Legal Insights

First proposed amendments to implement Universities Accord interim recommendations

By Robert Gregory

• 04 August 2023 • 2 min read
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The Federal Minister for Education introduced the first legislation to implement the interim recommendations of the Universities Accord Panel chaired by Professor Mary O’Kane AC on Thursday 3 August 2023.

As introduced, the Higher Education Support Amendment (Response to the Australian Universities Accord Interim Report) Bill 2023:

  • amends the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) to allow all First Nations students to be eligible for Commonwealth supported places (CSP) in demand driven higher education courses;
  • amends HESA to remove the requirement that students must pass 50% of units to remain eligible for a CSP; and
  • introduces new requirements for all higher education provider to have a Support for Students Policy which must:
    • include information on the provider’s processes for identifying students that are at risk of not successfully completing units of study; and
    • specifies the support available from or on behalf of the provider to assist students to successfully complete the units of study in which they are enrolled; and
    • otherwise comply with content, presentation, format and availability requirements specified in the Higher Education Provider Guidelines.
  • Once introduced, higher education providers must comply with its Support for Students Policy and report to the Minister about the provider’s compliance with the information and at the times required specified in the Higher Education Provider Guidelines.

We’ll be monitoring the progress of the Bill and any changes to the Higher Education Provider Guidelines as well as continuing to monitor the progress of the Universities Accord process more generally.

Supporting you to navigate the changing education sector landscape

Don’t hesitate to contact Rob Gregory or any member of our Education Sector Team if we can be of assistance with understanding or implementing the Accord recommendations and changes to HESA arising from them.

By Robert Gregory

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