In 2017, the Australian Government commissioned an Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education (IRRRRE). The Review was part of the Australian Government's commitment to improve the education of country students so they can reach their full potential and participate in Australia's economy.
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Emeritus Professor John Halsey from Flinders University conducted the review to examine the challenges faced by these students and find innovative solutions to help them succeed at school and beyond. Read the IRRRRE's Terms of Reference and Discussion Paper. The Discussion Paper was supported by a Literature Review.
Professor Halsey held consultations with education authorities, peak bodies, schools and communities, and received over 300 submissions from stakeholders.
During consultations, the issue arose of access to affordable accommodation for regional, rural and remote students relocating to pursue tertiary education. Urbis Pty Ltd was commissioned by the department to research the supply and affordability of tertiary student accommodation. Read the Regional Student Accommodation Assessment by Urbis.
Professor Halsey made eleven recommendations and suggested fifty-three actions as examples of how to progress them. The recommendations cover curriculum and assessment, principals and teachers, career education, early childhood and the importance of school readiness, expanding vocational education and training and university opportunities and pathways, philanthropy and entrepreneurship, information and communication technologies, improving the support available to move away from home and the importance of education to improving the economic sustainability of regional areas. Read the IRRRRE Final Report.
The Australian Government welcomes the final report and thanks Professor Halsey and all the stakeholders who contributed to the Review.
Australian Government Response
The Australian Government has accepted all 11 recommendations of the IRRRRE Review.
The Government is committed to ensuring students in regional, rural and remote areas are supported to successfully transition through school and onto further education, training and work. Read the whole of government response.
Key initiatives to address the outcomes of the Review include:
- Expand accessibility of sub-bachelor programs
- Expand accessibility for bachelor students at regional study hubs
- Improved access to Youth Allowance for Regional Students
The department will continue to implement actions across 2018 – for example by working collaboratively with other departments to improve the information available to regional, rural and remote students regarding pathways post-school.