New budget supports a better and fairer education system for a future made in Australia

On 14 May, the Australian Government released its fiscal year 2024-2025 budget, which responds to the Australian Universities Accord, along with the Future Made in Australia initiative. The Australian Universities Accord aims to create a long-term reform plan for the country’s higher education sector, outlining 47 recommendations for Government consideration. Meanwhile, Future Made in Australia is about creating new jobs and opportunities locally and securing the country’s place in the global economy. The FY 24-25 budget allocations include cost of living relief for students, support for people from the outer suburbs and regions and structural reforms to the Australian tertiary education system.

 

Response to the Australian Universities Accord

The Australian Government recognises the need to reform tertiary education in the country to deliver the large, skilled and productive workforce required by its economy. As part of its response to the Australian Universities Accord, it’s investing:

  • $239.7 million to make the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) system fairer by improving indexation calculations, ensuring that outstanding loans never grow faster than average wages and fixing issues of high indexation rates.
  • $427.4 million for a Commonwealth Prac Payment to support teaching, nursing (including midwifery) and social work students to complete their university placements and help them get the qualifications needed to perform some of the most important jobs in the country.
  • $350.3 million to deliver fee-free university-ready courses for students preparing for higher education, providing more Australians with the skills they need to get into their desired course.
  • $27.7 million into immediate measures to streamline and align vocational education and training (VET) and higher education for a more seamless tertiary education system.
  • $24.6 million to fund Charles Darwin University to establish a Northern Territory medical school.

In addition to these, the Government shall:

 

Federal Funding to Public Schools

The Australian Government is offering a significant increase in federal funding to public schools, including funds set to tackle the teacher shortage crisis and support students:

  • $785.4 million to fully fund all public schools in Western Australia by 2026.
  • $736.7 million to fully fund all public schools in the Northern Territory by 2029.
  • $34.6 million to make evidence-based curriculum and student well-being support and professional development materials available to all through a National Teacher Resource Hub.
  • $2.4 million to support a First Nations Teacher Strategy to attract and retain more First Nations teachers.
  • $4.2 million to the Australian Government Contribution to the Australian Schools Anti-Bullying Collective to continue their anti-bullying programs.

 

Support towards a Universal Early Childhood Education and Care System

The Australian Government is committed to increasing wages for the early childhood education and care workforce:

  • $84.1 million in resources to reinforce and safeguard the Child Care Subsidy system and protect against fraud and non-compliance
  • $98.4 million for the Inclusion Support Program (ISP) to help childcare services increase their capacity to support children with additional needs.
  • $30.4 million in IT and payment services for better wages.

Additional details will be finalised after consideration of Fair Work Commission processes.

 

Investment in First Nations Education Outcomes

As part of its resolve to Close the Gap and strengthen partnerships with First Nations peoples and communities, the Australian government will invest $110 million to improve early childhood education and school education outcomes of First Nations children and students. It will also honour First Nations cultures and languages through local education systems.

This allocation includes:

 

Ensuring Social Cohesion in Education

The Australian Government is dedicated to ensuring social cohesion in the education sector by expanding accessibility to underrepresented communities and addressing all forms of discrimination. Accordingly, it has allocated the following budget for such initiatives:

  • $4 million for Together for Humanity to expand their social cohesion programs.
  • $1 million to establish an inquiry into racism in the university sector and develop recommendations for a culturally safe tertiary environment.

The FY 2024-2025 budget reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to building a better and fairer education system that supports all stakeholders, improves Australia’s local economy and global competitiveness and strengthens its reputation as a premier education destination.

To keep updated on the latest news concerning the Australian education system, check out our blog or get in touch with our business development experts today.

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