Regional students

There is an increasing need for more highly skilled, university-trained professionals in regional Australia. Regional university graduates are needed to drive the innovative industries of the future. Our member universities are at the forefront of making this happen.

They do the heavy lifting in attracting students from regional and remote backgrounds to higher education and graduating them.

Our member universities are also major providers of distance education, enabling regional students to access higher education while remaining in their communities.

Support for regional students

Our member universities have been highly successful in mitigating multiple disadvantage at policy and practice levels. The majority of RUN students successfully graduate from bachelor degrees, and our universities achieve high levels of student satisfaction with the quality of teaching, learning and student support.

RUN graduates stay in regional Australia

Students who go to university in regional Australia tend to remain in regional areas after graduation, providing a ready supply of professionals to fill critical regional skill needs. Whereas, students who leave regional areas to study in an urban institution are unlikely to return.

Increasing enrolment in the regions

Regional universities have a major part to play in increasing the number of people in the regions who go to university. Currently, regional Australia still has a higher education attainment rate about half or less than half that in major cities.

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  • More than half (51 per cent) of domestic undergraduate students enrolled at our member universities are from regional or remote backgrounds, compared with just 29 per cent across Australia’s public universities.
  • The majority of RUN students do not come straight to university from school, and many have worked and undertaken post-school education prior to enrolling in undergraduate study.
  • Many students balance part-time university study with work and family commitments.
  • Across all equity cohorts, our member universities have a higher percentage of enrolments compared to metropolitan universities.
  • Students from equity groups face a number of challenges in accessing, participating and completing higher education, including geographical location, financial constraints, emotional factors and sociocultural incongruity.