As the government attempts to shake up the higher education sector, one academic has defended the value of arts degrees.
Michael Wilmore, the dean of the University of New England's Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education, said his initial reaction to the commentary around the reforms was disappointment at the language used to describe arts degrees.
"It's one of the many prejudices that we see, regularly aired by people unfortunately," Professor Wilmore said.
"All I know is that, from the position I'm in, it doesn't get a bad rap from the people that count, and these are the people that actually recruit our students into employment.
"I've had conversations with everybody from senior people at PwC to people running city newspapers and others, who say very clearly 'we love employing arts students'.
"They come with imagination, they come with resilience, they come with good social skills, they come with communication skills. They give them, often, what they need," he said.
Professor Wilmore said it can take arts students a while to realise what they have to offer.
"That's one of the things we need to deal with in terms of employability of arts graduates, and that's to make the arts graduates aware that they are valued by employers.
"Unfortunately some of the discourse out there makes it a little bit hard to convince people sometimes.
"Once they've been in the workplace a while and developed the confidence that comes from using your skills in employment, they generally fly," he said.
Last week's reforms announcement sees changes to both student and government contributions for university courses.
While Professor Wilmore said he did not expect school leavers would take into account the cost when deciding what to study, he said it could have an affect on UNE's high number of mature-age students.
"If I look at the demographics of my faculty, a large number of our students are women, a large number of our students are mature age students. Those may be students who are thinking very carefully about the family budget and about their own personal finances," he said.
"There's a potential this could have a differential impact, especially for universities like UNE, where we are the provider of choice for people in that kind of student bracket."
"For students for whom an arts degree is an entry into university study later in life, this could be something that is a bit off putting, given that people have got a whole other set of calls on their finances including loans for things like houses and cars," he said.
But Professor Wilmore said there was a lot of good in the reforms for UNE, particularly when it comes to encouraging students from regional areas.
"What the new reform announcements pay attention to is the need to support and invest in education, particularly young people coming into education, in a time of great national difficulty," she said.