The Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, today received the report from the independent Review of Student Income Support Reforms conducted by Professor Kwong Lee Dow AM.
The report will be tabled in both houses of Parliament within 10 sitting days.
The Review examined the impact of the student income support reform package put in place in response to the Bradley Review of Australian Higher Education.
The terms of reference for the Review called for a focus on the impact on rural and regional students.
The Review also considered the extent to which the objectives of the Government’s student income support reforms have been achieved, particularly those relating to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Professor Lee Dow, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, conducted 22 roundtables across Australia, including 14 regional areas.
The Review received more than 250 submissions from parents, secondary and university students, TAFEs, universities and community organisations.
“The Gillard Government reformed Youth Allowance payments to give more students the opportunity to go to university by targeting financial assistance to those with the greatest need,” said Senator Evans.
“These reforms have already been highly successful, resulting in an increase of 21 000 university students receiving Youth Allowance in just 12 months.”
Over the same period, there has also been a 22 per cent increase in the number of rural and regional university students receiving Youth Allowance.
“The Government will carefully consider the recommendations in the report, with a view to building upon the success of the Government’s reforms,” said Senator Evans.
"We remain committed to removing eligibility distinctions for Youth Allowance with effect from 1 January 2012.”