The Federal Government has announced it will target its Reward Funding for universities on lifting participation of Australians from low socio-economic backgrounds and other groups considered underrepresented, saving $240.8 million over four years, Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans said.


“We welcome the commitment shown by Australian universities to improve the participation rates of students from low socioeconomic status (SES) and disadvantaged backgrounds.


“Reward Funding of $56.3 million will continue to be available in 2012 and 2013 for universities that achieve their participation and social inclusion targets, as agreed in Compacts.”


The government also announced that Reward Funding relating to student experience and learning outcomes will be discontinued.


“Performance measures for student experience and quality of learning outcomes are yet to be agreed to by the higher education sector and there is academic disagreement over the appropriateness of these measures to underpin reward funding,” Senator Evans said.


“Instead of rewarding universities for improvements on survey-based measures, the Government has decided to focus on the development of student experience and quality of learning outcomes measures for use in the MyUniversity website and to inform continuous improvement by universities.”