Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin.
Minister for Housing & Assistant Treasurer.
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More Opportunity For Deakin Higher Education Students



More people in Deakin will be able to benefit from higher education as a result of improvements to the higher education system announced as part of the 2014-15 Budget.

“The Abbott Government’s higher education reforms will expand opportunities and choice, meaning more people will be able to study,” Member for Deakin, Michael Sukkar, said.

“This higher education reform is part of the Abbott Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.”

There are many benefits for university graduates. They:

  • earn on average up to 75 per cent more than those who do not go on to higher education after secondary school;
  • over their lifetime may earn around a million dollars more than if they had not gone to university;
  • are less likely to be unemployed; and
  • do not have to pay a dollar upfront for their course because they have access to the Higher Education Loan Programme.

“That is why the Abbott Government wants to see these opportunities for success shared by the people of Deakin,” Mr Sukkar said.

“We will make higher education more accessible by expanding support to pathway courses, such as diplomas, for those who might not yet be ready to do a full degree.

“The Abbott Government will introduce a massive new Commonwealth Scholarship programme to boost equity of access for disadvantaged students.

“We also want to ensure Australian universities are not left behind by the rapidly improving higher education systems of our neighbours, particularly in the Asian region.”

To help create more opportunities for Australians to undertake higher education and ensure Australia isn’t left behind, the Abbott Government will:

  • expand the demand driven Commonwealth funding system for students studying for higher education diplomas, advanced diplomas and associate degrees, costing $371.5 million over three years;
  • extend Commonwealth funding to all students in non-university higher education institutions studying bachelor courses, costing $448.9 million over 3 years;
  • create more opportunities for students from low-socio economic backgrounds through a new Commonwealth scholarship and equity initiative;
  • remove all HELP loan fees which are currently imposed on some students undertaking higher education and vocational education and training;
  • maintain the Higher Education Loans Programme (HELP) that sees the taxpayer support all students’ tuition fees up front; and
  • free universities to set their own fees and compete for students.

The Abbott Government will provide support to all bachelor and diploma students in all higher education institutions, in universities, colleges and TAFEs accredited to provide higher qualifications.

The new arrangements for university fees will apply from 2016, but all currently enrolled students will continue under the existing fee structure until the end of their current degree or the end of 2020 (whichever is sooner).

“This reform package will ensure people in our community will have more choice about their education,” Mr Sukkar said.

“The HELP system will support a wider range of study choices in a fair and balanced way, ensuring students can gain the skills and knowledge they and our communities and local businesses need.”

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