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Reforms to the HEPPP under the Government’s Higher Education Reform Package

On Monday night the Minister for Education and Training announced the Government’s Higher Education Reform Package. Information on the package is available at https://www.education.gov.au/higher-education-reform-package-0.

The announcement includes reforms to the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), which have been informed by recommendations from the HEPPP Evaluation. Thank you again for the assistance that you provided to ACIL Allen and Wallis Consulting to prepare the evaluation report.

The Government proposes to make the following changes to the HEPPP, commencing from 1 January 2018. Implementation of these reforms will be dependent on passage of the relevant legislation.

Combine the current Participation and Partnerships components to form a single Access and Participation Fund for streamlined administration.

  • Provide Access and Participation component funding in two streams:
    • a loading of $985 (indexed) per undergraduate student enrolment from a low socio-economic status (SES) background
    • performance funding to reward improvements in success at eligible universities for students from a low SES background and Indigenous students.
  • Provide $9.5 million per year (indexed) for the HEPPP National Priorities Pool component to support projects of one to three years’ duration, to encourage collaboration between universities and provide an evidence base for improved HEPPP implementation.
  • Legislate all HEPPP funding in the Higher Education Support Act to increase funding certainty and facilitate longer-term planning and projects.
  • Develop a HEPPP evaluation framework to improve data collection and evaluation.
  • Require universities to spend a minimum amount of their Access and Participation Fund allocation on partnership activities to ensure that outreach to schools and other organisations is sustained.

HEPPP will continue to focus on supporting people from low SES backgrounds. This includes supporting people from low SES backgrounds who are also members of other equity groups.

We expect to provide additional information on the HEPPP reforms in coming weeks and I look forward to discussing the proposed changes with you in more detail. Meanwhile, please direct any queries to the equity inbox (equity@education.gov.au).

Robert Latta
Branch Manager
Governance, Quality and Access Branch | Higher Education Group
Australian Government Department of Education and Training
Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Posted 3 May 2017 Posted in Editorial