Tertiary Education

Engaging in a tertiary education at an institution of choice should be an option for all rural and remote students who have the ability, ambition, motivation and aspiration to pursue their goals regardless of their socio-economic status or geographic location.

Rural and remote students are under-represented at tertiary level compared to metropolitan students. The high cost of relocation, including transport, upfront expenses and ongoing living expenses, distance from university and inability to be able to live at home, access to financial assistance and accommodation availability and affordability are all factors that result in the under-representation of rural and remote tertiary students.

Kate Thompson (portfolio leader), Nikki Macqueen, Suzanne Wilson, Kristen Coggan, Sally Sullivan and Jane O’Brien make up the Tertiary/Training Portfolio team.


Kate Thompson


Nikki Macqueen


Jane O'Brien

Sally Sullivan

Kristen Coggan

Suzanne Wilson

The Tertiary Reports presented at the annual Federal Conference can be read here.

Tertiary Report 2018 - Tertiary Report 2017 - Tertiary Report 2016

The Motion Updates can be read here

Motion Update 2017 ConferenceMotion Update 2016 Conference  -  Motion Update 2015 Conference

Tertiary Access Allowance

ICPA (Aust) main lobby for tertiary is the introduction of a Tertiary Access Allowance as financial assistance to rural and remote student who must live away from home to access tertiary education to enable rural and remote students to access their place of study including securing their place of accommodation, assisting with relocation expenses, travelling to their institution for enrolment to commence study and facilitating travel home during the year.

Tertiary Position Paper

Tertiary Policy

Our tertiary policies are based on arising member issues and relate to the tertiary education needs of rural and remote students.

Federal Tertiary Education Policies – May 2014  --  Federal Educational Allowances Policy - 2014


Youth Allowance Overview -- Helpful Information

The Youth Allowance Document aims to summarise the lengthy YA website.  ICPA would like to thank the Department of Human Services for their invaluable assistance with clarification of information for this document – it is updated January each year.

Youth Allowance Dedicated Phone Number: 13 24 90

Youth Allowance Overview 2019

Useful Websites - follow this link for a convenient pdf copy

  • Youth Allowance
  • Facebook – Student Update pageis operated by Centrelink, Medicare and Department of Human Services and has up-to-date, student specific information, advice, news, support and tips for Youth Allowance. ‘Like’ this Facebook Student Update Page and receive updates and reminders about student payments.
  • Rent Assistance
  • Study Assist– information for students about government assistance for financing tertiary study

ICPA Welcomes Youth Allowance Inclusion to 2018 Budget

ICPA Australia has welcomed news released in the 2018 Federal Budget that acknowledges a national focus for regional, rural and remote education. The direction which rural education must take is obvious if children living in rural and remote locations are to overcome the current educational inequities they experience.

Media Release 2018 Budget Announcement


Hard work, dedication and persistence from all levels of ICPA does pay off!

ICPA members for many years have been asking for some relief in the cost of going to university. In November 2015, the Federal Government passed the More Generous Means Testing for Youth Payments) Bill 2015 which saw changes to dependent Youth Allowance (the removal of the Family Asset Test and the Family Actual Means Test and changes to the Family Pool Arrangements) which would see a greater percentage of our rural and remote students eligible for financial assistance. A big win here!

Media Release Youth Allowance 2015


Tertiary Submissions 2016
- All ICPA (Aust) submissions can be viewed here

Submission on the Transparency of Higher Education Admissions Process - May 2016

ICPA (Aust) submission to the Higher Education Standards Panel on the “Transparency of Higher Education Admissions Processes” emphasised aspects applicable to rural and remote students when applying to university: appropriate advice of tertiary options including career, institution and course information, early entry options, alternative entry requirements to ATAR, bonus points allocation, financial implications of relocation and recognition that rural and remote students are a disadvantaged group and entitled to equity of access to tertiary education.

Submission on the Transparency of Higher Education Admissions Process – May 2016

Submission to the Australian National Audit Office’s Performance Audits of the Administration of the Youth Allowance (Student) and ABSTUDY Payment Schemes October 2016

ICPA (Aust) welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the Australian National Audit Office’s (ANAO) performance audits of the administration of both the Youth Allowance (Student) and ABSTUDY payment schemes with issues and experiences our members have reported when applying for Youth Allowance.

Submission to the Australian National Audit Office's Performance Audits of the Administration of the Youth Allowance (Student) and ABSTUDY Payment Schemes October 2016








In 2013, ICPA (Aust) commissioned Rural Press to conduct The Tertiary Access Research to examine the key factors that limit the ability of rural and remote Australian students to access tertiary education. The key findings indicated that cost was a significant factor in limiting access to a tertiary education. Read the full report here.