National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund (NPILF)

On 19 June 2020, the Australian Government announced the Job-ready Graduates Package. The National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund (NPILF), introduced under the package, will allocate block grants to universities to support enhanced engagement with universities and industry to produce job-ready graduates.

On this page:

Reminder: NPILF Pilot Plans are due close of business Tuesday 31 August 2021. Universities have been sent information through the office of their Vice-Chancellor on how to submit their plan, including a link to the online submission form.

The National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund (NPILF) is a part of the Job-ready Graduates package of higher education reforms. This NPILF allocates grants to universities to help engage industry to produce job-ready graduates. It focuses on the following three priorities:

  • Increase the number of internships, practicums, and other innovative approaches to work-integrated learning
  • Increase the number of STEM-skilled graduates and improve their employment outcomes
  • Support universities to develop and strengthen partnerships with industry.

The program is flexible and tailored to the individual circumstances of universities. It encourages innovation by using industry-linked teaching models and supporting best practice. 

The NPILF Guidance Document helps universities to understand: 

  • the design of the fund and how it will work in the pilot phase 
  • the program requirements 
  • guidance on implementation activities.  

2021 will be a learning year, followed by a pilot in 2022-2024. The learning year will focus on helping universities to understand requirements and prepare for the pilot. This will include developing plans with proposed metrics and case study topics. Universities will need to submit a plan for assessment by the end of August 2021. We will also work with the sector to disseminate information on good practice.

If you have any questions on the NPILF, please direct your enquiry to NPILF@dese.gov.au

NPILF design and consultations

The Minister for Education appointed a working group of university Vice-Chancellors, on 1 July 2020 to advise on the design and implementation of the NPILF. The working group is chaired by Professor Attila Brungs, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Technology Sydney. 

The working group published a consultation paper on 30 October 2020 outlining the proposed intention, operation and implementation of the NPILF. The working group received 68 submissions, of which the Department received permission to publish 67 of those. They are now available on the submissions page

The working group thanks the individuals and organisations who took the time to contribute to this process. Read the NPILF Final Report.

NPILF funding

The NPILF was established under the Other Grant Guidelines (Education) Amendment (No.3) 2020, made under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA). 

As provided for under these legislative guidelines, from 2021-24, Table A higher education providers will receive an NPILF grant amount which corresponds to the number of CSPs they are allocated each year, based on the last year of verifiable data.  The funding amounts will be indexed by CPI in line with broader HESA provisions.  Funding amounts for 2021 are outlined in the table below:

Band Criteria (2018 CSPs)

2021 NPILF funding allocation

0 – 9,999

$3.25 million

10,000 – 14,999

$4.75 million

15,000 – 21,999

$7.00 million

22,000 and above

$8.75 million