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Graduates earning more and meeting needs of the economy

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SENATOR THE HON CHRIS EVANS Leader of the Government in the Senate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research 21 January 2013 Graduates earning more and meeting needs of the economy A new report on the Australian university system has highlighted the extra earning power of university graduates and the future benefits to the national economy. The report reveals that male graduates holding a bachelor degree will earn an extra $1.4 million over their lifetime compared to a male who did not further his education after Year 12, according to Mapping Australian higher education, 2013. For women graduates the extra earning power over a lifetime is just under $1 million. The report found that earnings for both women and men graduates increased by about $80,000 between 2006 and 2011. The report also shows enrolment in health and engineering courses has grown more quickly than other areas, further evidence the Gillard Government’s higher education reforms are having a positive impact on skills in need. Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said the report, published by the Grattan Institute, was further evidence the Australian Government’s record investment in universities was paying dividends. “This report clearly shows that going to university and gaining a degree is a financial winner for individuals and benefits the economy,” Senator Evans said. “Labor’s investment is focused on what is going to make a real difference to this country’s prosperity. “Higher education changes peoples’ lives, boosts productivity and drives a smarter, more innovative nation. “Ensuring more Australians get a university education is critical to the economic success of the nation. “The Gillard Government will be giving 190,000 more Australians the opportunity to study at university in 2013 compared to 2007.” The Gillard Government has ruled out fee deregulation. “The unprecedented growth in student numbers goes hand-in-hand with a rise in students accessing HELP,” Senator Evans said.

“The world-recognised HELP scheme ensures the cost of study is not a barrier to education - students can go to university today and pay later, when they can afford to do so.”

The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education is working with other agencies to determine an effective way of recovering HELP debt from people living overseas.

Senator Evans’ Media Contact: Amy McKenna 0408 570 603