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New program helps school students leap into university



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HON SHARON BIRD MP Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills Federal Member for Cunningham

HON MARTIN FERGUSON MP Member for Batman

MEDIA RELEASE

New program helps school students leap into university

Young Victorians will get more support and encouragement to study design, engineering, health and law at university thanks to the Gillard Government’s Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program.

Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education Sharon Bird today launched the Learn Experience Access Professions (LEAP) program at the Charles La Trobe Secondary College in Macleod West, Victoria.

The Government has invested $3.4 million in the LEAP program, which works with primary and secondary schools to support and inspire students from low socioeconomic backgrounds to participate in higher education.

“It’s our belief that every Australian should be given the chance to go to university,” Ms Bird said.

“That’s why we have been championing greater equity and inclusiveness in higher education since coming to government.

“Our unprecedented investment and reforms in higher education mean that an extra 190,000 Australians are now going to university.

“We’ve seen much of this growth coming from students who, in the past, would have been unable to access university because of avoidable barriers to entry.

“We are seeing increasing numbers of students who are the first in their families to have the chance go to university.

“These are the type of outcomes that the LEAP program will continue to support by helping more young Victorians aspire to university study and achieve.”

The Gillard Government introduced HEPPP in 2010 to support activities that improve access to undergraduate courses for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as improving the retention and completion rates for these students.

$736 million in HEPPP funding has been committed over the next four years.

21 February 2013

Media Contact: Melinda Little 0425 372 618.