22 June 2023


The Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) has welcomed today’s passage of the Education Legislation Amendment (Startup Year and Other Measures) Bill including key amendments to bolster protections for students’ intellectual property and course quality, along with important changes which will now allow New Zealand citizens access to our world-class Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).

Startup Year will help thousands of our brightest budding entrepreneurs to realise their dreams of operating a small business.

ATN Executive Director, Luke Sheehy, said the amendments, will help ensure Startup Year is fit for purpose and lead to an increase in the number of successful entrepreneurs.

“Expertise and input from across the political divide, along with great ideas from higher ed and industry, have brought us to this moment. It’s pleasing to see some amendments are in line with our own submission and evidence to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee,” Mr Sheehy said.

“We’ve had a long engagement with this policy idea, and our consultation with the department has always been open and fruitful. Today’s passage of the bill is also due to the contribution of all Senators in this process, including the Shadow Education Minister and members of the crossbench.

“This is the first steppingstone and in keeping with our call for a flexible and agile approach to the program’s implementation we look forward to assisting the Government and ensuring the benefits flow directly to students. The passing of this legislation is a shot in the arm for young entrepreneurs across Australia. Startup Year will provide students access to our world-class facilities and our sector-leading mentors, the opportunity to learn from academic experts and test their exciting, new business ideas.”

Existing accelerator programs across ATN universities include Curtin Accelerate, Deakin ManuFutures, RMIT Activator, Newcastle’s Integrated Innovation Network, UniSA Venture Catalyst and UTS Startups.

Mr Sheehy also welcomed improvements for New Zealand students.

“The changes will now pave the way for tens of thousands of potential New Zealanders to access our world-class HELP system of no up-front costs along with access to a subsidised place, as they begin their pathway to Australian citizenship.”


Media Contact (not for publication)

Frank Coletta (Manager, Media and Communication) m: 0468 987 295 e: