Security vendor Webroot slams Govt's plan to reduce university fees for STEM subjects

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Security vendor Webroot slams Govt's plan to reduce university fees for STEM subjects

Endpoint security vendor Webroot has criticised the Australian Government’s plan to reduce university fees for maths, science, and engineering degrees.

The Federal Government earlier this month announced plans to increase university fees for future arts, commerce and law students in Australia while reducing fees for in-demand degrees such as education, nursing and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Webroot security analyst Tyler Moffitt, who is based in the US, said in a statement sent out to media outlets that the move is ‘debatable’ if it will actually produce more STEM graduates.

“It’s debatable whether the Australian Government’s move to incentivise students into maths, science, and engineering at the tertiary level will be effective in encouraging more STEM graduates,” Moffitt said.

Moffitt stressed the importance of younger people pursuing technology and security careers, given the cyber threat landscape becomes more sophisticated and starts to encroach on Australia’s cyber resilience.

“In light of the recent cyber-attacks, it is reassuring to think that more Australian students may now consider pursuing a role in developing the country’s cyber security strategy,” Moffitt added.

The core of Moffitt’s uncertainty with the move is that he said most of the interest in STEM develops from a young age.

“The Government needs to commit to a long-term approach, rather than stepping in only at the tertiary level,” Moffitt said.

“Sponsoring hackathons and other learning initiatives, prioritising digital literacy, and improving access to high performing hardware in early education classrooms will go a long way in creating a more natural, sustained interest in STEM, nurturing technology experts, and future-proofing Australia’s cyber resilience.”

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