University enrolments by regional and Indigenous students have increased to record levels, reversing an historical trend that has often seen them locked out of higher education.
In 2011, a total of 5,381 Indigenous students commenced a university course, an increase of 6.1 per cent from 2010. Since 2007 the number of Indigenous students studying at university has increased by 2,437, or 26 per cent.
Commencements for students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds increased by 3.3 per cent to 56,710, while total enrolments of low SES increased by 26,456 since 2007, or 23.9 per cent.
Regional and remote student commencements also increased after declining under the Howard Government. Total enrolments increased by 24,427 students since 2007, or 17.4 per cent.
Limits on student places meant many talented young people missed out on the opportunity to realise their full potential, "The Gillard Government removed the restrictions on student numbers and we are now seeing young people from rural and regional Australia, from migrant backgrounds, Indigenous people and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds, taking up the opportunity to get a university qualification.