A SHORTEN Labor Government will invest an extra $174 million to improve access to university for people from areas such as Bellingen Shire – an announcement welcomed by ALP candidate for Cowper, Andrew Woodward.
“I am very pleased to see this announcement today from Tanya Plibersek, Shadow Minister for Education. It is all about helping people from less well-off communities get to university,” Mr Woodward said.
“In Cowper, only seven per cent of people have a university degree – that's less than half the rate of the State and the country as a whole. We need to lift this rate. Labor will.
“Tertiary education is the pathway to employment and new business opportunities. The more people we have in university, the better our chances will be for a positive, prosperous and sustainable future.”
Ms Plibersek said the $174 million spend would go towards mentoring, support, and other specialised programs designed to boost opportunities for uni study in communities where graduation rates are low.
“Labor believes it should be your ability, not your bank balance that determines whether you get the chance to study at uni,” she said.
“There are many bright, talented students in every part of Australia, but the opportunities for uni study are uneven.
“Currently, a young person from Moreton Bay in Queensland is about five times less likely to get a uni degree than someone on Sydney’s North Shore.
“We want to support students who are first generation in their family to go to uni. We want our unis to attract more students from our outer suburbs and the country, more Indigenous students, and more students with a disability.”