Labor will take strong action to ensure city kids and country kids have the same opportunity to get a uni education.
A young person from the North Shore of Sydney is four times more likely to have a degree than someone in outback NT.
Labor will do everything possible to dismantle this education divide.
That’s why we are committing $3.2 million for programs that work with students in country areas to encourage them go to uni or TAFE.
The programs will include mentoring and tutorials designed to build confidence and aspiration among country kids.
They will be delivered through the 22 new community-owned Regional Study Hubs, which have recently been announced.
For regional and remote students, the ability to access face-to-face tutorials, learning support, or somewhere to sit an exam, can make the difference between finishing their degree or dropping out.
To help those students, Regional Study Hubs will provide infrastructure such as study spaces, video conferencing, computers and internet access, as well as academic support for students studying by distance.
Labor will also appoint a dedicated Regional and Remote Commissioner to advise our once in a generation National Inquiry into Post-secondary Education.
The Commissioner will be responsible for developing strategies and policies to support country students, as well as our regional unis and TAFEs. That work will include a close look at how funding and regulation can boost participation in post-secondary education in every region of Australia.
This will make sure the experiences of country Australia are part of shaping our nation’s policies on unis and TAFE.
Labor will also work with universities to develop online pathway and enabling courses so that country students who need additional time to build confidence and skills for study can do so.
Today’s announcements come on top of Labor’s plan to abolish Scott Morrison’s unfair cap on uni places – which, over the next decade, will mean an extra 200,000 Australians get the chance to go to uni.
Country kids were big winners when the former Labor Government uncapped uni places back in 2009. Enrolments of students from country areas jumped by 48 per cent.
Unlike the Liberals, Labor will make big investments in education to give every Australian the opportunity to reach their full potential, no matter where they live, or how much their parents earn.