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Senate Inquiry into Rural Access Terms Flawed

Deakin University will be making a submission to this inquiry. In preparing the submission it seems that the Senate may not have the full picture of where rural and regional students go to attend university. The Terms of Reference are restricted to:

‘equitable access to secondary and post-secondary education opportunities to students from rural and regional communities attending metropolitan institutions, and metropolitan students attending regional universities or technical and further education (TAFE) colleges.’

This excludes a significant proportion of the students who enrol at, or aspire to enrol at Deakin. They are rural and regional students who attend one of our three regional campuses, but who live in locations at a distance from our campuses. Many of these students defer their studies. About half of the 565 2008 VTAC applicants who deferred their place on our Geelong and Warrnambool Campuses came from a regional area of Victoria outside the region of the Campus at which they enrolled.

The terms of reference should be extended to included to students from rural and regional communities attending regional universities away from their home location. Deakin is making this point to the Senate Inquiry

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