Every Australian, no matter where they live, should have the opportunity to access Australia’s world class tertiary education system. Currently, however, individuals who grow up in regional, rural and remote (RRR) areas are around 40 per cent less likely to gain a higher-level tertiary education qualification and less than half as likely to gain a bachelor and above qualification by the time they are 35 years old, compared to individuals from metropolitan areas. This report proposes a strategy that aims to reduce this disparity and provide equal opportunity for every individual from RRR Australia to access tertiary education, regardless of personal circumstances and location.
There are many social and economic reasons and potential benefits providing a strong rationale for why the nation should give priority to addressing the disparity in tertiary education participation and attainment in RRR areas. This strategy focuses on the following themes:
- Individuals will benefit from having more opportunity to reach their potential and gain better employment with higher incomes and improved health outcomes.
- Communities will benefit and remain vibrant through releasing the currently untapped potential of many RRR Australians.
- The nation will benefit through maximising the talents and skills of more Australians, which will strengthen the national economy, as well as foster greater aspiration in young people.