Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program

11 Universities share in $67.1 M  to develop and implement innovative strategies aimed at increasing the aspirations and capacity of people from low SES backgrounds to participate in higher education.

Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program


The Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) aims to ensure that Australians from low SES backgrounds who have the ability to study at university get the opportunity to do so. It provides funding to assist universities listed in Table A of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to undertake activities and implement strategies that improve access to undergraduate courses for people from low SES backgrounds, as well as improving the retention and completion rates of those students. In addition, the HEPPP supports the Australian Government’s ambition that 20 per cent of domestic undergraduate students will be from low SES backgrounds by 2020.

The HEPPP consists of two components, Participation and Partnerships.



The Participation component of HEPPP provides a financial incentive to universities to increase the participation of domestic students from low SES backgrounds in accredited undergraduate qualifications, and support the retention and success of those students.

HEPPP Participation funding allocated to each university is shown in the following spreadsheet:

  • 2010-2012 HEPPP Participation Allocations [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][CSV 4KB]



The Partnerships component of HEPPP provides funding to assist universities to develop activities in partnership with primary and secondary schools, VET providers, other universities, State and Territory governments, community groups, and other stakeholders to raise the aspirations and build the capacity of people from low SES backgrounds to participate in higher education. These initiatives are intended to ensure a coordinated approach to concentrating resources to most effectively target low SES communities where articulation to universities has historically been low.

Under this component, each eligible university received baseline funding of $250 000 in 2012.

The Government announced in the 2012-13 Budget that the Partnerships component will be expanded to redirect $50 million within HEPPP to support innovative approaches to help disadvantaged students aspire to and complete a university qualification, with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Further information on the method of HEPPP funding allocation for this component will be made available on this website.


Competitive Grants Process

The Partnerships competitive grant process provides an opportunity for universities to develop and implement innovative strategies aimed at increasing the aspirations and capacity of people from low SES backgrounds to participate in higher education. It builds on Partnerships baseline funding and offers an incentive to those universities or consortia with the strongest proposals.

The Australian Government announced on 15 December 2011 HEPPP funding of approximately $67.1 million for 11 projects under the first round of the Partnerships competitive grants process. Information about the successful projects is shown in the table below


​University​Project​2011-2014 Funding
​Charles Darwin UniversityA Multi-Faceted Outreach Program for Students in the Northern Territory

The initiative aims to improve attraction to Higher Education and retention in School years 8-12, with a specific focus on Indigenous and regional / remote students. The program works across multiple dimensions, including the development of mentoring relationships across five years of boarding school, the provision of enhanced curriculum that demonstrates the value of Indigenous culture at university level, the expansion of career counselling, and the extension of roadshow and “taster” activities.
​$4 878 783
​Charles Sturt UniversityCSU Pathway Program

CSU, in conjunction with TAFE NSW, currently run a successful Pathway Program aimed at recent school leavers who do not meet University entry criteria and/or require further preparation. The program provides supported learning for students resulting in a Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation, a University Certificate in General Studies, and entry into many undergraduate courses. The project aims to expand the current program to accommodate increased enrolments and flexible delivery into small regional centres where provision of the Pathway Program is not currently financially viable.
​$173 000
​Deakin UniversityAccess Express

This is a targeted engagement program directed at students in low SES schools, their parents and teachers. It aims to introduce an evidence-based approach to developing, implementing and evaluating low SES programs. It will deliver an intensive intervention program of activities and sustained contact across Years 6 to 12 in partnership with seven schools and approximately 6300 students per year. It also aims to establish a longitudinal evaluation of the program’s impact on student aspirations and applications to higher education, and provide a unique cohort tracking methodology.
​$2 092 971
​Victorian Universities Consortium (led by Monash University)LEAP – Learn, Experience, Access Professions

The aim is to target schools Victoria-wide to engage low SES students with universities and professional communities to demystify the links between school, higher education and professional careers. It will stimulate students’ interests in particular fields and enable them to engage with a range of career possibilities, and enhance students’ and families’ understanding of how to prepare for entry into specific fields. Schools will access this program through a web-based LEAP Portal. The portal will be a sustainable, expandable platform for future outreach activities.
​$3 400 000
​Queensland Consortium (led by Queensland University of Technology)Project 1 – Schools Outreach

