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4,420 new Commonwealth supported university places.



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Media Release

4,420 new Commonwealth supported university places

18 April 2006

Applications for 4,420 new Commonwealth supported higher education places will be open to all eligible providers nationally, with no pre-determined allocation between States and Territories, the Minister for Education, Science and Training the Hon Julie Bishop MP announced today.

Bids will be assessed and approved on the basis of workforce needs, capacity to deliver and potential demand from eligible students.

“I have written to universities asking them to submit their bids for new Commonwealth supported places (also known as HECS places) in 2007. There will be 4,420 places made up of 2,800 new places announced under Backing Australia’s Future, and a further 1,000 new nursing places, 420 mental health nursing places and 200 postgraduate clinical psychology places announced recently by the Prime Minister,” Minister Bishop said.

“In 2006 there are more than 18,500 extra Commonwealth supported places funded by the Australian Government in the higher education system than in 2003, benefiting around 25,000 students.

“In 2004 there were more than 560,000 Australian students studying in Commonwealth supported places. These 4,420 places can be expected to assist more than 6,000 new Commonwealth supported students to enter university.

“In allocating places, I will be giving priority to bids that address workforce shortages and student demand, particularly in regional and outer metropolitan areas. I am also particularly interested in bids for courses which articulate with Vocational and Technical Education courses and which demonstrate collaboration among higher education providers.”

Private higher education providers approved under the Higher

18/04/2006 http://www.dest.gov.au/Ministers/Media/Bishop/2006/04/B002180406.asp

Education Support Act 2003 will also be invited to bid for places in the national priority areas of nursing and education. Previously they have been limited to bids for 272 designated National Priority Places in nursing and education. Given the success of these courses both in terms of quality and attracting students, the number of places for which these providers may bid will not be capped.

Under the Backing Australia’s Future package, the Australian Government will be providing more than 39,000 new Commonwealth supported places by 2009. This is part of the Government’s commitment of more than $11 billion in additional funding over the

next decade.

Media Contacts: Ms Bishop’s Office: Murray Hansen 0417 886 155

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