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The Budget: It's all about access and opportunity says VU's VC

Victoria University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Harman welcomed the access initiatives for students in the 2009 Federal Budget.

Professor Harman said: "We are pleased that there have been significant revisions to the Student Income Support Scheme. This will help many of the students who study at VU."

The Vice-Chancellor noted in particular the reduction in the age of independence from 25 to 22 by 2012; the increase in parental income test threshold; and the increase in personal income test threshold.

She said: "We are please with the relaxation of means testing of scholarships so as to allow students receiving equity or merit scholarships not to lose income support, and welcome the New Start-Up Scholarship of $2254 for all students receiving income support - this will give more students the opportunity to participate in tertiary education.

"There is also good news for postgraduate students, with the announcement extension of student income support scheme eligibility to Masters by Coursework students from 2012."

"And students from regional areas who come to Melbourne to study will benefit from the New Relocation Scholarship of $4000 and then $1000 a year, for students relocating from home."

"All these considerably enhanced income support provisions will help VU students."

"We also welcome the commitment to the provision of increased student places."

"Most importantly, we are delighted to hear that there will be additional funding for universities to attract and support low SES students - a must for Melbourne's west."

"It is imperative that universities have clear financial incentives to expand the enrolment of low SES students and to help them provide intensive support to disadvantages students."

"There will also be funding available to help universities develop partnerships and programs with schools, VE and training providers. This funding could include scholarships, mentoring teachers and students, curriculum and teaching support or 'hands on' activities by university staff in schools."

"This funding will allow us to build upon and expand the activities VU already undertakes in these activities in the west."

"Transport investment will also benefit a great may of our students who rely on public transport. Funding from the Federal Government for a new rail line, from West Werribee to Southern Cross Station in the city, will help them access our Werribee Campus more easily."

"The combination of all these initiatives will help us to continue to improve access and opportunity for students throughout Melbourne's west."


Media contact:

Andy Gash, A/Media Manager

Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University

Ph: (03) 9919 4950; mobile: 0411 255 900

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