National Regional, Rural and Remote Education Strategy

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As part of its Regional Education package, the Australian Government will develop a National Regional, Rural and Remote Education Strategy to drive increased participation in post-secondary education. The Strategy will build on the Government's response to the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education (the Halsey Review). Recommendation 11 of the review proposed that the government 'establish a national focus for regional, rural and remote education, training and research to enhance access, outcomes and opportunities in regional Australia'.

Regional Education Expert Advisory Group

A Regional Education Expert Advisory Group has been established to drive the strategy and advise Government on the ongoing education and training needs of regional, rural and remote communities.

The members of the Advisory Group are:

  • The Hon Dr Denis Napthine, former Victorian Premier (Chair)
  • Emeritus Professor Peter Lee, former Vice Chancellor Southern Cross University
  • Ms Caroline Graham, Chief Executive Officer, Regional Skills Training
  • Ms Meredith Wills, former Director, Geraldton Universities Centre.

The Expert Advisory Group will meet with key stakeholders to develop a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges facing regional, rural and remote communities. These consultations will inform the development of an interim report due end of March 2019 and a final report due end of June 2019. 

Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference for the Expert Advisory Group are to:

  • build on the work of the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education and investigate the need for a commissioner to oversee the implementation of the Strategy
  • identify strategies and policies for the Australian Government to put in place to bring the attainment rate of regional, rural and remote students to parity with students from metropolitan areas
  • examine the literature and research on aspiration, access and success for regional students and the barriers to access to tertiary education facing people in regional Australia
  • leverage research undertaken on the provision of tertiary education in regional Australia and the support services provided to regional, rural and remote students at university
  • consider the current policy options supported by the Government, including student income support as well as the opportunities presented by the Regional Study Hubs Program
  • recommend how current and potential new approaches should be best combined as a coherent suite of policy responses to address issues particular to a region, to deliver improved higher education outcomes to students in regional, rural and remote Australia
  • recommend a target for regional, rural and remote education outcomes.

Framing paper

To inform consultations, the Expert Advisory Group released a framing paper on 20 December 2018. Submissions closed on 1 February 2019.

Issues Papers

Based on the consultations and submissions to date and its analysis of the issues, the Expert Advisory Group has developed six Issues papers outlining possible further actions to address the challenges facing tertiary education in RRR areas:

The Expert Advisory Group would welcome feedback from interested parties on the possible further actions in these Issues Papers.

Responses should be emailed to regionalstrategy@education.gov.au by 5:00pm (AEDT) on 15 March 2019.

Interested parties are encouraged to provide a response utilising the template for response.

Key documents