Programme 2.1 Commonwealth Grant Scheme

The objective of the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) is to support people to obtain higher education qualifications which provide the skills that are needed in a more competitive and globalised world, and which will underpin Australia’s future economic growth and prosperity.

Through the CGS, the Australian Government subsidises tuition costs for higher education students across a wide range of disciplines and qualifications.

Currently the majority of CGS funding is provided to public universities for students enrolling in bachelor degrees. These are funded on a demand-driven basis. CGS funding is also provided for a designated number of sub‑bachelor and non-research postgraduate student places, and a designated number of places in courses at private universities and non-university higher education providers.

Programme 2.1 components contribute to achieving the objectives through:

  • making a direct contribution to the cost of educating all domestic Commonwealth supported students
  • providing additional funding to meet the higher cost of regional higher education (regional loading)
  • supporting students to prepare for and successfully complete higher education through funding for enabling courses (enabling loading)
  • meeting medical workforce needs through the provision of targeted support for medical programmes (medical loading).

Performance Information

Table 6: Programme 2.1 Commonwealth Grant Scheme performance information
Deliverables Estimate Actual
Provision of funding to higher education providers to support higher education student places
Number of Commonwealth supported domestic undergraduate places 558,700 557,972
Number of Commonwealth supported domestic postgraduate coursework places 39,000 38,762
Number of enabling places 9,800 9,793
Number of Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) medical places 13,100 13,074
Number of regional campuses under the CGS for which regional loading is applied 46 46

Note: Almost 597,000 Commonwealth supported places were provided in 2014 (equating to approximately 793,000 students), with about 558,000 of these places being for undergraduate students. The continued growth in the number of undergraduate student places reflects the introduction of the demand-driven funding system in 2012 and is expected to continue under the Government’s proposed higher education reforms

Key Performance Indicators



Increased student participation in higher education

Number of domestic enrolments (full-time equivalent)



Number of domestic postgraduate enrolments (full-time equivalent)



Number of undergraduate completions



Number of postgraduate coursework completions




Share this page on