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The 10th IPEd Editors Conference will be hosted online on Monday 28 June 2021 to Wednesday 30 June 2021.

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IPEd tackles Education Minister about uni fee increases

IPEd CEO Karen Lee has written to federal Education Minister Dan Tehan, on our board’s behalf, about the proposal to drastically increase university fees for students in the areas of the arts, society and culture, law, economics, creative arts and communications.

She makes the point that, in uncertain times, the way forward is to enable, rather than disable; to incentivise, not penalise. ‘Raising course fees for arts and humanities programs devalues the contributions those graduates will make to the economy.’

Karen argued the increased cost of course fees is not compensated for by the earning potential of graduates in those fields. IPEd’s 2016 member survey found 72 per cent of editors earned an average of $50,000 or less.

‘It is not surprising, therefore, that many editors combine editing with other work. Raising the cost of fees would further discourage many IPEd members to take up higher education, not just in writing, publishing and editing courses, but also in the wider area of humanities,’ she said.  

Karen emphasised the importance of editing to anyone in print and digital publishing. ‘This is the profession that ensures your ministry and public servants stay on-message and are able to cut through to the public.’

IPEd has urged Minister Tehan to reconsider the proposed fee increases and keep all education opportunities accessible. ‘In the current uncertain climate, our nation needs not just the STEM-based industries; it also needs the arts and humanities to inspire and give us hope,’ she said.

Read the full letter. [PDF]

Member feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Here is a sample of members’ responses:
  • ‘Thanks for keeping us informed, as always. Brilliant letter from our CEO!’
  • ‘Excellent letter. Thanks for your advocacy.’
  • ‘Thanks for the information about Karen Lee’s excellent letter to Education Minister Dan Tehan.’
  • ‘While I support Karen's views, and appreciate all her hard work, surely this is an untoward move writing to the government about a political decision, speaking on behalf of all our members. Many may not agree, or perhaps will feel that it is not IPEd's role to get involved in politics.’
  • ‘This is an outstanding letter. It makes a very important contribution to the discussion on this topic and I'm proud that IPEd has written it.’
  • ‘Hear hear!’
  • ‘Glad to hear that letter was sent. Life is so miserable without the arts — I am feeling it so profoundly right now, missing the theatre and films so much.’
  • ‘Thanks for this. The proposal is outrageous! Is there anything we can do as members to support Karen's initiative? Petition the members, perhaps. Even many of our clients would sign such a petition.’
  • ‘They don’t care.’
IPEd always welcomes feedback from members on its advocacy role or other aspects of IPEd’s functions. 

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