IHEA Notes Budget 2022-23 but Calls for Additional Measures for Higher Education Sector and Students

Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) notes the skills and training initiatives announced in tonight's Federal Budget, October 2022-23 but calls for additional measures for the higher education sector and students.

IHEA acknowledges the Government’s allocation of 20,000 additional university places to specifically support students from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds, and in areas of skills needs.

We note, however, that these places were limited to universities and selected higher education providers currently receiving Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) funding.

“The independent sector should have greater access to these additional places to enable students from under-represented backgrounds to study at the higher education provider of their choice,” said IHEA CEO, Dr Peter Hendy.

“IHEA’s diverse members already play an important role in educating students from a range of backgrounds and addressing skill needs in areas such as nursing and education, among others. But we want to do more.”

“Independent higher education providers are more than capable given they are finely tuned to industry demand and continue to deliver quality education and a student experience that leads the nation in student quality surveys.”

IHEA and its members are also looking forward to working closely with the government over coming weeks and months in anticipation of the forthcoming "Australian Universities Accord" higher education review.

“We are keen to work with the government on their new “Universities Accord” review of Australia's higher education system to examine themes for future reform.”

“Earlier this year we released an election platform calling for such a review to re-energise Australian higher education with ten highly beneficial sector reforms to support students to succeed and chart the course for economy.”

“We will continue to ask the government to implement national tertiary sector reform to ensure, as much as possible, a level playing field between public and independent sector providers.”

All quotes above attributed to Dr Peter Hendy, IHEA CEO

Key Budget Measures via Minister for Education

- $485.5 million over the forward estimates to provide up to 20,000 additional university places.

- $2.7 million to develop the Australian Universities Accord.

- $15.4 million in a Startup Year program to help university students turn their ideas into reality.

- A saving of $144.1 million by ending the 10% discount given to students who make an upfront payment to their HECS-HELP loans

IHEA Media Contact: Matthew Coote, IHEA Communications Manager (matthew.coote@ihea.edu.au / 0413 735 710)

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