UWA Albany has been caught in the middle of the Federal Government’s controversial proposed overhaul of national university fees. Last week, Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan revealed the Government’s plans for a major shake-up designed to drive future students into areas where there are skills shortages. University fees in health, teaching, agriculture and science would be cut, while the cost of studying humanities, commerce and law would rise dramatically. UWA Albany offers four complete bachelor degree programs — arts, commerce, science and education. The Albany campus also offers first-year study programs in more than 20 undergraduate courses across arts, commerce, biomedical science and science. Mr Tehan said the changes would fund an extra 39,000 university places by 2023 and 100,000 by the end of the decade. They would only apply to future students from 2021 at a unit or subject level, not across complete degrees. Some students in areas such as agriculture and maths would pay 62 per cent less for their studies next year. But others studying subjects in humanities will face a 113 per cent price hike. The average humanities three-year bachelor degree currently costs about $20,000, which will more than double to almost $45,000. A UWA spokeswoman said about one third of Albany-based students had at least one humanities major in their degree. Most of the undergraduate and postgraduate enrolments were in science, technology, engineering and maths. But the university did not expect the students to choose a STEM subject based on price alone. “People are often passionate about the humanities area in which they are interested, and determined to pursue their interests and vocation,” she said.