20,000 New Uni Places to Target Skill Shortages with Focus on Rural and Remote Students

20,000 New Uni Places to Target Skill Shortages with Focus on Rural and Remote Students  Main Image

29 August 2022

The Albanese Government will fund 20,000 additional university places to tackle skills shortages and give more students from under-represented backgrounds the chance to go to university, including those in rural and remote areas.


Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters said it’s good news for Central Victorians wanting to get a degree.

“In regional Australia just over 20 percent of 25-34 year olds have a degree and in the more remote parts of the country it’s around 16 percent.

“We know that when people study in their hometown or regional cities, they’re more likely to stay there.

“These additional places will help fix areas of skills shortages and fill future skills needs by training Australians in jobs including engineering, nursing, tech, and teaching.

“La Trobe University campuses in Bendigo, Mildura, Shepparton and Wodonga are vital to regional Victoria’s pandemic recovery and economic future,” Chesters said.

The additional places will be allocated over two years from the start of 2023 with an investment of up to $485.5 million over the next four years.

Higher education providers will competitively bid for allocations of places. Application processes will open this month for both the 2023 and 2024 academic years. 

Higher education providers will be required to demonstrate that they will dedicate places to addressing areas of skills need as identified in the Government’s Secure Australian Jobs plan and by the National Skills Commission.

Higher education providers will also be required to allocate them to people from low-socio economic backgrounds, rural and remote areas, First Nations people, first in family and people with disability.

The additional places will skill-up Australians, helping to boost productivity and provide opportunity to Australians currently under-represented at Australian universities.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:  

“Where you live, how much your parents earn, whether you are Indigenous or not, is still a major factor in whether you are a student or a graduate of an Australian university.

“I don’t want us to be a country where your chances in life depend on your postcode, your parents, or the colour of your skin. 

“The delivery of this commitment is the first step to achieving this. Our Universities Accord will also consider ways to boost access to university for all Australians.”