Forum to tackle barriers to education

VOICE YOUR IDEAS: Residents are being encouraged to voice their ideas on how the federal government can better support students to gain a university degree.
VOICE YOUR IDEAS: Residents are being encouraged to voice their ideas on how the federal government can better support students to gain a university degree.

Residents are being encouraged to voice their ideas on how the federal government can better support students to gain a university degree.

Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey, senator Bridget McKenzie and education department representatives will host a Regional Higher Education forum in Port Augusta on Monday, August 31.

Mr Ramsey said there were barriers preventing regional students from gaining higher education and the forum would aim to identify ideas to better support regional and remote students to access higher education.

“A postcode should not determine whether a young person can secure a university degree but sadly it does,” Mr Ramsey said.

“Young people from regional and remote communities make up 27 per cent of Australia’s population, yet they only represent 21 per cent of Australia’s university population - this is simply not good enough.

“Securing a university degree is important to our young people with graduates earning on average 75 per cent more over the life of their careers.”

The departments of Education and Social Services recently investigated the barriers to higher education faced by regional and remote students, producing a joint interim report.

The report found that regional and remote students face additional barriers to accessing higher education, including costs, socioeconomic status, distance, school experiences, preparedness and aspiration.

Mr Ramsey encouraged students and their families, as well as principals, teachers, careers advisers and other community members to attend the forum to share their story and ideas.

Their contribution will help shape a final report which will be presented to Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Social Services Minister Scott Morrison later this year.

“The recommendations in the final report will become a catalyst for change,” Mr Ramsey said.

The Regional Higher Education forum in Port Augusta is one of 15 to be held across the country.

To register your interest in attending the forum phone 0886331744 or email rowan.ramsey.mp@aph.gov.au