This year's measures recognise the importance of supporting students no matter where they are in their education journey, or where they may live in Australia.
Some of the department's key Budget measures include:
In addition to the Government's child care reforms previously announced, which commence on 2 July 2018, an additional $11.8 million will be provided to expand language instruction for Australia's littlest learners. A school trial for students in Foundation to Year 2 of the highly successful Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program will commence in up to 300 schools across Australia in 2019 and extend through to the end of 2021.
The Australian Government will grow its record level of funding with a total investment of $243.5 billion from 2018 to 2027 for schools under the Quality Schools package. Building on this, the Government has accepted in principle the recommendations of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools. The review provides a blueprint on how to best support our students on their educational journey.
The Government is supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) learning at all ages with an investment of $5.1 million in STEM focused initiatives. The investment will give students a strong grounding for their future careers. In addition, it will provide alternative pathways into the teaching profession to help address workforce shortages, including in regional and remote areas.
After considering the findings of the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education, the Government will invest $42 million to expand accessibility for rural and regional students through the creation of 500 Commonwealth supported sub-bachelor places, and a further 500 additional Commonwealth supported bachelor places for students at regional study hubs. To support these students, funding of $16.7 million is available for the development of up to eight regional study hubs.
The Government is investing $1.918 billion to 2028-29 to support Australia's National Research Infrastructure (NRI) facilities. This funding will ensure our researchers have access to world-class equipment and tools to meet current and emerging research priorities. This funding builds on the Government's commitment of $150 million per year, indexed, for NRI supported through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy program.
Full details of the 2018-19 Budget are available on the Portfolio Budget Statements 2018-19 page.