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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 197

Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program

(Question No. 605)


Ms Butler asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education and Training, in writing, on 10 November 2016:

What are the expected consequences of the budgeted $152 million cut from the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program, and specifically, how is this cut expected to affect participation and enrolment in higher education by (a) people from low socioeconomic backgrounds, (b) Indigenous people, (c) people from regional areas, and (d) people from remote areas.


Mr Hunt: The Minister representing the Minister for Education and Training has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

$553.2 million dollars remains under the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) over the next four years to assist universities to provide pathways and support for students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds to participate and succeed in higher education.

The Australian Government has redirected $152 million over four years from the HEPPP:

$40 million over four years will go to the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) —this investment will safeguard the world's most extensive and well-contextualised collection of material related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures

$12 million over four years will support the implementation of Australia's first National Strategy for International Education 2025

$100 million over four years will help repair the budget deficit.

Universities use their HEPPP allocations for a range of initiatives that support the aspiration, participation, retention and success of low SES students. The success of the HEPPP on (a) people from low SES backgrounds, (b) Indigenous people, (c) people from regional areas, and (d) people from remote areas depends on how each university chooses to use its HEPPP allocation.

The Government is currently evaluating the HEPPP to identify:

the outcomes achieved by the program

who has benefited from HEPPP activities (including people from regional and remote Australia)

whether the program provides good value for money

what changes may be required to increase higher education participation and success by people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Government will consider the findings of the evaluation in the context of the higher education reforms.