Labor’s positive plan for universities will deliver more graduates, not $100,000 degrees, to drive our economy.


Immediately upon coming to government, Labor will reverse the Liberals cuts to undergraduate student funding.  


A Shorten Labor Government will invest in every student to ensure they graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, without a debt sentence.

In the future, two in every three jobs in Australia will require a university degree.

A Shorten Labor Government will set an ambitious goal to increase the number of students completing their study by 20,000 graduates a year from 2020.

Recent figures show that more students are leaving university, with a debt but no degree.

The trend is even more concerning when it comes to disadvantaged students in Australia.

Our focus as a nation must shift from enrolment, to completion.

We want Australian students that start university, to finish university with a high quality degree.

These graduates won’t just fill the jobs of the future, they will help create them as our economy transitions.

And students are more likely to complete their degree if they chose the right course, at the right university.

A Shorten Labor Government will deliver more information for parents and students to make good decisions through innovative digital technology.

Before enrolling students should have access to information like career prospects, completion rates and the average salary upon graduation.

Investing in education is the single most important thing we can do to maintain and grow Australia’s prosperity, and secure the jobs of the future.

For every extra dollar Australia spends on a university student’s education, the average return is twenty six dollars, making the economic case clear.

A Shorten Labor Government will introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee to remove the need for higher fees and provide certainty for our universities.

This will boost Australia’s investment in every student by $2500 per year from 2018, an increase of more than 27 per cent on the Liberals plan.

Labor’s investment will help ensure students graduate with the skills, knowledge and resilience for their working life, not just mark their name off at class.

To give universities certainty, Labor will legislate the Student Funding Guarantee and index the value of the investment so it isn’t eroded over time.

A Shorten Labor Government will also invest an additional $31 million to boost the quality of teaching and resources  in our universities through Tertiary Education Quality Standards Australia.

Our investment in higher education must deliver the right outcomes for students, as well as our economy.

Graduates from our universities must be highly skilled, highly adaptable and technology literate to compete in the world.

And they must be graduates in areas of anticipated growth in our economy, with the skills employers need.

A Shorten Labor Government will work with universities to establish an independent Higher Education Productivity and Performance Commission to ensure graduates meet the needs of the future economy.

This is the next stage of Labor’s comprehensive plan to build the innovative and productive economy of future.

This also builds on Labor’s positive plan to prioritise study in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at university and coding in schools.

75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations today require skills in STEM and employment in STEM occupations is projected to grow at almost twice the pace of other occupations.

We want to make sure young Australians have the skills to fill those jobs and drive the new economy through their knowledge, innovation and creativity.

Labor’s positive plan for universities is a $2.5 billion investment to drive productivity and growth, and deliver the jobs of the future.

This is part of Labor’s positive plan to advance Australia beyond the mining boom.

This policy has been fully costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office and more details are available at

A fact sheet is available here

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