Education gap outside cities

By Country News

Universities have been told to be more transparent about the student accommodation places they guarantee for rural and remote students.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham made the request in accepting 11 recommendations from an independent review into regional education.

Professor John Halsey’s review found the number of people with degrees dwindled the further you got from a capital city.

‘‘There’s clearly a gap between the city and the bush in the level of study or qualifications students achieve,’’ Senator Birmingham said recently.

Other recommendations from Prof Halsey’s report included establishing a national focus on rural, regional and remote education and training; and research to improve opportunities in regional Australia.

He also called for improved availability and affordability of work experience placements, and vocational training and university options for students outside major cities.

Senator Birmingham said the government was creating an extra 500 sub-bachelor places and 500 Commonwealth-supported bachelor places in regional areas, while the parental income cut-off for Youth Allowance was being increased to $170000.