At the National Press Club Address today the Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education, announced the Federal Government’s plan for more job ready graduates from Australia’s higher education system.
In order to meet employment demand and support Australia through the COVID economic recovery, the new package seeks to address the three objectives detailed below, including pathways to achieve them:
Increase the number of graduates in areas of expected employment growth and demand, such as teaching, nursing, agriculture, STEM and IT.
Providing an additional 39,000 university places by 2023 and 100,000 places by 2030.
Addressing the funding misalignment by reforming the Commonwealth and student contribution to equate the cost of delivery.
Incentivise students to make study choices in areas of expected employment growth and demand by reducing the student contribution for teaching units in specified areas (e.g. STEM subjects).
Lift the education attainment for students in regional Australia.
Grow university places in regional Australia by 3.5 per cent a year, providing an additional $400 million over four years for regional students, universities, and communities to lift higher education attainment.
Introduce a new Tertiary Access Payment of $5,000 to support students from outer regional, remote, and very remote areas who relocate to study a Certificate IV or higher, for at least one year.
Improve Fares Allowance, to make it easier for relocated students to travel home during their first year of study.
Establish a new fund to provide $500 million a year to universities for programs that support Indigenous, regional, and low SES students to get into university and to graduate.
Support more Indigenous students from regional and remote areas to go to university by providing a guaranteed bachelor-level Commonwealth supported place at any public university.
Establish a $48.8 million research grants program to fund regional universities to partner with industry and other universities to boost their research capacity.
Provide an additional $21 million to establish more Regional University Centres so people can get a tertiary education while living and working in regional Australia.
Establish the role of Regional Education Commissioner to oversee the implementation and monitoring of the Government’s Regional Education Strategy.
Strengthen relationships with business to drive workforce participation and productivity.
Encouraging greater collaboration between universities and industry.
Government will provide a further $900 million to establish the National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund — with a strong focus on investment in STEM industries — to support universities to produce job-ready graduates for their local industries and communities.
Collaborate with sector representatives to develop performance-based metrics (akin to the performance-based funding model) for the National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund, such as:
Increasing the number of internships and practicums.
Increasing the number of STEM graduates and improving their employment outcomes.
Rewarding formal research partnerships with industries and advanced apprenticeships.
Addressing funding disparity for units that involve students undertaking certain types of work experience.
Improving how we connect graduates to employers, as well as tailoring education and training to ensure young peoples’ skills meet industry demand.
Short courses and micro-credentials to become a permanent fixture of the Australian higher education system.
Lower the FEE-HELP loan fee for students studying at private providers to align with the charge for VET providers.
In addition, the relevance of on-going and recently completed reviews of the higher education and secondary education sectors was noted in informing and supporting the sector through economic recovery, alongside a need to re-focus university delivery for domestic students and offer greater alignment with industry need.
Access the full transcript.