FUNDING BOOST: The Maranoa region is set to benefit from a $400 million boost into regional education. Pic: Supplied
FUNDING BOOST: The Maranoa region is set to benefit from a $400 million boost into regional education. Pic: Supplied

$400 MILLION: Massive boost for regional kids

COUNTRY kids will have the same opportunities as those in the city as higher education in regional Queensland is set to receive a massive funding boost.

Maranoa MP David Littleproud said the Federal Coalition Government will inject a whopping $400 million into higher education, so country kids can have better and easier access to resources.

“Since 2016, we’ve invested $1 billion in regional education and this additional $400 million for regional and rural higher education is part of our new Job-ready Graduates package,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Brain drain is a real issue where rural communities are being robbed of our young people who move away to larger centres for post-school studies and then continue to build their adult life outside our bush towns – this package works to address these issues.”

Mr Littleproud said students in Maranoa would benefit from programs to reduce the cost of relocating for study, while local universities could access funding programs to boost capacity.

“This government will also provide $145 million to grow the number of university places for domestic students at regional campuses and $49 million to boost the research capacity of regional universities,” he said.

“Regionally-based universities play a critical role in keeping our younger generations in the Bush, providing regional students the opportunity to study closer to home and hopefully continue to live and work in the regions after they graduate.

“Under our Job-ready Graduates package, we will provide a one-off $5000 grant to eligible students from an outer regional, remote and very remote community who have to move more than 90 minutes away from their home to engage in full-time study (Certificate IV qualification or higher) in the year immediately following Year 12.”

The Job-ready Graduates measures for regional Australia include:

  • $159 million for Tertiary Access Payments to help students from outer regional and remote communities relocate to engage in high-level tertiary studies.
  • $145 million to fuel faster growth in Commonwealth Grant Scheme funding for regional campuses.
  • $49 million to enhance the research capacity of regional universities.
  • $21 million to expand and strengthen the Regional University Centres program, adding to the 25 centres funded to date.
  • $17 million to support an additional 1,700 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to go to university by 2024.
  • $7 million for regional partnerships projects focused on outreach and aspiration as part of reform of equity funding to better support regional and remote students.
  • $6 million to establish a Regional Education Commissioner with associated projects and support to oversee and co-ordinate the Government’s regional education efforts.

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