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New project opens doors to Murdoch University



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SENATOR THE HON CHRIS EVANS Leader of the Government in the Senate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research

THE HON PETER GARRETT AM MP Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth

THE HON GARY GRAY AO MP Special Minister of State Federal Member for Brand

MEDIA RELEASE

22 January 2013

New project opens doors to Murdoch University

Young Western Australians from Rockingham, Kwinana and the Peel region will be inspired and supported to study at Murdoch University through a new Federal Government project launched today.

Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, today launched the four-year Building Aspirations and Learning Links for Young people to go to University project, made possible thanks to a $5 million grant from the Gillard Government.

The project will deliver outreach projects in local high schools to encourage and inspire local students to continue their education at university.

"Our unprecedented investment and our landmark higher education reforms have opened up the doors of our universities to an extra 190,000 Australians,” Senator Evans said.

“Because of our reforms, a record number of Australians, from different backgrounds, are now accessing university.

“Higher education changes lives for the individual, but it also boosts productivity and drives a smarter, more innovative nation.

“It is not just an equity measure to open the doors of universities to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds - it is an economic imperative in order to boost national productivity and meet industry demands for a skilled workforce.

“The latest figures show the increase in the proportion of low socioeconomic undergraduates, up from 16.5 per cent in 2010 to 16.8 per cent.

“That means 107,792 low socioeconomic students were at university, an increase of more than 5700 students from 2010.

"The Gillard Government's investment in a range of support programs is ensuring students make a successful transition to higher education and that they are supported throughout their course of study.”

Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett said the project builds the aspirations of students to attend university through outreach activities in schools.

“The project will work within schools and with individual students and their families to turn university aspirations into a reality,” Mr Garrett said.

“This is about removing the barriers to university educations faced by young people from low socio-economic backgrounds, including those from remote, rural and regional Australia."

Federal Member for Brand, Gary Gray said increasing graduate numbers will ensure that Western Australia has the skills to meet its workforce needs.

“This new project will offer more young locals the help they need to get into these university courses and to succeed in their studies,” Mr Gray said.

“We are giving more young West Australians the opportunity to build the future they want, which is why we are supporting Murdoch University to partner with local high schools to boost interest and pathways to university entry.”

Senator Evans’ Media Contact: Amy McKenna 0408 570 603