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Higher Education Reform Package - Student Overview

Page updated on 18 December 2017.

The Australian Government is committed to enhancing the sustainability, transparency and accountability of the sector while ensuring that student support is targeted to deliver the best outcomes for students.

Education is Australia’s third largest export industry and higher education is a key element of this. In 2016 the sector was valued at $21.8 billion. But this success has come at a cost and funding since 2009 has increased by 71 per cent, twice the rate of economic growth. While average funding for universities per student increased by 15 per cent between 2010 and 2015, over the same period the cost for universities to deliver courses increased by only 9.5 per cent according to independent analysis from Deloitte. The Government’s new higher education policy will make Commonwealth support better targeted, make sure taxpayers receive value for money and help students make informed choices when it comes to study.

Improving the sustainability of higher education

The higher education sector will be more sustainable through moderating the rate of funding growth, improvements to the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) and strengthening responsibility for recognising and rewarding quality learning and teaching.

Student support that delivers outcomes

The Australian Government will target support to providers and courses that deliver better outcomes for students and the Australian economy.

Increased transparency and accountability

The higher education sector will be more accountable – and more open to scrutiny – for the manner in which it expends taxpayer funding. There needs to be greater transparency to show that the institutions are making the right decisions about who to enrol and in what they are enrolling.

Need more information?

For more information on how these measures might affect you, visit the Higher Education Reform - Student FAQs page.

There are also dedicated factsheets on these measures available on the Student Budget Factsheets page.

For more detail on the individual measures, visit the Department of Education and Training Higher Education Reform Package webpage (opens in a new tab).