media, robust and trusted communications are more important than ever.

Communications helps to keep people safe, increase their productivity and plays a key role in transforming organisational capability to overcome new challenges.

Equal access to training in advertising, marketing, content and communications is essential to fair and diverse Australia

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Who does ACAG represent?

ACAG represents the interests of a profession which employs 330,000 individuals across Australia.

In addition, we're also representing the entire communications industry in Australia which is adversely affected by these changes.

Industry Projected To Have Strong Future Growth

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business has improved the Future Growth prospects of one category of communications professionals - Public Relations (PR) professionals - from stable to strong.

Job Ready Graduates

In the last year communication professionals alone added 2,000 practitioners to their ranks. Our graduates are not only job ready – the Federal Government has recognised they’re in demand.

Skyrocketing Fees

The proposed changes will see the fees for communications graduates skyrocket by 113% with a typical graduate paying nearly $45,000 for a three year degree

Promotes Inequality

These changes are discriminatory and will further entrench inequality and reduce access to tertiary education. It will also reduce the diversity of the profession over the longer term.

"These changes mean that humanities students will now face a massive 113 per cent increase in pursuit of their chosen careers. Potential communications students will now have to find $14,500 each year of their university education, up from the current level of $6,804 per annum. That is simply unacceptable.

Our industries are ready for this fight. As soon as this short-sighted announcement was made, the PRIA knew that we needed to act, and we were over-whelmed with offers of support from commercial organisations and industry groups to get ACAG off the ground"
Leigh McClusky
National President, PRIA
“Many organisations in STEM industries in Australia are actively targeting humanities graduates as they recognise that the complex challenges facing our businesses and communities require diverse thinking.​

We need STEAM, not STEM alone. Communications and humanities-trained professionals bring much need critical thinking and creativity to the workplace."​
Danielle Bond, SCMP
Vice Chair, IABC

Press Coverage

& Related Media Releases

Advocacy Group Welcomes Senate Inquiry Into Federal Government’s Discriminatory Changes To University Fees

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Exclusive polling conducted by leading research consultancy Lonergan Research for ACAG found the vast majority of Australians support this...
Read More → Advocacy Group Welcomes Senate Inquiry Into Federal Government’s Discriminatory Changes To University Fees

Australian Communications Advocacy Group welcomes Jobs-ready graduates package Senate Inquiry

Media Release

Media Release by ACAG...
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My university degree was life-changing. Putting them out of reach is elitist and wrong

In The Press

The Guardian: Education is life-changing. The humanities and social sciences have the potential to transform and improve our societies....
Read More → My university degree was life-changing. Putting them out of reach is elitist and wrong

Federal Government Uni Fee Hike Ill-Founded, Unfair & Discriminatory

In The Press

B&T: Why shouldn’t every young person have the option of choosing to be a teacher, or a mental health worker, or whatever it might be...
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PRIA launches the Australian Communications Advocacy Group in response to proposed university fee hike

In The Press

Mumbrella: “Ensuring equal access to communications is crucial to powering everything from health outreach to infrastructure projects –...
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Advocacy Group Formed To Fight Federal Government’s Ill-Conceived Changes To University Fees

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Media Release: The Australian Communications Advocacy Group (ACAG) has been launched to advocate against the ill-conceived changes to...
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PR industry targets Federal Government’s ‘ill-conceived changes’ to comms degree fees

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Mi3: Nearly three quarters of Australians (75 per cent) believe it is not fair to penalise students who are not suited to STEM courses,...
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Australian government has no modelling on effect of university fee hikes, official reveals

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The Guardian: The goal of the proposed ordinance is to create safe venues for customers and to discourage illegal activities. The governing...
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An open letter to Australia’s Education Minister Dan Tehan — signed by 73 senior professors

In The Press

“The proposal makes untenable assumptions about future growth in demand for training in particular backgrounds”...
Read More → An open letter to Australia’s Education Minister Dan Tehan — signed by 73 senior professors

"The events of 2020 have demonstrated, without a doubt, the incredible value and impact of clear, consistent, relevant and timely communication. The changes to university fees proposed by the federal government are short-sighted. At a time when the world’s values are under a microscope, and a growing sense of inequality is undermining trust, the need for tertiary-qualified communication professionals is greater than ever. A diverse Australia is a better Australia."
Sia Papageorgiou FRSA, SCMP
Immediate Past President, IABC Victoria
"A lack of graduates in the industry will mean less people working in community engagement, risking the right of communities to comment on the development and assessment of government infrastructure projects.

Public participation and engagement are driven by skilled professionals and effective communication is at the core of this. The government’s fee increase decision risks delays to the very infrastructure projects government is using as their foundation for post-COVID recovery
Kylie Cochrane
Chair, International IAP2

ACAG Members

& PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

Join the ACAG! Email us at info@acag.net.au​

"Australians value fairness – particularly so when it comes to educational outcomes – and the Prime Minister needs to recognise that these changes are just not fair.

Our research shows that the vast majority of Australians recognise that these changes are discriminatory, penalise students who aren’t suited to STEM subjects and undervalue the skills acquired through an arts education"
Shane Allison
President, NSW PRIA
"IABC Victoria is pleased to add our voice to the chorus of outraged voices who have come together to form the Australian Communications Advocacy Group. The effect of the proposed changes to arts/humanities university fees will see an erosion in our culture. The hint is in the word ‘humanities’. Take away the ‘human’ in the way we run our society puts at risk our ability to achieve a ‘civil’ society. Short sighted and ill -thought through."
Deb Ganderton
President, IABC Victoria
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