In this submission, we argue that current income support payments for domestic students are inadequate and exclude many low-income students who are in need of income support. Further, we argue that increasing current income support payments and scholarships, and extending income support to all domestic postgraduate students would be result in increased course completion rates. Specifically, we recommend the following:
Recommendation one: That income support be expanded to domestic students of all postgraduate coursework degrees, subject to means testing of the student.
Recommendation two: That the rate of Austudy be urgently increased in order to help students afford housing.
Recommendation three: That Austudy eligibility be established for domestic students of all research degrees who are not receiving an RTP scholarship or another scholarship of an equivalent or higher amount, subject to means testing of the student.
Recommendation four: That RTP PhD stipends be extended to a minimum of 4 years and Masters by Research stipends to no less than 2 years.
Recommendation five: That the value of RTP stipends be increased to at least minimum wage.
Recommendation six: That the Commonwealth Government implement measures that incentivise publicly funded higher education providers to reduce the proportion of their staff employed on short-term or casual contacts.