University preparatory programmes may no longer be free

For the first time, students in Australia may have to pay up to AU$3,271 (US$2,430) for ‘enabling’ courses, designed to prepare students for university study. The change was announced as part of the government’s recent higher education reform package, write Anna Bennett, Andrew Harvey and Seamus Fagan for The Conversation.

Enabling courses are a low-cost government investment of AU$30 million (US$22 million) per year, offering people from low socio-economic and other disadvantaged backgrounds a viable opportunity to qualify and prepare for university. Until now, university enabling programmes have been subsidised by the government, allowing it to be free for students.

The new plan to shift the cost onto students will likely deter some students and affect who is able to access higher education. A recent review of enabling programmes shows students from low socio-economic backgrounds have more than twice the rate of representation in enabling courses than they do at undergraduate level.
Full report on the Study International site