Submission to the Inquiry into the Higher Education Support Amendment

August 25, 2023


Per Capita welcomes the opportunity to provide this submission to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee for consideration in their inquiry into the Higher Education Support Amendment (Response to the Australian Universities Accord Interim Report) Bill 2023.

Higher education is a vital public good.  It carries social and economic benefits for our nation and plays an important role in our export sector.  Over the past 15 years, there have been several significant changes to our higher education funding system, yet the Australian University Accord represents the first broad review of the higher education system in just as long.[1]

Per Capita supports the five priority actions outlined in the Interim Report,[2] as well as the Government’s commitment to implement them all.[3]

This Bill is a necessary step towards building a fairer, and more equitable, higher education system.  It repeals the punitive 50% pass rule inserted into the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth)[4]  by the Coalition government’s 2020 Job Ready Graduate Package (JRG).[5]  Additionally, it expands eligibility for Commonwealth supported places in demand driven courses to all First Nations students.



[1] The last being the 2008 Bradley Review: Denise Bradley, Review of Australian Higher Education (Final Report, December 2008) (‘Bradley Review’)

[2] Australian Universities Accord Review Panel, Australian Universities Accord (Interim Report, 30 June 2023) 11-3.

[3] Jason Clare, ‘Legislation Introduced to Implement Universities Accord Interim Report’ (Media Release, Minister for Education, 3 August 2023).

[4] Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Cth) s 36-13/

[5] Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020 sch 4.