Regional Partnerships Project Pool Program

The Regional Partnerships Project Pool Program will provide $7.1 million over three years (2021-22 to 2023-24) to support multi-year collaborative outreach projects that enable the aspirations of students in regional and remote Australia where barriers to pursuing higher education exist.

About the Program


The Regional Partnerships Project Pool Program was announced as part of the Job-ready Graduates package and established under the Indigenous, Regional and Low SES Attainment Fund (IRLSAF). The Program responds to findings in the 2019 National Regional, Rural and Remote Tertiary Education Strategy (Napthine Review) which identified that regional and remote students experience additional challenges that may act as a barrier to aspiration and preparedness for higher education.

The Regional Partnerships Project Pool Program will provide $7.1 million over three years to support multi-year collaborative outreach projects that enable the higher education aspirations of students in regional and remote Australia.

Through the Program innovative partnerships will be established between Table A universities, Regional University Centres (Centres) with other higher education providers including Table B universities and non-university higher education providers (NUHEPs), schools, vocational education and training providers, and community organisations.

The objectives of the Program are to direct resources to:

  • target regional and remote areas where aspirations to enter higher education are low, matriculation to higher education is poor, or communities are underserviced by existing initiatives, and 
  • provide regional and remote students with tailored outreach experiences of the same quality and diversity as their metropolitan counterparts.

The legislative basis for the operation of the Regional Partnerships Project Pool Program is the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) and the Other Grants Guidelines (Education) 2012 (the Guidelines).

Program Funding

Under the Program, $7.1 million in grant funding is available over three years (2021-22 to 2023-24). Funding will be awarded to consortia led by Table A universities and Centres via a two-phase grant process:

  • Phase 1 – Concept proposal ($1 million available)
    • Funding will be provided to allow consortia to establish partnerships and engage with regional stakeholders to:
      • identify the needs of regional students and communities to enable aspirations for higher education; and
      • co-design innovative initiatives to address local needs and develop a comprehensive project bid for multi-year delivery of regional outreach.
  • Phase 2 – Delivery of multi-year projects ($6.1 million available)
    • Through a competitive, merit-based process, funding will be provided to support successful consortia to deliver agreed innovative and practical outreach support to students and communities in regional and remote areas of Australia.

The Program’s Phase 1 grant round is now closed

Applications for Phase 1 closed on 20 March 2022. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their proposals in due course.

Should you have any questions, please email the Department of Education, Skills and Employment at equity@dese.gov.au.