Release type: Media Release


Budget 2020-21: Investing in Education and Research


The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Education

The Morrison Government is investing $51 billion in education to help drive Australia’s recovery from COVID-19 by guaranteeing essential services, including $550.3 million for additional university places and short courses and $1 billion for university research.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said education would be critical to Australia’s COVID-19 economic recovery.

“Our budget is providing funding for research that will drive new technologies and support jobs, improving support for school students and teachers impacted by COVID-19, and supporting working parents with child care needs,” Mr Tehan said.


The Morrison Government is providing additional new investments in university places, research and key research infrastructure, including:

  • $1 billion to fund research at Australian universities to drive the discovery of new products, ideas and innovations to power our post COVID-19 recovery.
  • $550.3 million for additional university places and short courses, which includes:
  • $298.5 million for an additional 12,000 university places for Australian students in 2021.
  • $251.8 million for an additional 50,000 short course places in 2021.
  • $40 million to fund universities to start projects in their local communities that drive the national interest, including greater collaboration with industry.

On top of near record and growing funding for schools, the Government has committed an additional $146.3 million to deliver a range of projects to help support students, families, and school communities impacted by COVID-19.
The Government is providing:

  • $38.2 million to support an additional 76,000 disadvantaged young Australians to complete secondary school and move into work, training or further study through the Smith Family’s Learning for Life program.
  • $25.0 million to respond to education priorities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • $27.3 million to improve STEM skills in early learners and school students through a range of STEM programs, including the Australian Academy of Science’s STEM programs, the Smith Family’s Let’s Count initiative, Froebel Australia’s Little Scientists, Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA) and the CSIRO’s STEM Professionals in Schools initiative.
  • $39.8 million to improve the education and employment prospects for up to 12,500 young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, by funding additional places with the Clontarf Foundation.
  • $5.8 million for Good to Great Schools Australia to pilot program in 10 remote schools and expand their Direct Instruction literacy model to include numeracy and science, and to evaluate its impact on student learning in remote communities.
  • $3.0 million over four years from 2020-21 to the Islamic Museum of Australia to develop educational resources and online learning platforms to support social cohesion, multiculturalism and community harmony.
  • $3.0 million over four years from 2020-21 to the Anti-Defamation Commission to create a Holocaust education platform to support inclusiveness, civility and respect.

Early learning and child care
Child care services are vital for so many parents and their children. In 2020-21, the Government will pay approximately $9 billion in Child Care Subsidy payments. Due to the means-tested nature of the subsidy, families who have lost income or work during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to use care will receive a higher level of subsidy.