Cuts to hit lower socioeconomic areas

September 14, 2017

Parliament warned: funding cuts will hit students from lower socioeconomic families

The Federal Government’s proposed higher education reforms will have a disproportionately negative impact on students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in the southern outer suburbs of Perth, according to information given to Federal Parliament.

Federal MP for Brand Madeleine King told the House on Tuesday evening that the plans will affect hundreds of students each year who don’t achieve the required ATAR but gain entry to Murdoch University by successfully completing a fee-free enabling program.

The Federal parliament is debating $2.8 billion cuts to university funding which will impose a student contribution on enabling programs. This will hit students who enter Murdoch’s OnTrack program – a 14-week course that equips students with the research, writing and thinking skills necessary to successfully study at university.

More than 450 students this year (up from 296 in 2016) have taken advantage of OnTrack but the changes would immediately halt this positive development, Ms King warned.

“It is estimated that charging fees for enabling programs will affect more than 350 students (each year) across Rockingham and Peel," she said.

“To rip up the opportunities and dreams of these students is, in my opinion, a national disgrace and should be reconsidered by the government."

Among OnTrack students enrolled at Murdoch University between 2008 and 2014, 55 per cent self-identified as being the first in their family to go to a university, and 56 per cent lived in low-SES denominated areas.

“Furthermore, and very importantly, 69 per cent of all funded enrolments translated into undergraduate degree enrolments at Murdoch University," Ms King said.

“That's a good thing for the region, it's a good thing for Western Australia and it certainly is a good thing for the people and potential students of Brand in Western Australia.”

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Media contact: Eugenie Harris
Tel: (08) 9360 2734  |  Mobile:   |  Email: Eugenie.Harris@murdoch.edu.au
Categories: General, Future Students, Domestic students
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Comments (One response)

ANDREW TAGGART September 19, 2017

A strong message from the Brand MP. Enabling programs are essential for the Rockingham region that values highly the educational aspirations of their young people.

Madeleine King will join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the campus in November.

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