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$86.5 million to help disadvantaged students

30 Apr 2013

Disadvantaged students will have more help to access and complete an undergraduate degree, with $86.5 million in equity funding announced today.

Minister for Higher Education Sharon Bird today announced two tranches of funding from the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Programs (HEPPP).

"All Australians, regardless of their family or economic background, should be given a fair go to get into university," Minister Bird said.

"The HEPPP helps universities increase their enrolments of students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

"The program also supports partnerships between universities and organisations, such as schools and TAFEs, to improve completion rates. It builds pathways to university, and provides mentoring, tutoring, and career coaching."

In 2013 and 2014 all Australian universities will automatically receive a share of $36.5 million in HEPPP funding, allocated on the basis of low SES enrolments.

An additional $50 million in HEPPP funding will be available to universities on a competitive basis from 8 May 2013. This funding will be allocated to projects within the partnerships component of HEPPP.

Minister Bird said the Gillard Government's ambition is for 20 per cent of domestic undergraduate students to come from underprivileged backgrounds by 2020.

"In 2011, low SES students made up 16.8 per cent of all undergraduate domestic enrolments. We want to build on that, and HEPPP funding is a key part of our plan."

"The work that universities undertake through this program changes peoples' lives."

Media contacts: Minister's office 02 6277 7370

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