Every young person in our State that aspires to undertake higher education deserves the opportunity to attend a top university here in South Australia – no matter their postcode or financial position.
And with a new university on our horizon, our government is establishing an important fund which will provide financial assistance to regional students, removing some of that burden and creating new opportunities for our young people.
For those in country communities, attending University in Adelaide can mean moving (often very far) away from their family home for the first time.
For many students this upheaval comes with enormous financial strain and emotional turmoil.
That’s a lot to place on an 18 or 19-year-old and their family. It can sometimes be enough to stop a young person from attending university altogether.
Before Parliament there is legislation which, if passed, will enable the University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide to merge and become Adelaide University.
It’s a university for all South Australians, and therefore all South Australians should have the same opportunity to attend.
Our government will establish the $120 million Student Support Fund in tandem with the new university to assist students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds in accessing higher education.
We are quarantining $20 million of that $120 million fund for students from the country and outer metro areas.
Of course, young people in our regions don’t always have to move to the city to attend university.
Not only are online courses much more accessible and user-friendly than ever before, but there are established, high-quality university campuses based at regional centres in Whyalla and Mount Gambier.
In an unambiguous vote of confidence in our regional communities, both the University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide have given public undertakings that none of these sites will be closed should the new Adelaide University be established.
In fact, both believe that by coming together as one university, their ability to invest in regional education will increase.
We want the creation of a new university to benefit all South Australians, no matter what part of our great state you call home.
Because if you want to attend university, you deserve that opportunity.
Premier Peter Malinauskas