September 6, 2016

Improving equity in higher education participation – IRU response to HEPP evaluation

Without a constructive Government response to the evaluation, the next round of HEPPP cuts risks undermining a program critical for educating all students well. It is essential that the long-term program, sustains the incentive to enrol all suitable students regardless of background.

Hence a funding stream tied to enrolments of low SES students and other underrepresented groups remains a core need of an effective higher education funding system.

Based on the original proposal for HEPPP and redressing the history of its implementation the future scheme should involve:

  1. inclusion of a significant loading in the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) addressing student background, to reward enrolment of a diverse student population broadly matching that of Australia;
  2. maintenance of an effective HEPPP program targeting the development of interest in higher education among communities and individuals less likely to aspire to university and support for their educational development; and
  3. sensible reporting and acquittal arrangements that do not hamper the constructive delivery of student supports.

Read the full response below.