Revitalising Higher Education in Forrest

The Coalition Government has launched a comprehensive review to boost outcomes for regional, rural and remote students not just at school, but also as they go on to further study, training and employment.

Nola Marino, Federal Member for Forrest, said the review would gather feedback about regional and rural education from across the country and she called for south west educators, students, families, employers and the local community to have their say.

“I have been working constantly on this issue for families in the south west. Students from our regional and rural communities face significant barriers when accessing higher education simply because of where they live.”

“It’s important that these hurdles and barriers are identified, and this review will give our people a chance to speak up.”

“The Coalition is committed to giving Australians the opportunities they need to succeed, no matter where they live or what their circumstances,” Ms Marino said.

“There’s a clear disparity between education in rural regions and the city. This review seeks to address the gap of access to higher education faced by regional students and will seek fresh ideas to bridge the divide.”

“Approximately one third of regional and remote students do not complete Year 12 or an equivalent unit of study and that number rises to almost two thirds of very remote students.

“We must drive and better set policy to encourage ambition among our country students. Regional and remote students made up just 18.8 per cent of domestic undergraduate students at universities, compared to making up 26.4 per cent of the population in 2016.

“The independent review will be led by Emeritus Professor John Halsey of Flinders University and will look at education from school entry to job success and how we can improve results for rural and regional people,” Ms Marino said.

Professor Halsey commenced his career as a teacher and was a principal of two schools in South Australia and his experience spans across numerous positions outside of the classroom on advisory boards and in educational leadership roles.

“He has extensive knowledge and experience in rural and remote education and a passion for the sustainability of rural schools and communities.”

“The review will be critical in addressing the challenges that impact on the educational outcomes of regional, rural and remote students,’ Ms Marino said.

“I urge the south west’s education community, students, parents and employer groups to take part in this review process, because your input and suggestions will help shape the future of education in regional and rural Australia. A discussion paper and online platform for public submissions will become available from April 2017.”

For more information on how to be involved please visit: