Media Release from Christopher Pyne on changes to Higher Education in the 2014 budget

More opportunity and competition in higher education

Media Release
  • Minister for Education
  • Leader of the House

More than 80,000 students will benefit for the first time in Australian history from the expansion of Commonwealth support to all students as the Australian Government moves to create more opportunity through the higher education system.

The Abbott Government is committed to creating more opportunities for Australians wishing to undertake higher education and will:

  • expand the demand driven Commonwealth funding system for students studying for higher education diplomas, advanced diplomas and associate degrees, costing $371.5 million over three years;
  • extend Commonwealth funding to all students in non-university higher education institutions studying bachelor courses, costing $448.9 million over three years;
  • maintain the Higher Education Loans Program (HELP) that sees the taxpayer support students so that they don’t pay tuition fees upfront;
  • remove all HELP loan fees which are currently imposed on some students undertaking higher education and vocational education and training; and
  • provide more opportunity for students with low socio-economic backgrounds and from regional areas, through a new Commonwealth Scholarship scheme.

The Abbott Government will provide support to all bachelor and diploma students in all higher education institutions, in universities, colleges and those TAFEs registered to provide higher qualifications.

The Abbott Government will ensure that more Australians can get a world-class higher education as well as wider opportunities through diploma and other pathway courses.

Students will continue to enjoy the Australian taxpayers’ support to pursue their studies through the HELP system where all tuition costs are paid for up front by the taxpayer and students are only required to repay their loan when they are earning a decent wage.

Australian graduates are the great beneficiaries of this support from the Australian taxpayer, earning on average 75 per cent more over their lifetime than those who just finish Year 12.

No student need miss out on higher education, nor pay a cent up front, because we will maintain the HELP system for this expansion.

This reform package presents a great opportunity for more Australians who want to gain higher education skills that will keep them competitive in the global economy.

The Government is making decisions that repair the Budget, strengthen the economy and prepare Australia for the long-term challenges before us.

Non-media queries: 1300 363 079

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