| Executive Director Comment, Students

IRU Contribution to Higher Education and Research in Regional Australia

As announced in the 2018 Budget, the Government will provide additional funding for building the capability of Australia’s rural medical practitioner workforce (including the new Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network), expand the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program, and provide additional CSPs for sub-bachelor or enabling courses, bachelor degree courses through regional study hubs and improved regional students’ access to Youth Allowance. Additionally, the priorities of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) include regional health and research translation. It is therefore useful to know which universities operate from the regions and their relative contributions.

IRU members are major players for regional students and regional areas:

  • we teach 19% of the nation’s regional and 29% of the nation’s remote students
  • we teach 17% of the nation’s students taught from regional based campuses
  • students taught from regional based campuses increased by 33,000 over the 2011-2016 period, including an increase of 6,400 at IRU members
  • two of our members earn 20% of the research income generated by the 13 universities based primarily in regional areas.

Within the health sciences, the IRU’s regional presence is stronger:

  • we teach 26% of the nation’s health students taught from regional based campuses
  • students taught from regional based campuses increased by 20,400 over the 2011-2016 period, including an increase of 5,000 at IRU members
  • we teach roughly similar proportions of the nation’s health students in regional based campuses at the doctoral-level (26%), postgraduate coursework (31%) and bachelor-level (25%).

This IRU briefing paper sets out the three measures with supporting data.

Download the briefing paper