August 28, 2023

Higher Education Support Amendment Bill 2023 – IRU Response


The Innovative Research Universities (IRU) supports the proposed amendments to the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to:

  • Extend demand-driven funding to all Indigenous Australians;
  • Remove the requirement that students must pass 50 per cent of the units they study to remain eligible for Commonwealth support (the “50 per cent rule”);
  • Require universities to have a “support-for-students policy” that identifies students at risk of failing and interventions to support completion.

The Amendment Bill does not contain detail on what will become mandatory obligations in the Guidelines or their interaction with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021. This is to be determined in the Guidelines and following consultation with the Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP). This makes it difficult to assess the efficacy and regulatory burden of the Amendment Bill, but the IRU supports the broad approach to:

  • Release a consultation paper on the proposed content of the support-for-students policies and what could become mandatory obligations in the Guidelines;
  • Consult with the Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP) for their advice on the effectiveness of the current Threshold Standards. We also recommend that the HESP advice be considered prior to finalising the Guidelines.

Read the full submission here.