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Demand-driven system gets AU$1.2bn

The Australian Parliament has passed a higher education bill that includes additional funding of AU$1.2 billion to support the demand-driven system.

The Higher Education Support Amendment Bill (No. 2) passed Parliament on 24 November.

The bill provides an additional AU$300 million a year over four years to make more university places available to Australians.

The bill also details an extra AU$550m for improved indexation for university grants.

Next year, university grants will be indexed by 3.8 per cent, compared to the long-term average of less than two per cent.

Chris Evans, the tertiary education minister, said the government’s decision to increase annual indexation would deliver an additional AU$3.2bn in university revenue from 2011-2015.

AU$500m will be made available under the bill for the Regional Priorities Round of the Education Investment Fund to improve educational facilities for regional students.

Regional universities will also benefit from an additional AU$109.9m over four years to help them meet the higher costs of delivering education at regional campuses.