The Morrison government's university reforms should be passed and reviewed in two years, a Senate committee has recommended.
That's despite scathing dissenting reports from Labor, the Greens and independent senator Rex Patrick.
The changes include plans to more than double the cost of some humanities degrees, while first year students would lose government supported places if they fail more than half their subjects.
The committee heard conflicting views about the accuracy of modelling predicting increases in university places due to the bill, but decided to side with the Education Department.
Committee chair and Liberal senator James McGrath said the changes would "help to equip students with the skills and experience needed to succeed in a difficult labour market".
But Labor, the Greens and Senator Patrick are dismayed.
Passing the bill would be "an act of economic and cultural vandalism, and a denial of the aspirations of all Australians who seek opportunity through education", Labor senators said.
Senator Patrick says the bill is a "crude and blunt instrument" that will likely do more harm to students and universities while they're already struggling through the pandemic.
"This bill cannot be salvaged," he said.
"Anyone who thinks so is kidding themselves, or worse, being quite disingenuous. It's not the case of Education Minister Dan Tehan sitting the exam again, he's got to go back and repeat the course."
Under the changes, some humanities courses would more than double in cost in a bid to encourage people to enrol in courses the government argues lead to higher employability.
Science and maths would be among the degrees made cheaper, along with agriculture, environmental sciences and health.
Before the committee's report was released Labor's education spokesman Tanya Plibersek said the changes were a "kick in the guts" for year 12 students.
She has heard from many parents who have seen their kids go through the "year from hell" with remote learning disrupting their final year of school.
"(Parents) are saying what a kick in the teeth this is for their kids," Ms Plibersek told ABC radio on Friday.
"Kids who - in many cases - two, three, four years ago set their heart on a particular degree.
"This year being told that degree will more than double in price. It's been a terrible kick in the guts and that's what parents are telling me."
The government is negotiating closely with the Senate cross bench in a bid to pass the proposal, with numbers tight in the upper house.
Australian Associated Press