The Department of Education has commissioned an evaluation of the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), which helps to improve access to university for disadvantaged students – and also increase retention and completion rates of these students.

The evaluation will look at how effective the program has been, who’s benefited, what changes may be required and whether it provides good value for money.

Given the program is already scheduled for a $152 million funding cut from 2017, and given the rapid rise in higher education expenditure which has increase by 40% over the 11 years to 2013-14, many are nervous about the potential outcome.