Secondary Teaching Degrees Now Offered for Free 2023
The Victorian state government has unveiled an initiative to provide free education for prospective secondary school teachers in Victoria, including those in the Wyndham area. Premier Daniel Andrews and Education Minister Natalie Hutchins made the announcement during their visit to Saltwater P-9 College in Point Cook, where they introduced a comprehensive scholarship program aimed at bolstering the teaching workforce.
Under this initiative, a total of $229.8 million will be allocated to support the growth of the school workforce. A substantial portion of this funding, $93.2 million, will be channeled into scholarships designed to alleviate the financial burden on students pursuing secondary school teaching degrees. These scholarships will be accessible to all students enrolling in such programs in 2024 and 2025. To qualify for the full scholarship amount, graduates are required to commit to teaching in Victorian government schools for two years following the completion of their degree. This initiative is expected to support approximately 4,000 aspiring teachers annually.
The scholarship value will align with the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) fees set by the Commonwealth Government for Commonwealth Supported Places. For instance, students embarking on a four-year undergraduate program can expect a scholarship matching the $18,000 fee, while those pursuing two years of postgraduate study will receive a $9,000 scholarship.
Additionally, the government will allocate $27 million to expand the Targeted Financial Incentives Program, offering incentives of up to $50,000 to teachers willing to serve in challenging positions in government schools, particularly in rural and remote areas.
Furthermore, the initiative includes $95.7 million to extend the Career Start initiative, which supports and retains teachers during their early years of teaching. This program will provide graduate teachers in government schools with extra preparation time, mentoring, and professional support to ensure their successful transition into the teaching profession.
Lastly, the government has allocated $13.9 million for a trial program of employment-based degrees, scheduled to commence in 2025. This innovative program will enable individuals to qualify as teachers while working in schools and will also provide a pathway for education support staff to obtain teaching qualifications. This comprehensive package aims to address various challenges in the education sector and ensure the availability of high-quality teachers in Victorian schools.