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Benefits to women in tertiary funding

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Education 6 Youth Affairs Minister fo r

6 July 1984


Women would benefit directly from the Government's Funding Policies for

tertiary education, the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Senator

Susan Ryan said when announcing Guidelines to the Commonwealth Tertiary

Education Commission.

Senator Ryan said the increase of $65.15 million for tertiary education

in 1985 would allow for 15,000 extra places in higher education by 1987,

and it was estimated that there would be growth of 15,000 places in

technical and further education (TAPE) by 1987.

These extra places would enable increased participation by women and

girls in higher education fields of study such as science and technology

and in the non-traditional trades in TAFE.

Women would also benefit from an extra $750,000 which had been earmarked

to promote equity in higher education, making a total of $1 million

available for measures which would promote improved access to higher

education by disadvantaged groups.

Senator Ryan said the TAFE sector, which had an important role in

assisting young women to achieve their potential in employment, would

receive an increase under the Participation and Equity Program (PEP) of

$4 million - up to $34 million in 1985.

In addition to these measures the Government had supported specific CTEC

proposals to assist women. These included support for bridging,

remedial, counselling, re-training and pre-vocational courses for women

in TAFE; and increasing female participation in mathematics and science

at school by improving the preparation of school teachers in these


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The Government also supproted the Commission’s revised policy on the

provision of child care which recognised child care as an important

factor in access to higher education.

The new policy allowed for minor work funds to be applied to the

development of child care facilitites and permits facilities to be

included in major capital works proposals, especially in TAFB, where

provision was now very low.

Senator Ryan said one of the highest priorities for the Government was to

remove the sex segregation of the labour force in which women were

concentrated in very few areas of employment. These were often the areas

in which employment opportunities were being affected by technological


The guidelines made clear the Government’s expectation that tertiary

education should stimulate and facilitate economic development,

technological innovation and industry restructuring, rather than just

respond to them.

Therefore, the Government would support CTEC in ensuring that female

particiption in tertiary education adequately prepared them for the

realities of the labour market.

’’The ultimate success of the Government's initiatives to expand

participation and equity in education is inextricably linked with

economic and employment growth in Australia, to which tertiary education

must contribute", Senator Ryan said.

In line with its recently distributed Policy Discussion Paper on

Affirmative Action for Women, the Government expected the increased

provision of tertiary education places would improve the participation by

women as academic staff.

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Senator Ryan said a report on women in tertiary education had been

prepared by the Office of the Status of Women.

"The OSW report has been referred to a special working group on the

education of women and girls, established within my portfolio. This

working group is to advise me on priorities for action and co-ordination

in this area", Senator Ryan said.