The Gillard Government has succeeded in opening the doors of Australia’s universities to more students than ever before, Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans said today.
“As a direct result of the reforms the Gillard Government introduced, we have seen close to 100,000 additional students grasp the opportunity of a university education since 2007,” Senator Evans said.
“Many of these students will be the very first members of their family to have the opportunity to attend university.”
Senator Evans said growth in enrolments is forecast to increase by a further 32 000 students in the next two years.
“The Gillard Government reforms have seen us move away from a decades-old system of central planning to a new demand driven approach,” he said.
Since 2007, we have already seen an extra 80 000 undergraduate students each year get the opportunity of a university education – from 408 000 in 2007 to 488 000 this year.
We have also seen the number of Commonwealth-supported postgraduate places double from 16 500 in 2007 to 33 000 this year.
“The opportunity to access a university education will change the lives of each and every one of these students,” Senator Evans said.
“This is also great news for our economy. It means that more Australians will have the chance to gain the qualifications they need to access the high skilled jobs of the future.
“Skills Australia has forecast that by 2025 a third of all jobs will require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree qualification. To meet that demand for highly skilled workers, Labor is ensuring everyone who is eligible can access a place at Australian universities.
“The Gillard Government reforms of higher education underpin our drive to build a highly educated, skilled and productive workforce to underpin our nation’s future prosperity.
“These figures confirm that the Gillard Government is ensuring Australians have access to a world-class education system so they have the skills to get the high paying jobs of tomorrow.”