Opportunities to fine tune an effective system

The Kemp Norton review of the higher education demand driven system, released today, confirms that the system is working well to give all Australians capable and interested in university education that opportunity. Recent data indicate that 48% of students are the first generation of their family to access university, with the level at all IRU members more than 50%.1

The Report is a thoughtful exploration of the achievement to date and the challenges ahead to maintain a responsive, flexible higher education system backed with sustainable Government investment.

“The IRU has strongly supported the demand driven system and opposed calls to re-impose caps on places. We have pointed to the expansion of university places for important science, technology and health fields, all of which require high levels of Government funding to be viable” Professor Dewar, IRU Chair and Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe University said.

Measuring socio-economic status: IRU response

The IRU supports the proposals set down in Moving to an Enhanced Indicator of Higher Education Students’ Socio-economic Status for a more precise locational SES measure using geographical data at the SA1 level (based on the SEIFA IEO).

The final proposal makes sense but the discussion paper shows up the mixed objectives that bedevil the area.

Senate must back student income support package

The Senate is being urged to pass legislation enabling equitable access and participation in university education through better targeted student income support.

Chair of Innovative Research Universities (IRU) Professor Sandra Harding said legislation needed to be passed now by the Senate to ensure the money starts flowing to students next year.

She said that the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Income Support for Students) Bill 2009 was vitally important to ensuring that a university education is open to all Australians, including those who are financially disadvantaged or live in rural and regional areas.

Senate urged to support student income support package

Legislation enabling equitable access and participation in university education through better targeted student income support must be supported unamended by the Senate according to a key group of universities.

Chair of Innovative Research Universities (IRU) Professor Sandra Harding said the legislation – the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Income Support for Students) Bill 2009 – before the Senate is vitally important to ensuring that a university education is open to all Australians, including those who are financially disadvantaged or live in rural and regional areas.

“All seven IRU universities particularly commend the introduction of student start-up scholarships for all students in receipt of Youth Allowance or Austudy,” Professor Harding, Vice Chancellor of James Cook University said.