Release type: Joint Media Release


20,000 New University Places to Target Skill Shortages


The Hon Jason Clare MP
Minister for Education

The Albanese Government will fund 20,000 additional university places to tackle skills shortages and give more students from under-represented backgrounds the chance to go to university.

This delivers on the Government's election commitment.

The additional places will be allocated over two years from the start of 2023 with an investment of up to $485.5 million over the next four years.

Places will be targeted at areas of skills shortage like education, health, engineering, and technology. 

Higher education providers will competitively bid for allocations of places. Application processes will open this month for both the 2023 and 2024 academic years.

Higher education providers will be required to demonstrate that they will dedicate places to addressing areas of skills need as identified in the Government’s Secure Australian Jobs plan and by the National Skills Commission.

Higher education providers will also be required to allocate them to people from low-socio economic backgrounds, rural and remote areas, First Nations people, first in family and people with disability.

The additional places will skill-up Australians, helping to boost productivity and provide opportunity to Australians currently under-represented at Australian universities.

Modelling shows that 90 per cent of new jobs in the next five years will require a tertiary qualification.

Universities are critical to training Australians for these jobs and that's why they will be represented at the Jobs and Skills Summit next month.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:

“Where you live, how much your parents earn, whether you are Indigenous or not, is still a major factor in whether you are a student or a graduate of an Australian university.

“I don’t want us to be a country where your chances in life depend on your postcode, your parents, or the colour of your skin.

“The delivery of this commitment is the first step to achieving this. Our Universities Accord will also consider ways to boost access to university for all Australians.”

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Jim Chalmers:

“Australia needs more skilled workers. How we prepare Australians for the jobs our economy needs will be a focus at the Jobs and Skills Summit next month.

“Investing in more university places in industries where we need skilled workers will help to make our economy more productive. This policy will also ensure more Australians have the skills they need to get sustainable, well-paid jobs into the future.”