The Government supports improved educational access for Indigenous Australians, particularly those people living in remote and regional areas where educational opportunities may be limited.
The Away from Base (AFB) Mixed-Mode program supports Indigenous students who are studying an approved mixed-mode course by distance education to access compulsory course elements in another location away from their permanent home for short periods of time.
A ‘mixed-mode’ AFB course is a nationally accredited course that is delivered through a combination of distance education and face-to-face residential teaching. AFB contributes towards the costs of travel, meals and accommodation only. AFB is not available for students enrolled in full time on campus studies, nor does it cover the course delivery costs.
AFB funding is provided directly to eligible higher education and not-for-profit Registered Training Organisations. AFB is intended to assist these providers to accelerate educational outcomes for Indigenous students beyond those which would reasonably be expected from mainstream and own-source funding. It supplements provider core funding and cannot be used to substitute or replace it.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) are responsible for another ABSTUDY AFB program which is administered by Centrelink and paid to the eligible student or their institution directly. For information on that program please view the ABSTUDY Policy Manual.
Students can only be supported under one AFB program. They cannot receive support under the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet AFB program and the DHS/DSS AFB Program.
The AFB Mixed-Mode Program is administered under the IETA Act.