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Scholarships encourage equity: forum discusses way forward

Media release

The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) at Curtin University today conducted a forum to contribute to the national debate on the proposed scholarships available as part of the higher education reforms.

Held at the University of Canberra, the Equity Scholarship Provision in Australian Universities: Insights and Directions forum built on NCSEHE research examining current equity scholarship practice at Australian universities.

Professor Sue Trinidad, NCSEHE Director, said need-based scholarships form an important part of a student-centred, whole-of-university approach to equity.

“Financial assistance supports students who may otherwise not have attended university, including students from low socio-economic backgrounds and those from regional and remote areas,” said Professor Trinidad.

The Australian Government has advised that the new scholarships scheme will be nationally administered, targeted and delivered. The outcomes of today’s forum will contribute to future debate on the implementation of the higher education reforms.

“The scholarship program should be targeted and efficient, and deliver on its objective to improve the university participation of disadvantaged people,” Professor Trinidad said.

“The public expects to see funds used sensibly and fairly for the greater good of the community.”

Vice-Chancellors Professor Stephen Parker from the University of Canberra and Professor John Dewar from La Trobe University both spoke at the forum.

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