In the coming weeks, the Federal Government is expected to release national guidelines to assist in the development of university-low socioeconomic status (low SES) schools partnerships and increased enrolments of low SES students.
The Government’s laudable goal that by 2020, 20% of undergraduate enrolments will be students from low SES backgrounds is to be supported by a proposed Partnerships and Participation Program. The sector is eagerly awaiting the guidelines for the Program under which it will receive equity funding from 2010. As indicated in the budget report 'Transforming Australia's Higher Education System', there is $108 million available through the partnerships fund and $325 million for low SES enrolment loading over four years.
The core questions dogging the sector in relation to the new equity funding include: