More uni places opened up

PROSPECTIVE Clarence Valley university students will enjoy greater access to university courses after the Gillard government's education support amendment bill was passed last week.

Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, said the passing of the bill ensures public universities will be funded for undergraduate student places based on student demand.

"Universities will no longer have to negotiate annually with Canberra over how many undergraduate places to offer in each discipline," she said.

"Universities will be able to offer courses much more flexibly in response to what students and employers need."

"This will give more students in our community the opportunity to gain a university education."

Ms Saffin said Southern Cross University would see an even higher increase in commonwealth funded places due to the bill than what it has experienced in the past.

"The number of undergraduate Commonwealth supported places at the Southern Cross University has increased from 5,684 in 2008 to 6,399 this year, an increase of 13%," she said.

Commonwealth expenditure on higher education - through funding for both teaching and learning and for research - is projected to increase to $13 billion in 2012, up $5 billion from 2007.

"A university education is a ticket to greater career choice and to high skilled and high paid jobs," she said.

"These are aspirations that thousands more Australians are now able to realise."

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