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Overcoming barriers to higher education for local students

Students, parents, teachers and other interested community members are invited to attend a Regional Higher Education Forum hosted by Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP.


The forum will provide an opportunity to discuss the barriers to accessing higher education for regional and remote students and how to overcome them and suggest ideas on how the Commonwealth Government can better support regional students access higher education.


At the forum, Mr Wilson will be joined by Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment Senator Bridget McKenzie and representatives from the Department of Education and Training (DET) and the Department of Social Services (DSS).


The Regional Higher Education Forum in Albany is one of 15 to be held across the country to identify new and innovative ideas to better support regional and remote students to access higher education.


Mr Wilson said DET and DSS recently investigated the barriers to higher education faced by regional and remote students, producing a joint interim report.


The interim report found regional and remote students face additional barriers to accessing higher education, including costs, socio-economic status, distance, school experiences, preparedness and aspiration.


“A postcode should not determine whether a young person can secure a university degree but sadly it does,” Mr Wilson said.


“Young people from regional and remote communities make up 27 per cent of Australia’s population, yet they only represent 21 per cent of Australia’s university population – this is simply not good enough.


“I encourage any students and their families, as well as principals, teachers, careers advisers and other interested community members to attend the forum to share your stories and ideas.


“Your contribution will help shape a final report that will be presented to Minister for Education Christopher Pyne and Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison later this year.


“The recommendations in the final report will become a catalyst for change,” Mr Wilson said.


The Regional Higher Education Forum will be held at 10:30am on Tuesday 4 August at the City of Albany Civic Rooms, North Road ALBANY. To register your interest in attending phone 08 9842 2777 or email



I was inspired to run for Parliament following my involvement in a decade-long campaign to deregulate the wheat industry, which brought about the end of the Australian Wheat Board’s monopoly.

“I stand proudly for the Liberal philosophy of free markets, vigorous competition, small government and individual responsibility. These are the principles that guide me in my life and in this place. My track record in public life shows clearly that I am prepared to stand up for those principles.”

“To the electors of O'Connor, I reiterate the commitment that I have made to work tirelessly on your behalf, to always be frank and honest about the challenges we face, and to work cooperatively and collaboratively to improve the lives of the people who live in the greatest part of the greatest nation on earth”

– Rick Wilson MP Maiden Speech.