Unis line up with Labor on student access

Even before Labor education shadow Tanya Plibersek announced Labor’s $174m community funding to lift university participation (CMM yesterday) this morning the Regional Universities Network was applauding. RUN chair and University of the Sunshine Coast VC Greg Hill said, “university attainment rates in regional Australia are half, or less than half, those in major cities, and students need further support to aspire to, and complete, university study.”

The Group of Eight was right behind, praising Ms Plibersek’s proposal and stating its credentials. “Go8 universities spend a far greater proportion of their higher education participation partnerships programme  funding (targeted at equity and access) on outreach to regional and remote schools and communities than any other university grouping and we educate one in 8 rural and regional students. However, more must be done to boost participation,” CEO Vicki Thomson said.

The Innovative Research Universities also asserted its achievements; “IRU members have been critical in raising enrolments from low SES communities” before welcoming Labor’s plan; ““the extra money announced today will allow Labor, if in government, to tie support funding to the number of students needing it so it grows in line with enrolments. That would give universities an added incentive to attract students from low SES backgrounds,” Executive Director Conor King said.

Assuming of course, that it is indeed “extra money” and will not be funded by rebadging HEPPP.

It seems it won’t be.  Universities Australia had the same thought and must have asked somebody who knows, advising yesterday, it “understands this pledged funding would sit alongside the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program.”

““We are pleased to see this funding pledge to sow the seeds of university aspiration in communities that still face some of the biggest education gaps,” UA acting CEO Anne-Marie Lansdown added.


to get daily updates on what's happening in the world of Australian Higher Education