The border’s tertiary education sector stands to benefit from the Government’s strategy to attract more students to study in regional Australia.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan joined Member for Farrer Sussan Ley in Albury today to discuss the benefits for the local community from the $94 million Destination Australia grants program.
Destination Australia will provide 4,720 scholarships of up to $15,000 a year for domestic and international students to study at a regional university or vocational training provider.
Mr Tehan also announced that a third round of the $58.1 million Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships program is now open.
Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships provide up to $18,000 for students from rural, regional or remote Australia to study.
Rounds one and two were limited to STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), however round three applications are open to all courses.
Ms Ley said she wanted to see more students studying at regional universities and VET providers.
“We know that around seven out of ten graduates of the Regional Universities Network go on to work in a regional area. That means more doctors, nurses and teachers living and working in regional areas,” Ms Ley said.
“Studying at a regional university offers a different experience – including a lower cost of living, smaller class sizes, and a better quality of life.
“I also encourage any local students with a passion for STEM to apply for the new round of Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships because we need more graduates with STEM skills.”
Mr Tehan said Australians living in rural and regional Australia had greater access to higher education because of the Morrison Government.
“We need to address the inequality in Australia where more than 45 per cent of people aged 25-34 in our major cities have a bachelor degree or higher qualification, but that number drops to just 21 per cent in our regions,” Mr Tehan said.
“We have a world-class education system, and our Government is ensuring that every Australian, no matter where they live, shares in the benefits.
“International Education made a $35 billion contribution to the economy last year, yet just three per cent of the 690,000 international students were enrolled in regional Australia,” Mr Tehan said.
“The Destination Australia scholarships will encourage more international students to study outside our major cities which means regional centres can share in the job, business and cultural opportunities that come with international students.
“Our Government is funding the Destination Australia program and the Rural and Regional Enterprise Scholarships to support regional students and communities without increasing taxes.”