The Gillard Government is delivering on its commitment to give all Tasmanians the opportunity of a first-class university education.
Latest enrolment data shows that undergraduate Commonwealth supported places at the University of Tasmania have increased by more than 1000 students since 2008.
Based on the 2011 estimates, there will be approximately 10 700 full time equivalent students studying at the University of Tasmania – up from 9 600 in 2008.
“This is great news for the Tasmanian economy. It means that more Tasmanians will have the chance to gain the qualifications they need to access the high skilled jobs of the future,” Senator Evans said.
“What is particularly pleasing is the Gillard government's reforms have opened the doors to a broader range of Tasmanians who wish to benefit from a university education.”
The University of Tasmania has responded strongly to the Government’s drive to enrol more low socio-economic status students.
In 2011, applications by low-SES students are estimated to be up by 10.43 per cent since 2009 – compared with increases of 3.90 per cent for medium-SES applicants and 1.35 per cent for high-SES applicants.
“This shows that while more Tasmanians are taking up the opportunity to go to university, the highest growth has been among those who have historically faced the greatest barriers to entry,” said Senator Evans.
“Many of these students will be the very first members of their family to have the opportunity to attend university.
“For the Gillard Government, social equity isn’t a desirable add-on; it’s a core value that is essential to our nation’s success.”
The Gillard government has also provided record funding to ensure the University of Tasmania has first-class education facilities.
Since 2007, the University of Tasmania has received through the $66 million for infrastructure development, including $45 million through the Education Investment Fund.
This funding has been used to fund:
- The construction of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
- The development of the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Hobart and Launceston; and
- A major redevelopment of the Morris Miller Library
The Gillard Government has also boosted funding for regional loading, in recognition of the fact that regional universities face higher costs of delivery compared to campuses in major cities, delivering an additional $109.9 million over four years.
In 2012, the University of Tasmania will receive an estimated $8.1 million under the new regional loading formula.
“The Gillard Government is delivering on its commitment to ensure all Tasmanians can grasp the opportunity of university education and reach their full potential,” Senator Evans said.
“I’m determined to make sure Tasmanians benefit from our strong economy and have the skills to access the high paying jobs of the future.”