Universities Australia today welcomes the passage of the Social Security Legislation Amendment (2007 Budget Measures for Students) Bill 2007.
Professor Alan Robson, Universities Australia spokesperson on student finances said that the legislation implements a number of the recommendations that Universities Australia has been lobbying for since the release of its Australian University Student Finances Report 2006 early this year.
"Extending Austudy to eligible Masters (or equivalent) students, and expanding eligibility to rent assistance for Austudy students, is a good start to improving the stressful financial situation many of our university students find themselves in," Professor Robson said.
"Leading into the 2007 Federal Election, it is now the ideal time to build on these important changes for Australian university students.
"Universities Australia is seeking the following two further changes in relation to student income support.
"Firstly all scholarships and bursaries (regardless of their source) to be excluded from assessable income for the purpose of student income support; and
"Secondly, a reduction in the age of independence for Youth Allowance from the current 25 years to 18 years over the next term of parliament," Professor Robson said.
Universities Australia released the Final Report of the Australian University Student Finances Survey 2006 in August this year.
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