Media releases

Regional students and communities to benefit from new reform package

Posted: Friday 19 June 2020

Federation University welcomes the new reform package to address the gap in higher education participation and attainment between metro and regional, rural and remote communities, with a focus on job creation and meeting regional skills needs.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Helen Bartlett has congratulated Minister for Education, the Hon. Dan Tehan on the reform package announced today, which actions a number of the recommendations identified in the National Regional, Rural and Remote Tertiary Education Strategy (2019).

The new package aims to grow university places in regional Australia by 3.5 percent a year and will support regional, remote and Indigenous students to undertake high-level tertiary studies.

Today’s announcement is about jobs for the future with lower student fees for subjects like nursing, psychology, teaching, engineering and science.

The new funding model also encourages more flexibility for students to mix and match subjects at a unit level not a degree level.

Professor Bartlett commended the additional $400 million over four years for regional students, universities and communities, and said the support was timely as regional and rural campuses offered Federation’s students a safe and affordable environment for gaining a high-quality education and accessing well-paid jobs.

Federation welcomes a strong focus on boosting regional research opportunities through a collaborative grants program that will fund regional universities to partner with industry and other universities. The University is investing in research priorities that align with the needs of the communities we serve, including health and wellbeing, society and the environment, and virtual, digital and computational environments. 

The Education Minister also announced that a new national regional, rural and remote (RRR) Education Commissioner would be established to champion higher education and oversee the implementation and monitoring of the government’s Regional Education Strategy. 

Federation University is the number one university in Australia for First Generation Student Enrolments and number one in Victoria for Social Equity (Good Universities Guide) and supports the Commonwealth Government’s goals to assist students from all backgrounds. 

Quotes attributable to Federation University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Helen Bartlett 

“All Australians, regardless of where they live or their background, deserve fair and equal access to a high-quality education and support to achieve a fulfilling career. 

“We should be encouraging more students to study in regional communities as they provide a safe, healthy and affordable lifestyle, where the educational experience is more personal providing greater connection to academics, teachers and support staff.” 

“This provides tertiary education in regional, rural and remote Australia, with practical and focused actions moving forward. Students, communities and providers should benefit from the new reform package. 

Regional, rural and remote students, communities and tertiary education providers will also benefit from this decision.” 

“These reforms are a commitment to regional, rural and remote Australia; we support the government’s goals and look forward to receiving more detail of how the funding model will be implemented.    

Contact Fleur Morrison
Media and Communications Advisor