Widening Tertiary Participation in Queensland is a coordinated state-wide approach to stimulating demand for tertiary study involving collaboration between all eight public universities and the State Department of Education and Training, with the aim of creating interest, aspiration and subsequent participation in tertiary study amongst people from low SES backgrounds on a large scale.
This project aims to enable Queensland’s universities to extend and deepen their school partnerships so that students in all Queensland low SES schools have access to tertiary awareness and preparation. It includes a variety of regional-specific initiatives targeted at Year 6-12 students in state and non-state schools.
​$15 800 000
​Queensland Consortium (led by Queensland University of Technology)Project 2 – Indigenous Engagement

This project aims to enable Queensland’s eight Widening Tertiary Participation partner universities to undertake Indigenous-specific community engagement and capacity building work to improve access, participation and success for Indigenous people in tertiary education. This will include a number of regional- specific initiatives which respond to Indigenous community needs and nest with schools outreach work undertaken in Project 1.
​$5 350 000
​The University of Western AustraliaAspire UWA

The project will strengthen its work with 25 partner schools in Perth and the Pilbara, and expand its regional engagement to a further 25 schools in the Mid West, Gascoyne and Kimberley regions. The project aims to motivate students from low SES backgrounds to complete secondary schooling, support staff at partner schools through professional development, support Indigenous students in culturally appropriate ways to improve their educational outcomes, provide information and resources on pathways to higher education for parents, families and community members, and facilitate inspiring community events that showcase study and research options at university.
​$5 974 427
​University of BallaratHigher Education Regional Aspiration Program (HERAP)

The initiative aims to deliver integrated schools- and community-based programs to build higher education awareness and aspiration in 39 low SES partner schools (Years 10 – 11), 8 severely disadvantaged partner schools (Years 5 – 11), and two acutely disadvantaged sub-regional communities (Ballarat South and Horsham North). It is collaborative, needs-driven, multi-layered, scalable, evidence-based and sustainable. The program leverages outreach practice, trans-disciplinary research and strong partnerships to build aspiration for higher education in disadvantaged regional communities.
​$2 225 579
​University of New South WalesASPIRE

The program aims to build capacity at student, school and community levels across NSW in order to encourage more students to progress to university by challenging the traditional attitudes of people from low SES backgrounds towards higher education. It is set within a strong learning progression framework which starts in Kindergarten and extends to Year 12. Students receive multiple experiences of higher education across every year group, which build on the previous experiences. They are delivered through whole-of-cohort, age appropriate, in-school and on-campus activities, and supported by additional elements such as mentoring and tutoring.
​$4 581 400
​Sydney Basin Consortium (led by University of Western Sydney)Bridges to Higher Education

The initiative will focus on the burgeoning population and low participation in higher education in Greater Western Sydney. A comprehensive suite of successful programs will be broadened and deepened to more schools, students, post school leavers, teachers, parents, communities and partners, including Indigenous and rural/remote communities. A series of innovative new programs will also be introduced. The partners will collaborate to provide a comprehensive coordinated strategy to increase the number of people from low SES backgrounds who aspire to and successfully participate in higher education.
​$21 200 000
​Victoria UniversityAVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Australia

Victoria University will partner with primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities across three states/territories (Victoria, NSW and Northern Territory) in regions of low SES urban, rural and remote Australia to implement an innovative university-readiness system that explicitly and successfully prepares low SES students for tertiary study. The combination of high academic expectations and personalised support assists students to access university pathways, build persistence and academic skills. It prepares students for success by directing them to and supporting them through rigorous and advanced coursework while at school. Remediation is replaced by acceleration with support.
​$1 419 881
​Total$67 096 041

For further information about HEPPP projects, please contact the relevant universities directly.



Information about upcoming competitive HEPPP grants rounds will be posted on this website.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

What is the #1 grant for start-ups?

12,000+ companies access the R&D tax incentive per year that yields a CASH REBATE of up to 43.5%.
This might be perfect your start up.
Do you want to know more?

Scroll to Top
R&D Top 10 Consultant Tips

Top 10 Consultant Tips to Maximise the R&D Tax Incentive